In the Spirit of Thanksgiving – Mormon Messages

I’m thankful for it all!

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The Greatest of Endeavors

She was more ready for the gospel than I was to teach it. I have learned that is Heavenly Father’s way to lead us to reach higher than we could alone. I was in my second area on my mission. Hirosaki, Japan. A smaller branch of 45 active and faithful members. We met her through a member, and she became one of my closest friends. She just wanted to hear about christian religions, but from the very first words we spoke to her the Holy Ghost testified they were true. She never doubted, and she never hesitated to faithfully follow the commitments we asked of her. She gained her testimony through the Spirit, and I was blessed with the opportunity of baptizing her only a few weeks later.

Following the baptism I had a chance to sit and speak with her about the ordinance and covenant she just made. I had only been in Japan for 6 months, and my Japanese showed it, but she patiently and humbly listened to every word I spoke. There was a love that she had for me, that become SO strong. It was a respect and reverence that she saw and expected of me, that I didn’t even consider of myself.

I have asked myself, “What was that for? Why did the Lord give me that blessed chance? What is the Lord’s will in that?” It wasn’t until this year, almost 4 years later, that I have come to understand part of why it all happened. He wanted me to grow. He wanted me to change. And He knew I wasn’t going to get there on my own. So he let a woman, who had more faith and worthiness than I had ever known personally, come into my life and demand the best of me. Even better than my best, so that I could extend my calling and become the stronger man for the Lord and for my life.

I now know that that is typically the way the Lord works. He gives us people, and demands, and situations that require us to become something that we are not. Something stronger and more worthy of the blessings of the Spirit that we could not possess before then. And with it comes expectations to live up to that standard. What is the pearl cast before swine worth? Still a pearl of great price, though useless if not valued and used as it should be.

So I have become something more again. I have taken the greatest of endeavors to learn to become more. And that is what life is about. It is for stretching forward more than I am able, more than I can possibly do alone. And as long as I keep stretching forward when the Lord puts another pearl before me then I will end up reaching my potential within the Kingdom of God. I have the power to reach my potential, it only lies within my ability to seek the Lord and do His will. Keep true to the path and you will not fall off, you cannot fall off. I have learned that, and I want others to learn that. So I will try and keep writing on this blog, and inviting others to ponder their own testimony a little more. Hopefully you have felt your testimony as I have written. Hopefully you will decide today is the day you need to reach out and pick up the pearl the Lord has laid before you. Perhaps you can find its value in your life.

That is my prayer for you, my readers, this day. I share that in the name of Jesus Christ.

Trialz up the Wizazz

So I have been a way for a while but I really do want to keep on top of this blog, and talk about some things that happened a bit ago. So I’ll just keep going.

So it was finals week a couple weeks ago! Man! What a trial that all was for me! I had 5 finals to take, some scheduled, some at the Testing Center, but with those 5 tests I also was given some spiritual tests to handle along the way. First off, the day before Finals started, on a reading day, I had an episode of Sciatica in my right leg, where my Sciatic nerve root in my hip was being pinched by my muscle. If I walked on it for long then my foot would fall asleep, which was how I found out I had it, and quite scary when you have no idea what’s going on. It made it so half my leg was always numb and the other half was always in pain. It hurt so bad when it started I finally left the library where I was studying and went home for the day. . Along with Sciatica I got sick somehow (maybe a combination of sick and bad allergies) where I lost my voice completely. And to top all of that at my work we had the busiest week of the year at my job. I work for BYU Caps and Gowns and am the logistical support for distribution, which was the week of finals, which meant crazy inflexible hours of yelling at graduates and walking all the time. So yeah, definitely a week of trials. Alma 36:27 “And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.

Another favorite scripture of mine is, “And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

For me, and I hope for you too, once I understand that something is a trial then it becomes so much easier to bare! If the Lord has something planned for me to grow, then I am happy to jump right into it and do it right. And I am happy to help others understand that trials are for our good, they are to help us become more like our Savior, and build our characteristics that help me become heaven-worthy. I love my Heavenly Father because of his desire for me to become like my Savior, and become like Him.  There truly is no  possible way for us to reach Heaven without going through the trials of life. There are no ways for us to understand how much God loves me until I understand how the trials He gives me help me grow not only temporally, but spiritually, and celestially.

In the end I feel that if we want to become a spiritual giant, worthy of the work the Lord has ready for us to do, and worthy to live with Him once again, then we will not only need to bare the trials of life, but we need to look forward to and hope for the days when we have the hardships and pains that come with trials.

I love my Savior. I know He loves all of us and knows us personally because of the great sacrifices He did for us to live on this earth, and understand what the purpose of life is. I ask you to share with me your feelings about this, and some of the lessons and reflections that you have learned from your trials. I also invite you to search out and ponder the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, because it is the true way to salvation and eternal happiness.