Love Y'all Heaps

My goodness a whole entire week come and gone. I learned so many simple, yet profound lessons this week. And I am so grateful to my Heavenly for allowing me to stretch and grow.

My core experience with God this week was relearning the important lesson of being submissive. One morning during my personal study I was reading from the Book of Mormon and I didn't seem to be getting much from it. I didn't have the spirit with me and as I was pondering why I kept feeling that I needed to go and say a prayer. I finally heeded the prompting and I began to pray. The spirit told me what to say. I was being taught as I prayed. I felt that I had not been listening to the Lord's will. I was relying to much on the arm of the flesh. As I knelt I apologized for my mistake, humbling myself before the Lord. As I did so I felt the spirit enter my heart, filling my body with warmth. I felt the loving, guiding hand of the Lord. I continued on and I apologized for my natural man attitude, and for what I lacked, and the spirit came even more. There are many valuable lessons to be learned from this, but one I really felt was that my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ know me and understand me perfectly. That they sent me here to grow and to progress. So they understand that I will make mistakes. But in the same I have to realize my dependence upon them. That without them I wouldn't be here right now. My Savior suffered me to be here at this time and I cannot rely on myself to do this work. One of the greatest attributes the Savior possessed was his humility. No matter what happened the Savior always recognized complete dependence upon His Father in Heaven. And this is what we all must do. We are not here on earth to run loose, to do whatever we want. We are here to be tested and tried, proved to show our faithfulness to the Lord. And the more we realize this, we will be much better off because of it. And sometimes the Lord just has to humble me to be able to recognize that. A scripture I really loved in my studies goes along with this well. 2 Corinthians 7:1

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Through this time I am continuing to rid myself of all 'filthiness of the flesh' and it's not easy. But because of Christ's redeeming grace we can all be healed. President James E. Faust said "Life, even our own, is so precious that we are accountable to the Lord for it, and we should not trifle with it. Once gone, it cannot be called back." As President Faust said life is a precious gift given to us. Each day we learn and grow and account to the Lord for our progress. And each day as we improve and change, Christ's gift of Grace is ever more apparent in our lives. And just as Paul said "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." (2 Corinthians 9:15)

In my practice as teaching as the Savior taught I learned to listen carefully to the subtle whisper of the Holy Ghost. We were in a lesson with a member in the ward and she was feeling down. She had been on my mind all week and we knew something was wrong. So we planned and prepared and went over there. We began the lesson and I could tell it wasn't impacting her the way the Lord wanted it to. So we began praying fervently that we would know what to say. As we did I felt the Spirit and I felt to tell her that at this time what she is doing is the Lord's will for her. As we said this she told us how she had been seeking the Lord's guidance for the direction that she should go. She said she hadn’t been able to find the answer and she was feeling lost. But we came along and were able to answer her plea and help reassure her of the love the Lord has for her and her wonderful family. I felt that evening my testimony grow to understand even more how we should be so in tune with the spirit. We never know what could be happening with someone but the Lord always does. As we are worthy of the Holy Ghost as our constant companion we can be the answers to others prayers.

This week I have had many opportunities to think about and understand better my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. Our new companions were struggling this week feeling discourage in a lot of ways;. After planning one evening they both shared with me their thoughts and how they felt. I wanted to be able to help them and uplift them. It hurt me to see them struggle. But as I listened I began to feel the Love that our Heavenly Father has for these beautiful sisters. I felt the power of their faith, and the spirit they carry. We talked a lot, but the main thing I learned form the experience is that we all are here representing our Savior Jesus Christ. And that of course it won't be easy. Just think of all that He went through to even allow us to be here. He suffered both in body and spirit so that we could have the privilege of being here.

I was then reminded of a talk by Elder Holland, speaking of the Atonement and Missionary work.
He said "Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn't it got better? Why can't our success be more rapid? Why aren't there more people joining the Church? It is truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don't people just flock to the font? Why isn't the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font? You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary. Now, please don't misunderstand. I'm not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe missionaries, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price. For that reason I don't believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul. If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, "Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass' then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn't an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn't an easier way. The Atonement will carry the missionaries. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him- the way, the truth and the life. I bear witness that He came from God as a God to bind up the brokenhearted, to dry the tears from every eye, to proclaim liberty to the captive and open the prison doors to them that are bound. I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free."

