Archive for the 'My Testimony' Category

Applying the Atonement

Jesus-Portrait

I attended a great class last night for Relief Society. It was a class on the atonement and the application of it. I had one of those aha moments as I shared a comment. (Don’t you just love when you learn something as you muster the courage to answer a question? Faith in action.) I have been praying a lot to know how to apply the Savior’s atonement in my life when I’m not struggling with some major difficulty that forces me to my knees. It can be hard recognize it when life seems to be going pretty well. I found an answer through this class, which I think will help me a lot.

We discussed what the atonement is to each of us and the specifics of the sacrifice the Savior has given for us. The speaker shared a story of how the sacrifice of the atonement is like a priceless heirloom blanket he received as a child. After the story, he asked us how we can pass the atonement along the way the blanket was passed along to him. Thoughts were shared on using it in our lives and then teaching others, like our children. I followed that up with the idea that we can pass it along by doing what is done for us. If we feel the forgiveness of the atonement in our lives, we then in turn are more forgiving of others. When we feel the peace of the atonement, we know better how to help bring peace to those around us. Part of the application of the atonement in our lives, is how we become the instruments of the Lord. We become the answer to another’s prayers. It’s a cycle. For example, we may seek for comfort from the Lord in a time of need. He gives us that comfort in many ways, including the kindness of those around us. Then we turn around and respond to the inspiration and promptings to comfort another, who may also be seeking the comfort from the Lord. We become part of the answer to their prayer or their need, and pass the blessings of the atonement on to them. We are His hands. We can be given great power through the atonement to help others around us, even when we may be struggling. This is when we can make the atonement part of our everyday life. In the good times as well as the hard times of trial. Our choices to serve and sacrifice for others, bring us all those things we are seeking from the Lord ourselves, whether its forgiveness, comfort, peace, strength, healing, hope, or love.

I am so grateful for the power of the atonement and the saving gift that it is. I know that I cannot become whole and perfect on my own. I need Him. I need His love and forgiveness. I need His grace and hope. I need His strength and peace. I need to be His hands as well.

Blessings of the Priesthood

And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me. (D&C 42:44)

Because the priesthood has been restored to the earth, worthy men have the ability to hold it today. One of the blessings of the priesthood, is that Elders may bless the sick and afflicted. My heart is full today as I have watched my own child suffer from an illness that was going to be temporary, but still was scary for her. We spent Tuesday evening in the Urgent Care and then the ER because she could no longer support her own weight to walk or even stand on her own due to pain and inflammation. On Wednesday morning, my husband and another Elder from the ward, gave her a priesthood blessing. We talked to her about blessings of the priesthood and the faith she would need to have that Heavenly Father would do what was best for her. Then I watched as throughout the day she regained her strength and ability to stand and then to walk slowly with only a little support. This morning she was even better, and by late afternoon, she was walking normal again. I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven, for her seemingly speedy recovery. We still have to watch her for possible relapse, but I have faith that no matter what, she’ll be good. The priesthood is real and through it, we can do miracles on earth today. Heavenly Father is mindful of us. He loves my daughter, because she is His precious child as well.

The Priesthood Power

In my preparations for teaching Sunday School this past month, I have been doing a study of the priesthood. My husband and I decided that we would do our couples study of the scriptures by starting in Alma 13, only to realize that what we read focused on the priesthood. A learning moment came for me as I thought about my Savior Jesus Christ and the amazing miracles he performed, including the gift he has given us of the Atonement. He and his priesthood cannot be separated. In his perfection, there was nothing he would have done wrong in his life, to have that great power removed from him. It is the power and authority he was given in order to create worlds, in the pre-mortal life. It is the power that was required in order for him to be resurrected. Verse 2 reads, “And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption.” When we look to the Savior, we look to his priesthood power. Without his priesthood power and the authority of God, the Savior would have been simply a great man doing good. I’ve often thought of the priesthood as a piece of the gospel of Jesus Christ, like one of the appendages. Now, however, I see it as part of the umbrella that is over the gospel as a whole. I have a greater love for the priesthood now, where I think I had little understanding before. I know that Jesus Christ bears the priesthood and that because of it, we can look to Him for redemption. I know that the priesthood was restored to the earth to the prophet, Joseph Smith, and to Oliver Cowdery. I know that the work of God, which is the salvation of mankind, is something that we can participate in now, because of the restoration of the priesthood. I am so grateful for the blessings which I have and continue to receive from the priesthood.

