Testimony Tuesday: Dare to Stand Alone

Sorry this wasn’t posted yesterday, so now it’s really Testimony Wednesday. BUT I still did it! ūüôā Today my testimony is short, sweet and to the point.

As the world becomes more and more corrupt, it is harder and harder to stand for what we believe and be the example we are called to be as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is becoming harder and harder to find the courage to stand up and say no to things we know are not in harmony with our standards. But I testify to you, with all my heart and soul, I KNOW that if we stand with God, put our faith and trust in Him, and are not afraid to show it, He will raise us up against evil and help us become who we are destined to be. We can do anything through Him, who strengthens us. Have the faith. Find the courage. Live up to your potential. Be an example and a role model. Show them that you are a disciple of Christ. Love Him by showing Him that you believe in Him.

Philippians 4:13

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Alma 26: 11-12

11  But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
12  Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Part 2: I Am a Missionary, This is My Calling

I’m sitting here studying for my mission prep midterm and I felt the need to add on to my Testimony Tuesday this week. I was re-reading President Monson’s announcement from the October 6, General Conference opening talk when he announced the age change:

“Brothers and sisters, I now turn to another matter‚ÄĒnamely, missionary service.

For some time the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have allowed young men from certain countries to serve at the age of 18 when they are worthy, able, have graduated from high school, and have expressed a sincere desire to serve. This has been a country-specific policy and has allowed thousands of young men to serve honorable missions and also fulfill required military obligations and educational opportunities.

Our experience with these 18-year-old missionaries has been positive. Their mission presidents report that they are obedient, faithful, mature, and serve just as competently as do the older missionaries who serve in the same missions. Their faithfulness, obedience, and maturity have caused us to desire the same option of earlier missionary service for all young men, regardless of the country from which they come.

I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will‚ÄĒor should‚ÄĒserve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.

As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.

We affirm that¬†missionary work¬†is a priesthood duty‚ÄĒand we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.”

– President Monson, General Conference, October 2012

 Reading through this again gave me chills and I had a reconfirmation of a few things:
1) President Monson is a prophet of God. He receives revelation for the church and it truly comes from the Lord. The words that come from President Monson’s mouth, are words that come from the Lord’s.
2) The work is hurrying forth. We are getting called at a younger age to be missionaries because the Lord’s work needs to be brought to each and every person possible and it is now, more than ever, something that all of us need to be a part of.
3) I am a missionary. I have been called by the Lord to serve the people of New Hampshire. I know that with all my heart and soul and it was because of this announcement that I am able to go now. I want nothing more than to share with others what makes me so happy – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without it, I would be so lost and confused. Without Him, I wouldn’t know what to do with my life. I want others to know Him, too.
I am a Mormon. I know it. I love it. I live it.

Testimony Tuesday: I Am A Missionary – This Is My Calling

Today I received a packet from my mission president, President Wilkey. Now, if you read my very first post from when I first opened my call, I said I was pretty disappointed when I found out I wasn’t going foreign. Eventually, that went away and turned to excitement. Each step towards my mission whether it be shopping for clothes and shoes, taking mission prep, taking temple prep and interviewing for my temple recommend, making an appointment to receive my endowments, or studying and learning more and more about being a missionary has made me more and more excited and so extremely happy! I know serving a mission is what I need to do at this point in my life and everything is falling into place. My life has been quite a bit better since making this decision and receiving my call. But, I never really received confirmation, exactly, that New Hampshire is where I need to be. I told myself over and over that it is, because I know that these calls come from the Lord. At least, I didn’t have that confirmation until tonight. As I was reading the page about the history of the New Hampshire Manchester Mission and saw how much church history is in that mission, I just suddenly knew that this is where I belong. New England is where I’m needed. I still don’t know why. Maybe I’ll find who I’m supposed to marry. Maybe there’s something I need to learn that can only be taught by the people there. Perhaps I’ll find someone who wouldn’t open the door to anyone but me. I may help convert a lot of people, but more likely, I’ll only plant the seed needed to start their faith in God. Whatever the reason, I know this is where I’m needed the most.

