Here’s a gentle reminder of my request! I received some great emails this week with experiences, testimonies, thoughts and scriptures. I thank you for those! They were definitely what I was looking for! 🙂
I don’t care if it’s mail or email, but my request for the next five weeks, is for at least a few of you on a weekly basis to share one or more of these things with me:
2: What you’ve been studying
3: Missionary experiences
4: Your favorite scripture and why
Because I want at least a few every week, this doesn’t mean you have to write every week. It just means I want a couple of you (out of 58) to write at least once within the next five weeks.
Now, why am I doing this? For a purely selfish reason: I go home in 5 weeks, and I would like some boosters every time I read my emails or look in the mailbox to keep me going strong until I finish. Like in a race, everyone stands at the end and cheers the runner on the last little while. Same thing. But I have a restriction: Don’t tell me how excited you are for me to come home or anything like that. Just talk about the Gospel, Christ, missionary work, etc. I have to stay focused for this short amount of time I have left and I need your help to do it! Thanks so much! 🙂
Some of these emails I got just blew me away. They testified of how much the Gospel truly blesses our lives and changes us if we let it. There are five steps of the Gospel – Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. While they’re all equally important, I think that faith and repentance are first because they’re really what get everything started. Faith is an action word. It’s a strong enough belief in something that drives you to act on that belief. If you have faith in Christ, it means you believe in Him enough to do as He did and strive to become like Him. As the desire to act on your belief grows enough to make you act, repentance comes next. The action that faith drives you to is change – to become like Christ. In order to be like Him, we have to take away everything in our lives that is not like Him. We have to change ourselves and be willing to turn away from our selfish desires and turn towards Christ. The definition of repentance is change, turning towards God, away from sin. Without that change, we can’t be made clean – without repenting, changing, turning towards God, we’re not using the Atonement. My mom wrote to me about Moroni 10 and the last half of the chapter. The entire chapter is amazing and I recommend it all (I mean, I recommend the whole Book of Mormon, too – https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/10?lang=eng
), but the last half is basically the entire point of the Book of Mormon – it’s an invitation to come unto Christ, to accept Him in your life, let Him change you, and become like him. Now can you see why I love it so much? As I’ve exercised the Atonement in my life, as I’ve studied the scriptures, the word of God, as I’ve applied the teachings of Christ in my own life, I’ve felt myself change. It’s hard. It’s painful sometimes. It’s not always pleasant. But the more that I’ve turned to Him, and done my best to repent, a desire has filled me to the point where I feel so much peace and joy that I can’t seem to keep it in. That desire is to change and be like Him. Before I understood the Gospel and really tried to apply it in my life, I didn’t have a strong desire to change my ways. I’ve always wanted to be like Christ and Heavenly Father. I’ve always loved the Gospel. But I never realized just how much I
needed to do my part before Heavenly Father would do His. You can’t just change on a whim. You can’t just say “I’d like to change” and be changed. You have to work. You have to exercise your faith. You have to start. My focus in my studies this week was repentance and humility. The more I’ve realized how much I really need my Savior and how much I won’t progress if I’m not willing to change little by little, the more I’ve come to see that Heavenly Father loves me no matter what I do. There’s a quote I love, but I don’t know who it’s by. It says: “Heavenly Father doesn’t care how fast you move on the path to eternal life. All He cares about, is that you’re moving towards Him.” This came to be more real to me this week as I recognized the little baby steps I’ve taken to change my desires, who I am and who I want to be. And while my steps are baby steps, when I look back on how much I’ve changed in just realizing these simple and small things in just one week, boy does it feel like I’ve taken giant leaps. The Lord truly helps us along the way. He loves us all. He knows us completely and perfectly. I know it. I’ve felt it and I hope that each of you can come to know and feel it, too.
This music video was the youth theme last year, and I believe it still is for this year, too. I LOVE it. Watch it once because the video is fantastic and shows the different ways we can use the Atonement, the different ways we can come unto Christ. But then play it again, only this time, just listen. Close your eyes and focus on the words. If you just do that, I can promise you that you WILL feel the Spirit. You will feel Heavenly Father’s love for you. And you will know that it IS possible to change if you are willing to come unto Christ. I know what the Gospel, what Christ can do for me. I know what He already has done. And I will be forever grateful to Him for that. I hope to never forget what I’ve learned, because it’s changed who I am… forever.
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.