This quote to me has gotten me through some pretty rough times and I know it is only because of our Savior Jesus Christ that any of this is possible. So to anyone who may be struggling what helps me is to picture the Savior and remember all that He went through for me. Then whatever I go through doesn't seem so bad.

I know that Christ is my Savior, Redeemer and advocate with my Father in Heaven. I know no matter the problems I face, I am never alone. I know His Grace abounds and I am grateful for the love and comfort I receive from Him.

I love you all
Sister Alexis Benjamin


How Blessed We Truly Are

Lexie and the Liahona
Well this week was absolutely marvelous. I can't even begin to share how many wonderful experiences we have had. I feel so grateful and blessed to have learned so much. The week seemed to go by just so incredibly fast. I don't know where the time keeps going.

My core experience with God this week. Earlier this week I listened to a talk by M. Russel Ballard and he spoke of the Atonement and the allurements of Satan. He compared Satan and temptations to a fly fisherman. This fly fisherman makes his own bait, to ensnare the unsuspecting trout. Once he lures them in, he catches them and they no longer can break free. And Satan is the same way. He lures us in and makes perfect temptations to catch us and trap us. This week I seemed to have a tailor fit temptation come. And I fell for it and was struggling. Sister Lloyd in her love and goodness listened to me as I made a fool of myself, reacting about nothing. I quickly realized my mistake and prayed for forgiveness and asked the Lord what I could do better. I immediately felt prompted to open the conference ensign from October 2012. The talk "What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?", by Elder Robert C. Gay popped out at me. He said "We can either self-justify our actions, like Cain, or look to submit to the will of God. The question before us is not whether we are doing things which need correcting, because we always are. Rather the question is, will we 'shrink' or 'finish' the call upon our soul to do the will of the Father?" He goes on to say "The Lord loves our righteousness but asks of us continued repentance and submission. We are to forget self-justifying stories, excuses, rationalizations, defense mechanisms, procrastinations, appearances, personal pride, judgmental thoughts, and doing things our way. We are to separate ourselves from all worldliness and take upon us the image of God in our countenances. God is mindful of all of us, and will never forsake us." He continues "I know that we must always hearken to the voice of the Spirit within us and go straightway wherever it takes us, regardless of our fears or any inconvenience." This was certainly an answer to my prayer. That the Lord understood me, but I do need to continue to improve, to finish my course. To perfect my life, or to complete it. No shrinking can or would occur. The will of God is the only way to go and as we lay aside our sins or fears to know the Lord, He will guide us. As I've sat and pondered this quote I've become even more keenly aware of the love the Lord has for all of us. He understands perfectly each situation we are placed in. The Lord understands my weakness, my fault and struggle, but He loves me anyway. He treats me as His precious daughter and he does that for all of us. I love that no matter what we struggle with, He listens. He strengthens us in our time of need and helps us through it all.

In my practice teaching as Jesus taught I learned a lot about receiving revelation. We had stake conference this weekend and it was amazing. The spirit there was absolutely incredible. The theme was Hastening the Work of Salvation and what we can do to help those around us. It seemed as if every talk was exactly what I needed to hear. One of the amazing ones, was on Saturday as an Elder, just recently returned from his mission in Tonga, got up and spoke. He told us the story of a wonderful woman's conversion on his mission. And that person just happens to be on her mission in Aussie, Sister H my wonderful companion. After He spoke she bore her testimony. It was powerful. It was a witness to not only me but everyone that all this work is done by revelation. How else could a mission president, receive revelation that Sister H  needed to come to Newcastle Stake and serve where the Elder that baptized her lived.

Elder Jeffery D. Cummings of the 70 was there as well. He spoke to us and the spirit bore powerful witness to me that He was called by revelation as well. That the Lord chose him to assist in this hastening. I loved the words he shared and the spirit he bestowed. I am grateful that no matter what meetings we attend, wherever we are the spirit can be with us. He truly is our constant companion and He will always be with us as we are worthy of him.