More on the Teachings of Paul

I know that we are all sinners. We cannot be with God if we are unpure because of sin. If we do not repent or become justified (made righteous in the sight of God) through the redemption of Jesus Christ, we will remain in our sins at the last day. We are justified through our faith. Or rather we are forgiven of our sins when we act in faith and repent. The atonement has made this possible to all mankind.

I know that simply going through the motions of partaking of the sacrament does not bring us a renewal of our covenants that we made at baptism. It is the faith we act in repentance of the things we have done wrong, which allow our partaking of the sacrament to work as a renewal of those covenants. We will not grow in our testimony or in knowledge if we live the law without faith in Christ and His gospel.

I know that there is no value to sin when their is no law. The commandments clarify what is sin. Once we know the commandments we are held accountable for any sins against that commandment. If we do not have a commandment for something, we cannot sin against it. Therefore, there is no judgement held against us for that things and we have no need to be justified for it.

I know that baptism, after the pattern of the Savior, is like putting the natural man within us to rest and rising again as a new person who has made a covenant and promise to live a righteous life. We are able to start fresh and focus our lives on God’s will for us.

I know that I am a child of God and I have the ability to progress to become more like Him. I know that if I am doing the things that are right, that my trials and adversity will be for my benefit and learning. If, however, I am knowingly committing sin, my trials will not have the benefit until I have changed my ways. If we are righteous, we will continue to turn to Christ and feel his love and support through any difficult times that come our way.

I know that missionary work is so important to the salvation of all the children of God. Without missionary work, those who are accepting are not able to hear the gospel. Without hearing the gospel, they cannot choose if they will believe it or not. Without believing it, they cannot fully repent of the things they do wrong or make a change of heart. Without repentance they cannot be baptized. Without baptism they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. I am so grateful for missionaries and for the opportunity that I have to share my own testimony with you out there in the world and do my own little piece of the Lord’s missionary work.

Here are some of the things I know I need to work on being, in order to become like Jesus Christ and return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven some day (according to a scripture chain for the qualities of a Saint):

  • Be worthy and dedicated to your callings
  • Be submissive, lowly and meek – humble, quiet and gentle
  • Be patient and enduring well through difficulties and trials
  • Be restrained in our emotions to others – temper your emotions
  • Be loving and charitable
  • Be unified in the Spirit
  • Be peaceful
  • Be refined, courteous, and polite
  • Be faithful
  • Be honest in your feelings and love others
  • Be disgusted by evil and cling to those things that are good
  • Be kind and affectionate
  • Be respectful of others
  • Be a good worker, diligent, active, productive, and involved
  • Be passionate in spiritual things
  • Be hopeful
  • Be patient through adversity – be a thriver
  • Be prayerful and fast
  • Be generous and giving, especially to those in need, and even to those who are our enemies
  • Be hospitable and welcoming
  • Be forgiving of those who do you wrong, pray for them, bless them, and do not try to get back at them
  • Be happy for others when things go well for them
  • Be there for those who are suffering
  • Be thoughtful of those who have less
  • Be smart, knowledgable, and wise
  • Be real, genuine, and modest in your knowledge
  • Be honest in all things at all times
  • Be righteous and overcome evil with good
  • Be open to the promptings of the spirit and follow them
  • Be a partaker of the atonement, through repentance and a change of heart
  • Be better than what comes naturally
  • Be dedicated to the work of the Lord and willing to submit yourself to His will – consecrate and sanctify yourself
  • Be virtuous, clean and pure
  • Be a member of God’s church and attend your meetings
  • Be organized and prepared
  • Be a teacher of all that is good, especially the gospel – testify to others and preach repentance when appropriate
  • Be like God
  • Thinking About the Teachings of Paul

    I know that in order to have true happiness, we must put God above all other things. It is difficult at times, to avoid getting caught up in things of the world. Sometimes we have really good priorities, or we are focused on really doing good things for others, but as soon as that things becomes more important that following the commandments or doing the things that God would have us do, we have given that thing place above God. I know that we may not be what is biblically seen as an idolatrous people, but really we slip into idolatry all the time.

    I know that in putting God first, we are more prepared to do the will of God. I believe that we have the ability to have personal revelation for our lives and for those who we have stewardship over. I know that I can hear the promptings of the spirit much better, when I do not have the distractions of the world taking priority in my heart and mind. I am so glad that I have been able to feel the promptings of the spirit in my own life. I know that the blessings that come from following these promptings are faith-building and amazing.

