My Reflections on Prayer and Gifts from God

I feel guilty having not written to you all for so long!  Here is a paper I wrote for a gospel class I have here at BYU. We have been studying the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and throughout the weeks we are supposed to write a journal entry reflecting on scriptures that meant something to me. Then we had to pick one week and write a simple paper about what scriptures have really touched us this semester. I chose one on Prayer and this is what I wrote.

We all have gifts that Heavenly Father has graciously given us. We are called to develop and use those gifts so we may serve our fellow man, bring joy to people’s lives, and glorify our Savior and Heavenly Father. This semester has constantly brought me to my knees where I have requested and received many of these gifts to help me through the day. These gifts have completely changed my semester; without them I would have had no chance at academically surviving. There is a beautiful set of scriptures found in D&C 46 that has led me to question, ponder, and understand better gifts according to others and myself. As we battle to understand what the Lord will do to help us succeed and be happy then we understand Heavenly Father’s true love for us and some of the infinite blessings He is willing to bestow upon His children.

How far do gifts of the Spirit extend? How many can we ask for and attain? Is there an amount that God says no to? I think sometimes people limit their own faith through illogical reasoning of Heavenly Father’s gifts. Sometimes people lack the faith to believe they deserve gifts so they limit their own faith to receive them. They say, “That gift would not be in Heavenly Father’s will to give me anyway.” They will try to ask for it anyway, but their prayer is only held up with enough faith to get it to the ceiling in the room they are praying.

We ought to have sure faith in Heavenly Father doing anything and everything for us. Then, we should hope for our prayer to be answered and act accordingly as if it will be answered. A lot of times we handicap ourselves before we even get on our knees. I remember at one point after my mission I understood and had very strong faith in Heavenly Father’s gifts. I understood I could ask for any gift, personality adjustment, trait, skill, desire and I fully expected getting that help for the next day. As I prayed at night for guidance it felt like there was a Lazy-Susan sitting in front of me with hundreds of different gifts to choose from. As long as I understood my needs, and myself as I did at that time, then I could ask for any particular gift to help me continue to grow. What a wonderful feeling it brought to know that I did not have to figure out my life and become perfect all by my own power.

Sometimes we question how successful we can be as we seek after the best in all things. Yes, there is the scripture D&C 46: 28 that says, “And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit;” I think that may be where the doubt really enters into our prayers and minds. Thankfully, Heavenly Father is not here to help us doubt. I think if we realistically look at our situations and needs, decide for ourselves what gift would be most beneficial to us then we will instead see the Spirit ready to back up our request. Our prayer will be answered. The Spirit is not a filter to keep the only-a-little-faith prayers out. Instead it should be used to empower our requests if we simply and realistically seek for our needs for salvation. The Spirit is not here to hinder our desires, it can and will only help if we do it right. We hinder our desires through misunderstanding and lack of faith in Heavenly Father’s unconditional desire to help us.

Through our gifts and service to our fellow man we are able to help others find Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s love for them. The Lord has said in D&C 46:26, “And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.” I am grateful for the lessons I have learned as I have come to realize the power behind righteously desiring and faithfully asking for Heavenly Father’s help. I should not limit myself to only the gifts that the general body of the church believes I am allowed to ask for. Heavenly Father’s love is limitless and as long as I work it out for my own salvation, I will not doubt in the gifts that He will willingly give to me.

Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

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BUSY

Oi! Can I not even get enough time to write a post on Sunday, the day of rest?! I’m not going to be able to do it tonight either, so hopefully tomorrow I will make time for this.  I guess this is what I was talking about on my first posts, wondering whether I’d be able to keep up with this or not.  Don’t worry! I’m not giving up!

God Bless You.