This week we had some incredible teaching moments from the Book of Mormon. One was on Monday night after P-day. We went to go visit one of the people we are working with. He had been struggling for a while and hadn't been doing the basics, such as Church attendance and scripture study. And as we were with him the Spirit kept whispering to me to share Alma 36 with him. As I opened the chapter verses 21-23 caught my eye.

21 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.

22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.

23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.
We read them together and the spirit filled the room. As we read and discussed these words, the words coming out of my mouth were not my own. The spirit was teaching and I was the instrument. I can't tell you the words said because I can't remember them. But after he just kept saying "wow, wow," and I knew the spirit had cut to his heart.

Another experience we had was with him again on Sunday night. He had received some news earlier in the day and we knew he was struggling with it because we were struggling with it. I couldn't seem to get him out of my mind. As we were eating dinner the spirit kept telling me, go and see him and it was so loud (or so it seemed) that I could do nothing else but listen. As we went over there the spirit told me that I was there to listen to him and help him and deliver the words the Savior would tell him if he was there. And let me tell you, it felt as though he was there.
As we listened to him, a scripture came into my head that I felt to share with him. As I began to read, the spirit filled my whole body and I began to weep.
1 Nephi 21:16
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
I knew it was the Savior speaking those words, not me. I knew that He, Jesus Christ, had literally engraved our names upon his hands. I know we all felt the spirit, and we were all crying. He then continued to tell us that he wanted to be done, that he wished he could return to Heavenly Father right now. We then read another scripture with him.
Alma 36: 27-28
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.

28 And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory; yea, and I will praise him forever

As we read the beginning of verse 28, my voice seemed to break on every word. I knew so powerfully in that moment that this was true. That we will be raised up at the last day in Glory, but first we must go through life here. And because of that we should be so grateful to praise him forever, and give all the glory to him. As we closed with prayer I knew the Lord had been there, that He had given us those words to confirm to all of us that our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are real. They are here to help us, lead us, and guide us safely back to them. That as we do follow them we will "dwell with him in glory."

I am so grateful for the power of the Book of Mormon. For the convincing power of its words. I feel so grateful and blessed to read from its pages each and every day.
I know this Church is true, for how could it not be so? Everything on the earth points us to God and how much he loves us. It just makes sense, his plan, his doctrine, and everything. I'm glad the Lord deemed me lucky enough to live here at this time to partake of this glorious Gospel.
I love you all. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. You are all the best. I am so blessed!
Sister Benjamin
One year!!!


Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

Trying to teach her companion how to frown
To the best family and friends eva! :)
I can't believe this week is already over. I have learned so much that I don't even know where to begin. I guess I will begin with the greatest miracle of all. Which just so happens to be my core experience with God for the Week. We had a baptism!!!!!  I have learned so much from spending time with him and teaching him about the restored gospel. One lesson I think that is of utmost importance is learning to let the Holy Ghost teach and not the missionaries. When we realized and started to pick up on the fact that he liked the missionaries more then the teaching, we prayed really hard to be able to get out of the way and let the Holy Ghost teach him. And let me tell ya when that started happening that is when he started to change. In the last month he has become a new person. As we worked with him to resolve his concerns we truly grew to love him and he felt the spirit. So on Friday it was the sweetest experience to watch him be baptized. I felt such a strong spirit there. He had asked me to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. When I got up there and I looked at his bright smiling face I just started to cry, and I couldn't stop for a little while. I felt such a strong spirit and love for him from our Heavenly Father. I knew that He was so pleased with the decision he had made. It was such a sweet experience to be able to witness that.

In my practice as Jesus taught I learned the importance of listening to the voice of the spirit. In a lesson we had with a wonderful family in the ward, we watched the mormon message, Voice of the Spirit, by President James E. Faust. This Mormon Message is about fine tuning a radio to clear out all the static that suffocates the station you seek. It shows an old man fixing an old radio and as soon as he finds the right station he is at peace. He is calm. He can hear the line perfectly. It relates to the spirit in the fact that there is only one line of clear listening, and that is of the spirit. Many of the things in the world suffocate our spirits ability to listen to the Holy Ghost. So what are the things that suffocate our spirit? Many things of the world seem praise worthy, and seem as if to be worthy goals to pursue. But in the Lord's eyes are they what is most important? When we do things in our everyday life are they suffocating our spirit or letting our spirit grow closer to God.
In Moroni 7:13-16 It says
13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

