Saturday, November 21, 2015

He Knows You

Mosiah 3:19  For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

How does the Atonement allow you to overcome the natural man? This question was presented in reference to this verse in our studies this week. The second questioned asked along with this was Why is it only through the Atonement of Christ that you can become a Saint.  Then it refers one to this aforementioned verse.  I thought I was going to write about this and share my answers to these questions with you. But in my studies I found this blog post. Mosiah 3:19  I felt inspired to share that with you instead.  It breaks down this scripture and helps us to understand this verse in a very well thought out manner.

So, I keep going back to another question that came up in the study from this scripture block (Enos-Mosiah 3.)  What examples have you seen of the foreknowledge of God demonstrated in the events of your life? (see commentary for Words of Mormon 1:7)  The second half of this verse states “And now I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come, wherefore, he worketh in me to do accruing to his will.”  He knows the things to come. He knows the challenged I have had and the one I will have. I believe in agency. I believe things change based on the choices I have made. But, I know that the Lord has a plan for me.  That he wants me to come back and live with Him one day.

What examples have I seen that God had foreknowledge of events in my life? In other words; what has Heavenly Father done to help me and bless me personally in spite of me getting in my own way?

I have always walked to the beat of my own drummer, which is to say, no beat at all. (Literally I can not hear the beat, ever.) So although I was born and raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I did not always choose to live the gospel or follow the standards out line for me.  I wanted so desperately to be a young mother.  The Lord knew this wasn’t how it would be for me.  He knew that I would not be ready even though I knew I was.

I think God had the foreknowledge that I would struggle with depression in my 20’s.  He knew that I would need more time to learn to deal with the demons in my mind and the thoughts that plagued my soul.  Despite my best efforts and somewhat crushing to my heart and soul I was unable to get pregnant during my first marriage. When I finally did get pregnant I lost that sweet baby who only lived a brief time on this Earth. It wasn’t until 8 years after that heart wrenching time that my dream of becoming a mother would happen.  And when I found out I was pregnant I was so far away from thinking I would ever become a mother that I was in shock.

I know God saved my sweet Cody to come down and be my son until just the right moment. He knew this little baby would be the catalyst I needed to change my life. He had the knowledge that this single event would close a volume of my life story as I began a new one. 

Heavenly Father has a plan for me. He has one for you. If you are not sure what it is start with what you do know. You are a Child of God. He wants you to return to Him one day. He has a plan for you. Knowing that is enough to start or to continue to Come unto Christ. To become your best self.  He knows you, He loves you, He has a Plan of Happiness for you.

It's called Work

It was a pivotal moment in my life. Something I worked so hard for came to fruition. I loved reading. I read all the time. One of my favorite book series was The Baby Sitters Club. This was the inspiration for the week long summer day camp my cousin and planned.  Pivotal as in this was the first large event I ever planned. It is my first go to memory when I want to share a time I worked hard and achieved a goal and it happened over 25 years ago.  I learned so much from this. 

My cousin Heather and I decided to have a Baby Sitters Club daycare one summer. We loved watching kids. We loved the books and we were inspired.  We came up with an idea, a plan, and took the steps we needed to get it done.  We found a venue to host our summer camp.  We had to speak with the owner of the house. My aunt and get her permission.   We needed customers, kids to come to our camp.  We came up with flyers and passes them out to the people in church that we baby sat for. We asked them to pass them along to their friends. 

This was a 5 day camp for kids. We came up with 5 days of menus, activities, crafts, projects and special events. We had a schedule and each moment planned out. We had about 30 kids each day in our camp and most of them came all 5 days. I was 12 years old. After paying for all of our supplies and food we made around $300 dollars. Which, let me tell you is quite a bit for a 12 year old in the late 80’s.

We made homemade ice cream, we played games, each day the children made a craft. We even had a day where a clown came and did tricks for the kids.

As I get older my memory starts to fade. The thing I remember about this week have impressed upon me the value of hard work.  I was blessed beyond measure. The $300 was awesome and helped pay may to Hawaii 2 years later, but beyond that I learn some amazing things. I learned I really could do something I put my mind to. I learned that even though it might seem hard and overwhelming at times, working hard to get your goal is rewarding in the end. I learned I like planning parties. I learned that working as a team can help make things more fun, and get things done faster.  I realized at this time that I was a planner and like to get things done and make things happen.  I learned that by being myself and sharing my talents with others I could help bless and enrich the lives of others along the way. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Own Way

Satan. Oh, the power this one tries to have over us.  12 of Satan’s minions to every one of us at all times. Standing there telling us lies. Trying to fight us and bring us down. In this block of scriptures, specifically  2 Nephi 28 we see a lot of Satan’s power over the Lamanites and the predictions of how he will try to stir up the hearts of men to believing false doctrines and false churches.  
2 Nephi 28:5 “They deny the power of the God, the Holy one of Israel; and they say Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precepts; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work and hath given his power unto men.”  Wait, a minute. What?  How can this be? If you are of great faith you know without a doubt this is not true.  However, there are so many that do not believe they “need God.”  I have been told organized religion is for some people and they need it but not everyone needs it to have a happy life of a good moral compass.  I once bought into this.

I always had faith in God, the Eternal Father. I knew I was a child of a Heavenly parent and I lived before I came here.  I went through a time in my life where I decided I was one of those people that didn’t need a religion telling me how to live my life. God loved me, just like my mom and dad loved me. No matter the choices I was making.  How could and why would God forsake or punish me just for living my life? I wasn’t denying he existed. I just was living life and trying to find happiness. I was making my own way and choices and living life.  I thought I was happy.  I was an adult who had friends, a good job, a boyfriend, and a family who loved me and let me live my own life.  I was  living it up. All my friends were happy and fun.  I was happy, wasn’t I?

I am a person who tends to see the past in a positive light in a happier way. For me to dig deep and see the truth I have to peel away my rose colored memory glasses and see things for the rest of the way they were.  I had fun times. Tons of them for sure. I did have good friends. I had an awful terrible self esteem. I struggled with depression and self medicated with alcohol, cigarettes and other things. I was in and out of counseling. Getting doctor prescribed medications as well and interacting those with the other above mentioned vices. I was in and out of control of myself. I still prayed. I wasn’t going to cut off my Father in Heaven. I knew he still loved me.  I didn’t know the spirit had left me.  2 Nephi 28:25-26 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well! Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denith the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!”   Wo unto me for sure. This was not true happiness. It was not lasting. The party ended. The music stopped and I was empty. In my soul. I was missing something.  I didn’t know what it was at the time.

Flash forward 8 years. I have a relationship and knowledge of something I lacked my whole life, even being born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint. I have a relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. I am trying to continually learn of him and know the atonement and how it works in my life. I am far from where I want to be, but I can honestly sit here today and tell you that the happiness I feel in my heart and soul is real. It is not fleeting. As long and I stay close to Heavenly Father and continue to learn of Christ and His church I will be able to continue to have peace in my heart.

2 Nephi 28:30 “for behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom…”

As I get stronger in my relationship with the Lord I know that I want others to know this peace. This light that is in my heart. I want others to be able to have a knowledge of a Living God. He speaks to His children. He knows us. He loves us. He lives.