What to write? It’s been a busy week of really a lot of different experiences.  I wish I could share with you my testimony of my Savior, and His love for all of us. There is a scripture that always brings me to understand what Heavenly Father’s love feels like.  It is Alma 36:21. The prophet Alma, from the American continent (at the same time as the New Testament was starting, 73 BC) is speaking to his son, Helaman, about how Alma found Christ in his life and understood what sacrifice Christ made for him.  He says, “Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.”

Isn’t that beautiful?  That is what I have felt in my life as I have found the blessings of Christ’s sacrifice.  I have learned through asking God that Christ lives, and he suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane so that I may overcome my shortcomings, obey His commandments, and through His grace earn my salvation.  I know He loves me, and all of us, even when we do not know Him and do not seek Him out.  I know that He has suffered for what other people have done to me, in hate and misunderstanding, and I am not afraid to share that testimony of knowledge with others. I only hope and wish that I can one day meet Him and know that I have kept myself clean through obeying His commandments, living as He does, and seeking to listen to the Spirit so that it may guide my daily life.

In closing, I hope that others can find the same faith that I have found.  I hope through this blog I can share the feelings and expressions of love that God and Christ have shared with me so I may help others find the peace of life that comes from understanding the world.  I love my life, what Heavenly Father has given me, and I hope I can repay Him through my constant service to move the Lord’s kingdom forward.  Until next week, God bless.

Just for the sake of it.

I love my Savior! Can I just say that! I normally only write on Sunday, but I’m in the library writing a Japanese paper and I just felt like yelling that!

Halloween and a Slap in the Face w/ the Lord

Yay for Halloween! I’m so proud of my costume! It turned out great! Even for figuring it out an hour before the party! If you don’t get it, that’s fine. I wish I had a spade sticking out of me, it would have looked more legit like a gardening mom. That was the plan, but I couldn’t find nor cut a spade that fast. With this I just did a mom-yelling-at-her-kids voice and explained that my kids accidentally killed me while playing with a badminton rackets.

Now to the lesson I learned this past week within my gospel study. It really is something applicable to life, and it helped humble me quite a bit. So I’m busy right? I’m so busy with this semester’s classes and work that I honestly don’t see how I could get busier without dying. Somebody asked me where I’ve been lately because they hadn’t seen me in a while. I said somewhere between Poli Sci class and Death :). Sometimes I get so busy though I start thinking I know what’s best for me and not God. I got a great scripture explaining this. It’s from the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi (like 2 Kings or 2 Corinthians in the bible there is more than one book of Nephi (pronounced Knee-Fi)) in chapter 9, verse 28: “O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.” I love this scripture! It reminds me so much of those times when I have thought, “Pff, I know what’s best for me. I know myself and my limits.” And then I usually completely fail, or get overloaded too much and I have to crawl back to my Heavenly Father hoping he’ll be merciful enough to guide me out of my problems.

As I studied on Tuesday, when I read this scripture, I had been slipping on my nightly prayers. Not a good thing if you want to get the Lord’s help throughout the day. I just was getting so tired at night that I would end up falling asleep before I would pull myself out of bed to pray. Well, chapter 9 in 2 Nephi is ALL about the Savior and how he suffered for all my sins and shortcomings. It was a great slap in the face to remember, if I am disobedient then I am causing my Savior to have more reasons to suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane. I was once again guided to read this chapter even though the place I am currently studying is a good 300 pages after this spot. So again I am so thankful for the patience the Lord has with me, and I resolved to do better following that morning study. I bet ya anything if I hadn’t studied the scriptures that morning I wouldn’t have decided to do better. The thought probably wouldn’t have even entered my mind. I would have figured I know of myself and that my own wisdom was right compared to it is foolishness and it profiteth them not. It reminds me of a scripture in the bible (KJV) in Luke 16:15 when the Lord says, “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” I hope and pray that I won’t be so foolish as to think that my thoughts are the best for me, and I hope I keep relying on my Savior to help me through this hectic next week.

Despite the racket in my stomach, it was a fun party!

Despite the racket in my stomach, it was a fun party! (My friend Kate is the mime)