Many people may not agree with what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes and teaches, but maybe I can at least introduce them to God and help them be better people. As a person who has been called to serve as a missionary and official representative of the Church, I need to share what I know. I can’t sit around and pretend it isn’t real, that there is no God and that He doesn’t speak to us, doesn’t have the ability to speak to us every day. I can’t deny that I know He is real. I have received my own testimony of that and of the truth of His word. God is good. God is there for you and me. If you’re not convinced of the truthfulness of His Gospel, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that’s okay. I’m¬†not here to convince you. My purpose as a missionary is to introduce people to the truth and teach them what we believe. I’m who testifies of what I know to be true and the Holy Ghost is who convinces you of the truth. If you’re open to a new point of view and a new way to know God, listen to what the Spirit is telling you, because I¬†know¬†without any kind of doubt in my mind that God is real. He loves us and wants us to know Him so that we can come back to Him. I have felt His love and kindness. I have been so blessed in my life to have Him with me wherever I go. As long as I know this, I know I’ll be alright. Nothing can hurt me or keep me from true happiness as long as He is there.

This is a Primary song that says exactly what I want to say. Excuse the “rock” version, it was the only one I could find. So, no, we don’t actually sing it like this. ūüėČ

If you’re still pretty skeptical about what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes, here’s a bit of an outline that we call the Articles of Faith. We learn these and are encouraged to memorize them from the time we set foot in Primary as little three-year-old children.

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We¬†believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good¬†to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul‚ÄĒWe believe all things, we hope all¬†things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure¬†all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Still not sure? Ask the missionaries! ūüôā

I will post my thoughts and other references of each of these Articles of Faith at some point. Hopefully soon.

Testimony Tuesday: Earthly Father, Heavenly Father

 

“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” – The Family: A Proclamation to the World

 

Fathers are important in everyone’s lives. Some of us may not have one in our lives because of individual circumstances, but many of us do have the privilege of having our fathers in our lives.

My mom and dad

My mom and dad

 

My dad is awesome. He may not have been to every performance, recital, sports event, or whatever else I may have been a part of, but I still had his support, and he came enough times that I could see that. My dad is hilarious, fun, and though sometimes can have a bit of a short temper (I get that from him. ūüėČ ), I love him to death. He has taught me a lot about life and has shown many qualities I want my husband to have as a father (though that won’t happen for few years, at least). Our family doesn’t spend a lot of time together, but we always made it a point to at least try to have dinner together every night. I have so many memories of when my siblings and I were little. When it was bedtime, my dad would pick each of us up, rock us back and forth, say “Shadrack! Meshack! TO BED YA GO!” and throw us on our beds. I loved having him tuck me in. ūüôā Every once in a while, during the summer, I’d ask if I could go to work with him. He’d take me and though I didn’t have much to do, I was excited to spend time with him, even if he had to focus on work the whole time. I remember one lady bought me an orange soda and gave me a tiny card with a picture of a hamster in cheese that said she was glad to have me at work that day and that I should come again.

I have a lot of great memories, but by far, my favorite was going on a daddy-daughter date. I don’t remember the date very much, just that it was for Activity Days at church when I was 8 or 9. But my dad gave me a gift. It is probably the best gift I’ve ever received from anyone and I still have it. It’s only a list of 10 things why he loves me, but it means the world to me.¬†My dad is the best and even though I rarely hear him say it, I know he loves me so much.

 

 

If my earthly father loves me this much, I can’t imagine how much my Heavenly Father loves me. Families here on earth are based off of how families are and will be in heaven. The Lord isn’t an unjust or unmerciful god. He loves each and every one of us because we are all His Sons and Daughters. To get just a little bit of an understand just HOW much he loves us? He sent us here to earth to give us the chance to learn for ourselves. He gives us trials to learn from. He gave us a body. And He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer for all of our sins so that we may have the chance to repent and live with Him again. Without the Atonement, there is no way we could have that chance.