God has given us the ability to choose right from wrong. It is as plain to see as the day light from the dark night. As a missionary there are many things, that if I choose, will suffocate my spirit. But I know that as I focus all my time and energy on serving others and helping them come closer to Christ, I will be able to listen to the voice of the spirit. President Boyd K. Packer said "The spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all. Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed. But most of the time if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner and expression, like Samuel of ancient times, 'Speak [Lord] for they servant heareth." As we are willing to listen, the spirit will come into our minds and our hearts.

I think from the year that I have been serving, I have learned a lot and changed dramatically. As Sister Lloyd and I say, your mission is the fast track of salvation. There are so many life lessons learned and so much spiritual growth that it's crazy to think it's only been a year. From my experience I think some of the best advice I could give to new missionaries is to build and strengthen your relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, every single day. After all this is the Lord's work. We are representatives of Jesus Christ. We should act the part. I know that as we have this focus everything else will fall into place. As we try to emulate the example of our Savior, we will be freely obedient because He was and is. We will be submissive to our leaders and to the spirit. We will be humble, and give all the glory to God for the work accomplished. We will use our time wisely, we will give all that we have for this cause. We will strive to improve and overcome the Natural Man. And we will fulfill our purpose to "ever more effectively invite others to come unto Christ.....to the end." Our missions are not about us, it is a time for us to sacrifice and give all that we have to the Lord.

I love the quote by President George Albert Smith. He says "That is your mission, my brethren and sisters of the Church, that is your responsibility. Freely you have received and our Heavenly Father will expect you freely to share with His other sons and daughters these glorious truths. We will attain our exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom only on the condition that we share with our Father's other children the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and observe the commandments that will enrich our lives here and hereafter." This week it seemed to me that the Lord was humbling me and allowing me to feel true gratitude for the Gospel of Jesus Christ back on the earth in its fullness. One particular experience seems to stick out in my mind. We met a man this week who belonged to another Church. He knew the Bible very well. He was asking us a lot of questions but one that really struck me was when he asked us why we do what we do, when many a doors are slammed in our face every day? I answered the question as you normally do by saying that we love what we do and we know the Gospel is true. But the next day in my studies I was still pondering upon the question because this man was so sincere when he asked us this. I came across some scriptures in the Bible that I really loved.
This is Paul speaking to the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11, 15-18
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal

I love these verses and it was confirmed to me yet again that this work is bigger than me. Yes I am here, but I am an instrument in the Lords hand to help bring His children closer to Him. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the wonderful light and knowledge we have and for the opportunity that we have to share it with others.


What a HECTIC week.

Alexis eating fruit? Only in Australia.
What an incredible week. Oh my goodnight. I feel like we've been up, down, and all around today. Wowza. :) Well exciting news! I had another baby. A Tongan baby to be exact. :) Ha!  We were working just like normal, and then President Howes called us on Tuesday night and asked us both to train new Tongan Sisters straight from the MTC. It certainly has been been an interesting experience. We are both staying in Toronto and training. But the best part is that we still get to be traveling sisters. So when we go to do exchanges, we will leave them in the area and they will work, while we go. Woot :)

My core experience with God was being able to pick up my new companion. She is absolutely incredible. She has given up so much to be here on her mission, and she has changed so much just in the short time she has been here. As I've listened to her bear her testimony, I can't help but feel the spirit. She has such strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and she has only been a member for about a year and a half. Through out the whole 5 days we've been together I've been pondering a lot about the blessings that I have received as I've served and before. Heavenly Father has been incredibly good to me.  I know that Heavenly Father sent her to me at this time. I've been learning so much from her.  I have had to show a lot of faith in Heavenly Father. Letting him know that I can't do this by myself, I need his help. And he has been helping me a lot. He has shown me the love He has for both of us. I truly feel that this is the best thing that could have happened to me at this time in my life. It is certainly an opportunity for me to be stretched beyond my limits and become even more like the person God wants me to become.

