My 2011 Testimony

Sunday, September 18, 2011

For those of you who don't know, I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can find more information here, and I'm pretty sure there is an online chat to ask questions if you don't want to ask me or someone else you know who is "Mormon". 
Every Sunday we have church, and twice a year (I think) we have Stake conference right before General Conference. This year we are in the West stake, again, like I have been most of my life. I loved sitting with my parents, my sister, my husband, aunts uncles cousins grandparents...seeing old friends. One I saw was Kenneth Randall. He was a friend in high school, but we weren't close. Several times he asked me about the church, and I either ignored him or didn't give him the detail he wanted. My excuses were that I thought he was weird, and I had some really bad experiences sharing the gospel in high school. People are mean, and so I didn't want to open up a debate I guess... He had some family in the church, and what do you know. He found me on facebook after high school and told me he'd joined the church. I was shocked. He said he was going on a mission. I don't know how to express the emotion that came over me then and now when I think of all those times he asked me to answer a question and I didn't want to share. I had no idea that his intentions were such. I felt awful, and full of joy all at the same time. He's home on medical leave for a couple of weeks, he had a cancerous tumor they had to remove. He's going back, unlike some people who come home, find girls or other things and don't finish the work. I'm so proud of him, and so happy that he accepted the gospel with no help from me.

And then I was reminded during conference that we do not change people. Only the Holy Ghost can change people's hearts. We just need to invite, be open, and share our testimonies and the gospel which we know to be true, and the Holy Ghost will do the rest.

I was reminded that holding anger and resentment towards people that have wronged us is no way to live. No one has ever done to me what was done to the Savior, and so really, I have no need to complain. I need to forgive and forget, just as the Lord has promised to forgive, and forget, what I have done wrong. 

I was reminded of how important the Young Women program is, to build up the faith and skills of our future women. To strengthen and develop faith, to recognize their divine nature, to know their individual worth, to gain knowledge, to learn that for every choice you make you are accountable, to do more good works, to learn of integrity and virtue. I'm grateful, for my parents and what I learned growing up, how to be good, honest, hard working. 

I was reminded about faith, and how blessings don't come until after a trial of your faith. Trials...they kinda suck. They're hard. But miracles don't usually strengthen your faith, trials and a blessing? Much better success rate.

And then Brother Hansen got up. Now I have loved that man for as long as I can remember. Girls camp stories of trials and faith, star gazing, every harvest reminding us of why we're picking grapes. This time there was no talk of grapes. He's a seminary teacher in Madera, and they're studying the Old Testament. He told us about the people that tell him he's going to a hot place because he reads the Book of Mormon, another scripture other than the Bible. He asks them if they've read their "Bible", and the usual answer is no, not really.  The Old Testament is full of amazing stories of faith, obedience, and love of our Savior and our Heavenly Father for every one of us. 

I'm only in Genesis 20, and I've learned so much more than I ever though I could about the creation, Adam and Eve, and Abraham! Oh my goodness! Abraham is so awesome, I learned about how to resolve family disputes from his story, which I never thought would happen. Also, being rich isn't awful, Abraham was rich, and he did good things with his wealth. It's the love of money that is evil, new testament. I've learned a lot more, and I can't wait to keep learning, especially about my Savior. Many Christians don't know or realize that Jesus Christ was put in charge of the creation, under our Heavenly Father's direction, and so is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament. There is so much evidence, in the old and the new, but the translators kinda messed it Elohim. The him or im is plural in Hebrew, meaning Gods. If people took that into consideration, it would mean the destruction of many churches and what they believe to be true. That's why we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. 

Anyways...sorry about that ginormous and a little random and unorganized paragraph about the awesomeness of the Old Testament. 

Saturday session I was working, so I missed conference. But Robbie said they said it over and over again, go to the temple. We've been "busy"...what an awful excuse. 

To sum up I guess, what I wanted to say, is that I know this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, he lived, died, and lives again for me and for you. I know my Heavenly Father knows who I am. I know that he calls prophets on the Earth to guide us and give us His direction. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, that he translated the books written by prophets of old called The Book of Mormon. I know President Monson is our living prophet. I know that God is unchanging, and so are His methods to lead and guide us home. I know that the priesthood and truth are restored to the Earth today, and I am so grateful.

What a wonderful weekend.