Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The way the Spirit speaks.

My good friend, Sorella Baker, is the other missionary that is featured in my blog picture (on the left). We were in the MTC together until she left for Italy. I have fond memories of studying the scriptures for HOURS together before the mission and laughing about how bad we were going to be at speaking our mission languages (me leaving to serve in Spanish - her in Italian) I remember discussing our worries about being able to adequately convey the message of Jesus Christ to people in a language that we were just learning.

We both quickly learned together in the MTC that the Holy Ghost speaks Spirit to Spirit - and it didn't matter if we were saying things wrong, because we knew that what we were saying was true.

I recently received a story from a dear friend of mine that was baptized almost 8 months ago

"So last night I went to this I Am Mormon fireside and two sisters got up and sang I know my redeemer lives first verse in English, then one sang a verse in Spanish, and well one sang the next one in Italian. I was sitting next to K and we just looked at each other and started crying it was so beautiful. It really testified that the spirit knows no language. During that song it was almost impossible not to think about you and Sorella Baker while those two sisters sang in the language both of you have been teaching in. After the song I looked over to Ks sister's friend who had come with us and I saw that she was crying. I obviously don't know what she was feeling, but the spirit was so strong during that song it was impossible not to feel it. It brought me back to when I was first learning about the church and I felt the spirit but didn't recognize it as that. It's just really special seeing someone who is feeling the spirit, but doesn't know quite yet  - but the blessings are so close."

And all I really have to say is AMEN to her experience. The Spirit really does speak straight to our hearts, to our souls. I see it daily. It is incredible. And I know that the Spirit wouldn't testify in that way if what we taught wasn't true. The Spirit only testifies of truth (Jacob 4:13) I know that it is true. The Spirit has taught me that in many languages.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Am Repenting.

Repentance: is much more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives you a fresh view about God, about yourself, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments. (Ref from True to the Faith)

I've been thinking a lot about repentance lately. When I was a kid I remember thinking of repentance as a big scary word - something bad that we needed to be afraid of.
Now as an adult, repentance is my best friend. Repentance is the sweetest thing in the world.
There have been times on my mission where I have felt myself crave repentance. Not because I've done anything really wrong - but because I hadn't been doing something as right, good, exact, fully, as I could.
That relief. That fresh view about myself, my Heavenly Father, and the world - tastes so so good.
Repentance is healing. It is healing our soul from the disease of sin.

Elder Richard G Scott once said:
"If one of you has seriously sinned, repent—now. It is not good to violate the commandments of the Lord. It is worse to do nothing about it. Sin is like cancer in the body. It will never heal itself. It will become progressively worse unless cured through the medicine of repentance." (Dont Face the World Alone)

I love that. Our Savior Jesus Christ has given us the cure; He has provided us the medicine. It is our decision whether we are going to take it or not. We can be healed. We can be clean. It is our decision.
How do we gain that?
The Book of Mormon teaches the doctrine of Christ so simply.
In 3 Nephi 9:13 Christ asks "will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?"

Earlier in 2 Nephi 31 the Savior explains perfectly and simply that "returning to Him" means having faith in Him, repenting, being baptized in His name by somebody who holds His authority, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
verse 11 states: And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
and verse 12: And also, the voice of the Son came unto me saying: he that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me: wherefore, follow me and do the things which ye have seen me do

So what does that mean for those that have already been baptized by somebody who holds the authority of God?
We must continue to grow and cultivate our faith in Jesus Christ, repent till the end, renew our baptismal covenants in partaking of the sacrament, be worthy and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, progress till the end, and help others take these steps as well.

That is where healing comes from. That is where peace comes from. That is the way that He has shown us to return to live with our Heavenly Father and our families forever.

His invitation is to heal us. Our decision is whether we will let Him.
Repentance is changing to be more like Him. When we live more like Him, we are happier. Period.

So this post is about repentance. It is about my repentance. How I am now repenting for my lack of attention to my own blog. I am forgetting those weeks of neglect and being a better representative of my Savior Jesus Christ.

Posts to come. Count on it. It wouldn't be lasting repentance if I went back to my heathen non-posting ways.