In my practice as teaching as Jesus Taught, we had incredible lessons with our new investigator. He is completely prepared by the Lord at this time. On Tuesday we met up with him for the first time. And the whole time, all he kept saying was how much he wanted to follow God's will for his life. We did some How To Begin Teaching with him, explaining that all we had to teach him would help him learn how to follow God's will for him. The first lesson the spirit was so strong. We felt prompted to turn to the Book of Mormon and we read out of Alma 7. There is a verse in the chapter that spoke of baptism, as we read it with him, we knew we needed to invite him to be baptized. We invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and he said yes. He wants to be baptized. We testified that he needs this right now, and that this will help him bring himself closer to Jesus Christ. We went later in the week, and he still had the same excitement and interest in the lesson. He had concerns about life after this and so we were able to help him resolve his concern. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for prompting us to call him and meet up with him. I know it was divine intervention, and because we followed the spirit, we have been blessed, as has he.

Miracles have just been happening this week. And I think it is because these 2 new incredible sisters in our flat and area, are just so obedient and have such strong faith. On Thursday, we were dividing up the area, and one of our investigators called us. She has been investigating the Church for quite some time. She just acts like she is a member, but her family has been anti before so she wasn't able to be baptized. But she called us up and told us that she wants to get the ball rolling. She wants to be baptized and be ready to go to the temple by her birthday in June. We just started crying. We were so grateful. She had just made our day. :) I feel so blessed to be with such amazing sisters, and to have this opportunity to introduce them to missionary work.
Another miracle happened as we went to visit the woman who works at the petrol station. We have talked to her quite a few times, and we have invited her to come to church with us before, but she hadn't been able to make it. We visited her again on Saturday night and we talked to her for a while and we were able to talk with her about the Plan of Salvation. As were talking about God's love for her, her eyes just seemed to light up. We could both tell that she felt the spirit. This week I have really been able to see and recognize how prepared people are every where. We just have to be willing to talk to everyone. It isn't about numbers, or anything like that. It is about inviting all of God's children to come unto Christ.

I have learned so much this week. I just feel like a different person. I know the Lord's hand has guided me all this week, in helping me to see how I need to change and become more like him. In Sacrament meeting yesterday, so many of the members stood and bore their testimony. Many of them commented on the fact that we have 4 sisters in the ward, and how that hasn't happened before. They all were really excited. And I know they could see the potential that this ward and area has, because they kept saying well I guess there is a lot of work for you to do or they wouldn't call 2 sets of sisters to be in this ward. :)

In my studies this week I started reading the Book of Mormon again, looking to understand the Atonement better. Sister Nelson in the conference 2 weeks ago, spoke of making a plan to understand the Atonement and this is what I've decided to do. As I've been reading, I have felt such a sense of peace. I definitely feel like I am coming to understand the Atonement much more then before. One of my favorite examples that I have found this week, is Nephi. Laman and Lemuel are yet again, angry with Nephi. So angry that they bind him with cords. They don't want their 'little brother' to be in charge of them.
1 Nephi 7:16
16 And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts.

But as always Nephi shows his faith.
In Verse 17 and 18 He shows the Lord how he understands the Atonement.
17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.

18 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again.

Because Nephi knew and understood the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, he knew the Lord would enable him to break the cords that bound him. As with Nephi, all of us have the opportunity and privilege to allow the enabling power of the Atonement to 'break the cords' in our lives. Because of our flesh, we are bound by our imperfection/weakness. But as we show our faith, the Lord allows us to become stronger, to learn things again. The atonement enables all of us, but if we don't call upon the Lord, as Nephi did, then the 'cords' of our lives can and will bind us down.

I am so grateful to know that we can break the bands, that bind us down. I'm grateful to know that because Jesus Christ "broke the bands of death" that all of us will be resurrected, that all of us will be able to become perfect. But as we show our faith and use the Atonement in our lives, then will we receive the gift of Eternal life, in the presence of God. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, without him I would be absolutely nothing. But through Christ, and because of Christ I can do all things. I know that the Atonement is real, that it is what enables all of us to do the things we could not do otherwise. I feel so privileged and blessed to be a member of this Church and to have this Gospel in my life. It is an absolute miracle that each day we are able to change and become more like the Savior.

Love you Heaps
Sister Benjamin