|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!