A Peek Inside My Soul

Dear Readers,

Please permit me a personal moment.  I have so many things in my soul that I cannot keep contained.  I hope you feel that this keeps in line with my blog's purpose.  My life IS my testimony, and my testimony IS my life.  I used to live in two dimensions.  I was either doing something related to my faith or I was living the rest of my life.  They didn't coexist.  I wasn't very happy or satisfied because I never felt like I was ever complete, because I could only live half my life at a time (my Church life, or my other/regular/? life).  I have been working on meshing everything into one life; a life where I am constantly living and sharing my testimony of our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ.

I am an avid journal keeper, but today I feel like typing until my fingers fall off and sharing it all with you.  These are my thoughts and the feelings that are running through my soul, for I am so filled that I am bubbling over.

1.  Readers, please pray for Friend G.  He is having brain tumors.  The doctors keep removing them, but they keep coming back.  He has a six year old daughter, and I ache to think that she could lose her father.  I have personally never met Friend G, but last night Husband went and gave him a blessing at Friend T's request.  While you are praying stay on your knees and pray a little longer for Friend T.  Friend T and his family have not been to church very regularly the past few years.  Their family has been talking about the Church a lot lately and are showing some real desire to come back, but for some reason, just can't make the final leap.  Husband and I will continue to fellowship them and provide support, but I wish they could realize how much they already felt the Spirit in their lives.  All they are missing is to show up.  Within the past week they have several times borne such sweet testimonies of the Gospel.  I hope that our faith and prayers could be just enough to bring them back.

President Monson has always been so good at rescuing.  I used to think that "rescuing" in the Church was such a funny term and even offensive.  It always provoked images of glorifying the "rescuer".  In an example of saving a drowning victim, the rescuer might be given medals, awards, or recognition for their "heroic, act of bravery" or other such puffery.  Through Pres. Monson's example and my own study, I now understand that we rescue others, because we truly don't want them to drown.  I always avoided "rescue" type work before (which if you read between the lines that also means all missionary work), because I didn't want to be offensive to someone that I was "rescuing", that I was only trying to help them because I wanted my recognition, and not to truly help them.

The past few weeks, I have learned how to put myself aside and stop being so selfish.  Husband says that a few years ago we were much more selfish and resultingly, depressed and miserable.  I agree with his assessment and am happy to report that we are now the opposite.  Loving others definitely makes all the difference.

2.  I have learned that you cannot love others until you love yourself.  If you never see yourself as worth anything than you will not be able to value others as worth anything.  Everyone is a child of God.  It is just a matter of remembering that fact.  We come to love ourselves as we learn more about the nature of God.  The more we understand about the nature of God, the more we understand the infinite and far-reaching Plan that He has.  The more we understand that there IS a Plan, and that we have a place in the Plan (for we all do), the more we understand what infinite self-worth we have, for "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God." It truly is.

I have learned to trust in the Lord.  The more that I trust in Him, the more I trust in me, for trusting in the Lord builds confidence and power.  As I gain confidence, it makes me feel more powerful (as I recognize that ALL things are possible through Him), and so I make more of an effort to bring to pass daily miracles, and then I do.  Not by my power, but the power of God.  I have learned how to be His instrument.  I have learned that while I am of great worth, more than I ever, ever could comprehend before, I am so weak and nothing compared to God's power.

I love me.  I don't think you realize how good that feels to say, to know.  I LOVE ME.  I absolutely mean it, and am not just repeating phrases that I have been told a million times, but thinking that they applied to others.

I love myself.  I am happy with myself.  It is a pleasure to know me.

Loving myself like this, has opened the doors to loving others in a capacity that I have never been able to do before.  I always loved those I served, or thought I did, but I have experienced a greater love of late that I can't describe.  Loving others is truly wanting the best for them.  This means wanting them to know of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that they are also children of a loving, kind, and merciful Heavenly Father.  Doesn't this make you want to share the gospel?  How can I keep my mouth shut?

Yes, loving others, after loving yourself is the foundation for all good works in our Father's name.

3.  I have a friend who tells me that when we seek to become closer to Heavenly Father, everything else in our life will get better AUTOMATICALLY.  I can attest that this is true.  These past few months have been the best months of my life.  I have made changes, my family has worked on making changes, and we continue to do all that we can to be close to Heavenly Father.  It does feel like we are on a mission in that we have eliminated MANY distractions.  While we do not have mission "rules", by choosing to live a life centered on Jesus Christ's gospel, we do not have any time for mind numbing, time wasting activities that the mainstream says we need to participate in.  I almost feel like we are living in an alternate dimension.  I see all of these other choices happening around us where our neighbors and friends choose activities that are not in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and distract them from what they should really be focusing on.  We do not think that we are better than these people by choosing not to participate in these activities, we really do not have time.  Being "anxiously engaged" in building up the Kingdom of God is taking every free second.

I have been amazed at how many people are searching on the internet about a "christ-centered home".  I do not know the ratio of who might be members of the Church and who is not, but I know that people are searching.  I have been thinking about things that I might post to help those who are seeking for the truth.  I say to them and to you that becoming closer to Heavenly Father will make things in your life be better, automatically.  Focus on centering your home on Christ.  Get rid of distractions.  Leave behind worldly ways. They tell you that you can't, that you will be nothing without them, but that is not true.  You will be better.

4.  Lastly, I can't get this out of my mind.  I recently was talking to a young women.  She was telling me about her school program which is year-round.  It is a specialized program that has 100 students in it.  She is the only student who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  She told me that one day at lunch the students were all talking and that it came up that she is the only student in that program (out of 100) that has not lost her virginity.  My mouth fell on the floor as she told me that.  She said that the other students respected her for that, rather than made fun of her.  One in 100.  I am grateful that this young women is standing tall and remembering who she is.  How can we help the rest of these youth?

I found this and think it'll help a lot of youth.  I love how chastity is explained and especially how it ends.

I am still thinking through this conversation and still trying to wrap my head around that.  Parents teach your children.  Open your mouth, let's talk to our friends.  Let's share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others.  We cannot let Satan get a hold of our youth like this.  We can't.



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