    I think that these worldly distractions are one step away from removing ourselves from following the gospel. Our own apostasy cannot be blamed on anyone else but ourselves, and we cannot overcome it by any other means than repentance and changing our own heart to be more like our Savior. We can guard against apostasy by being aware of the things that are temptations for us, by not being easily offended, and by focusing on building our testimony and sharing it with others. We can share our testimony through our words as well as through the kind things that we do for others.

    I am grateful for the consistency of the gospel. That is a rock that I can depend on remaining the same no matter where I go. Because I know this, I can more easily recognize things that are designed to lead me astray. I have seen how the gospel can unify us and bring us together in peace and love. I am so grateful for the influence that it has in my life. I am grateful for righteous leaders who give me reminders of things that may need changing in my life. I love the opportunity to improve and be a better person. I am so glad that I have had humbling experiences, which have reminded me of the larger picture and how I fit in it.

    Loving those We Serve

    I don’t know if I have posted about this before, but I felt like sharing it today. Several months ago, I was struggling with an aspect of the calling that I had in church. As a member of the LDS church, I believe that I can serve in the church best when I love those that I teach and have stewardship over. At the time, I was serving with the women in what is known as Relief Society. I had the opportunity to teach them often, and to share my testimony with them quite frequently. I felt like I was doing my part in planning activities and such. I could not tell, however, if I was doing my part in loving these women.

    One Sunday in Sacrament meeting, a return missionary spoke about his experiences during his missionary service. He said that he too had been struggling with loving those he served. I’m not sure if what I learned was exactly what he said, but during his talk the spirit taught me that if I had compassion and cared for those sisters individually, then I loved them like I should. Later that day, as I sat in the lesson with the Relief Society sisters, this lesson meant even more to me. As a member of the Relief Society presidency, I had the opportunity to sit in the front of the room, facing the other women. As I sat there that day, I was overcome with the realization of just how much I cared for each woman there. I looked at one and thought of how much I hoped she was feeling better that day. I looked at another and thought of what I might do to help her find a job. I looked at another and thought how good a visit to the temple would be for her right then. In that moment I was overcome with the realization that my care for each of them personally and individually was how I loved these sisters.

    I know that we have the ability in us to follow the Lord’s commandment that we should love one another. I know that if we learn to care and have compassion for our fellow men (and women) we will love them. I know that as we do this, we will learn and grow to become better people. This is because when we do this we become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ, who loves each and every one of us. I am grateful for this lesson and I hope that more of us will find compassion and love for each other.

    Testimony

    I’m a singer and I’ve been working hard for several months on producing an album with my Dad. It is some of my favorite songs which testify of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. If you are interested, you can check out the website here: Testimony

    I am so grateful for the talents that God gives me. I am even more thankful for the opportunity to share this talent while sharing thoughts of the Savior. I know that I am nothing without Him. He lived for me, died for me, and was resurrected for me. The least I could do it tell others about Him.

    O That I Were an Angel

    I’ve been doing some personal study the last few days, while I wait for my next study manual to arrive in the mail. One of the most common messages to me throughout the scriptures that I have studied so far since I began this blog in 2008, has been the importance of missionary work. I think that I have been trying to do my own part in sharing the gospel, through these posts. I didn’t want to go without some posting, so I figured I would share my feelings right now — my testimony. I want to share some of the simple truths that I know to be true to the center of my being.

    I know that there is a God. He is our supreme being, our creator and more importantly our loving Father in Heaven. I believe that I am literally a daughter of God. I know that there is a bigger plan for us than just this life. In fact, I feel in my heart that this life is really just a small portion of the life we will have in eternity. The scriptures teach about the great plan of salvation, where we have an existence before we were born here, and where we will continue on to gain glories after we die. I cannot deny the personal declaration of the spirit, which I have received about this. I know with a sureness, that I was there in heaven before being born, and that I made the choice to follow the Lord, Jesus Christ, and come to earth to gain a body and experience. I have had personal witness to me that relationships existed before this life. I believe that the relationships we form in this life, can continue after if we live worthy of it. This gives me the greatest reason for living a righteous life. I know that it can be easy to live in the moment, and to have the desire to experience immediate gratification. Knowing that I can be with my loved ones, and that the relationship that I am forming with my Savior and my Heavenly Father can continue to progress and grow, is amazing. This gives purpose to my life.