So, if you don’t have an earthly father to turn to, turn to your Heavenly Father. Pour your heart out to Him. He wants to hear from you. He wants to comfort you and guide you and help you. All we need to do is ask Him. God is the Father of our Spirits, and He loves us like any father should love his children. Our fathers on earth aren’t simply the fathers of our bodies. They, like Heavenly Father, help guide us and comfort us through our lives. They stand by us, love us, support us and tell us when we’re doing something right or wrong or if we’re being completely stupid. They help guide us in the right direction. Fathers have the responsibility to love us, nurture us, guide and help us, and teach us to become the very best we can be. I know my dad loves me and wants the very best for me and I know the same of my Heavenly Father. He is here for me, for you, for all of us no matter what our circumstances me be. I have felt His love and I know Him to be real. Without Him, and without my dad, I would have no clue where to go with my life. I love them both dearly and I am so blessed to have this knowledge.

Dear Daughter

This is something I found on a group page for sister missionaries on Facebook. I loved it, so I thought I’d share it with everyone. Especially the sisters.

Our Father in Heaven loves each and every one of us. He is always watching over us and sent us here to learn something. I love this letter because it’s so nice to think of Him in this way. Because that’s exactly what He is: Our loving, caring, merciful and wonderful Father.

Dear Daughter,

I remember well the day you left my side and wandered through the veil, venturing forth to fulfill your earthly mission. I had a tear in my eye as I clothed your spirit in a cloak of love and sent you off to school. Be assured that my thoughts are with you now, as always.

I love you with all my heart. I know your life; the good, the bad, your grief, your disappointments, your unrewarded efforts, your frustrations and your temptations. But always remember all that I have is yours if you will only come home again.

Daughter, realize that in you I have placed a bit of heaven, no one was exempt. I love all my children. You have some blest gifts, some talents and some little part of me in you. Search for it. Develop it. Use it, and most importantly, share it with others. If you really love me, then help others find themselves, and lead them back to me. Show your love by serving others.

Repent of your failings and humble yourself. Make yourself ever teachable and continually strive to improve. I gave you weaknesses to help you to be humble. Don’t condemn me for that. I did it because I love you. Be full of hope; don’t let discouragement engulf you. I’ll come when you need me.

Daughter, cease your idle contentions. Be a peacemaker, for it breaks my heart to see many of my children fighting. IF they could only see what I have hoped, planned and desired for them.

My heart breaks as I watch them. But you, my faithful daughter, are my hope. It is through you that my work must proceed. You haven’t much time, and there is much to be done. I beg you to get started. Accomplish the mission I gave to you before you left me. I’ll help you. I’ll never be too busy or too far away to come to you. I’m nearer to you than you might suspect. I have so much that I would like to tell you.

Come often to me in prayer. I love to talk to you, my beloved daughter. Be diligent in my work and my kingdom shall be yours. I’d love to take you in my arms, but I must wait patiently until the time comes. Until then, I leave you my peace, my blessings, and my love. Never forget that I am nearby whenever you need me.

I love and miss you so much. How I am looking forward to your return to your Mother and me.

All my love,

Your Heavenly Father.

Testimony Tuesday: Patience

I’ve decided to do “Testimony Tuesday”. I’ll share a message every Tuesday, maybe even more often, until I leave for my mission. (Yes, I know I didn’t post this on an actual Tuesday. In my defense, it was posted on Facebook last Tuesday, but I didn’t have time to post it here as well. ūüėČ )
Patience is something I have very little of. I pray every day that I will have patience with myself, with the¬†people around me and with my Heavenly Father as he knows what is best. He loves me and knows me. He loves and knows each of you. Have patience with Him and let Him guide you through your life as you make big or small decisions. Trust in Him. As we go through life’s many trials, remember Him. The past couple of weeks have been pretty stressful for me, and there are times where I feel like giving up. But I know I’ve been and will continue to be blessed with all that I have. I have the opportunity to study at BYU, where the professors, students and guests are all so welcoming and kind. I have many wonderful talents that, though sometimes they seem so hard and tedious, I would never ever give up. I have family and friends who love me and support me. I have a place to live and food to eat. I have clothes to wear and a bed to sleep in. Taking time to remember these things helps me to remember that it will all be worth it. I just need to remember to have patience in myself, in those around me, and in the Lord. He knows all things and as long as I put my trust in Him and serve Him, everything will turn out alright. ūüôā