    There is a song, which says “There’s a right way to live and be happy”. I believe in something that I know is not a common belief among all people. There is a right way to live and a wrong way to live. We know what the right way is because of the scriptures and because of revelations to prophets of God. I believe that not only were there prophets in ancient times, but that there are prophets on the earth now. I believe the God has placed great men on the earth, to be his mouthpiece, and that he still communicates with a prophet today. I believe that Thomas S. Monson, is the current prophet of the Lord and the president of His church. I have received a personal witness of this fact as well. I believe that Joseph Smith was the prophet of God, called to restore the truth and fullness of the gospel to the earth. That gospel is the pure gospel of Christ. In that gospel, we have been given commandments and consequences. They are written plainly to me, which I understand may not be the case for everyone. I believe that when we live these commandments through faithful actions, the spirit has the power to make these things plain. What I mean by plain, is that they make perfect sense to me. I have had to walk by faith to learn these principles. I have experienced the negative and positive consequences and have learned a lot in the process. I understand that this is a life-long process and that we must continually be moving forward with faith and trying to live by God’s laws.

    In this life-long process, I know that none of us will be perfect. I know that God provided a merciful option in His plan for us. This option, meant that someone had to live a perfect life and suffer for us all to pay the price for these sins, because justice is an eternal principle. A consequence and price had to be paid for all the sins of the world. I believe that Jesus Christ chose to be that individual. I believe that he was the only person who was born of direct divine lineage. He is the only begotten of the Father. He lived a perfect life. He showed us a perfect example of how to live. He was perfectly obedient and loving. He prayed and suffered for all of our sins. He died for us, and made it possible for us all live again through the great resurrection. He gave us the choice to repent of our sins. Basically, we have the option to give our sins to him, through humbling and changing our hearts for the better. He has already paid for them, so once we repent, justice has been met. When we choose to hold on to our sins, I believe we will carry them with us after this life, and then we will have to satisfy justice ourselves through our own suffering.

    I believe many things about life after we die, some are very personal and sacred to me. I know that life does not end with our death here, but that is just part of what we must go through in our path to becoming more like God. I believe that we need to make covenants with God in this life, in order to gain the blessings that he promises us in the scriptures. These covenants start first with baptism. I believe that baptism is the ordinance which prepares us to make greater covenants with greater promises. I believe that baptism and a life of righteousness will earn us great rewards in this life and after it. I believe that after baptism we are worthy to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The gift of the Holy Ghost is given only through the proper authority of God, which is the priesthood. The Holy Ghost is a teacher, comforter and guide, which I am so eternally grateful for. Furthermore, I believe that through the covenants that we can make in the temples of the Lord, we can receive all the blessings that God has promised His people. Included in those, is the blessing of being able to live with our families forever. This comes through being married and sealed in the temple. I was married and sealed to my sweetheart almost ten years ago, and my sweet children are consequently sealed to me as well. I am so grateful for this and for all the temples around the world.

    There is so much more that I can say, but in short, I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love my family. I love the gospel. These things give me purpose and direction. These make life worth every moment, good or bad, easy or difficult. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have gained and for the revelation and inspiration that has come from studying the scriptures. I hope that my testimony can touch someone who is searching for the truth. “O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! (Alma 29:1)”

    Atlanta Temple

    I recently set up my homepage to be lds.org and I am loving it. This morning I read on there about the upcoming open house and dedication of the Atlanta, Georgia temple and I was overcome with emotion. I may never get to see that temple, but the amazing wonder that it is for more saints to have a temple near them is overwhelming. I know that the temple is truly the house of the Lord. It is a wonderfully peaceful place, where the Lord can speak to our hearts and minds. We learn amazing things and can continue to learn every time we attend. It is comforting to know that all those who enter His holy house, have been found worthy to be there. Everyone has a common goal to live righteously and return to live with our Father in Heaven again someday. I have had amazing experiences that are personal and sacred to me, which I will continue to treasure in my heart. I love to serve my ancestors there and to feel a deeper and more personal connection to them. What a blessing it is for me to live so close to a temple and to be worthy to learn and grow there.

    Conference and the Prophet

    I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet today. I prayed earnestly to know this and to be able to fully sustain this wonderful man, and I received an amazing confirmation of the spirit. I love to hear him speak and I hang on every word waiting for the spirit to confirm to me what I should be doing. I am excited that General Conference is today and tomorrow. I look forward to hearing the prophet speak to the world. I am also looking forward to hearing the many talks from other general authorities who are being guided by the spirit as to what they should say to us. It is so amazing to hear the word of the Lord.


    About My Scripture Study Buddy

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

    Testimony

    I made an album with my dad in 2011. Check it out!

    Testimony

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    Current Study

    Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

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