Friday, June 27, 2014

His Hand

Before I start this post- I want to say that I do not know everything, for heaven's sake- I don't know a lot! But, because this is a blog that I hope to track all of life on- I would love to share my thoughts and testimony on a certain subject. This may be long- but I needed to write it all out.
As I browsed some new posts on some of my favorite blogs, I seemed to be running into a new topic. Not just once, not twice,
 but multiple times. 
I was discouraged when I continued to look into the matter more, but later on found some more uplifting stances on the issue. 
Ordain Women.
No, I don't know much about this at all. I honestly just have not been curious enough to go learn more. But, today, I took some time to read a few things- both for OW and against. And also many posts just giving more insight. 
I also (not looking) ran into some articles on Joseph Smith and all of the "facts" that turn some member's testimonies to ash. 
I felt discouraged as I exited out of my browser today. I was so sad to see that members of my faith had decided to fall into Satan's traps. He is beyond clever. 
As I got home tonight, I did a quick clean up, looked at the clock, and realized I still had a good 30 minutes before my hubs got home from class. Immediately I knew what I wanted to do.
I picked up my conference Ensign and my Book of Mormon
I then headed outside to enjoy some fresh air- I love a little breeze and the smell of fresh cut grass in the air.
I have been trying harder lately to read more. 
Once I got married- Craig and I read the scriptures together at night, but I totally had forgotten about my own personal study (which I have learned is SO important). I decided to pick up where I left off in D&C. 
I have loved reading D&C- because I never have before. Reading about Joseph Smith and the saints has really given me an even stronger testimony. 
After all of those dark posts I had come across that day- this was such a light. 
When I was young (probably 6th grade- so age 11) my parents took me on a Church History Tour. I don't really remember being all that excited- but I was pretty thrilled when my parents showed me all of the pictures in the back of the BOM that I would be going to.
Before this trip, I definitely had stirrings of a testimony. I can't pick out a time or place that I just knew, but I think I have just been blessed to know all along. 
During that trip, I developed a testimony I could have never imagined. We visited special places that revelation had been received. I had been in the same forest that Joseph Smith was in when he knelt in prayer and saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I stood in places where weary saints shed tears. I sang praise to my Heavenly Father while sitting in the Kirtland Temple. It might have been impossible to not KNOW wholeheartedly that this gospel was true.
As we sat on logs and tree stumps, we had a testimony meeting our last night. They passed a microphone, down each row, and whoever wanted to stand and share, was able to. I was the only child there. My parents both stood and shared their powerful testimonies. As my dad sat down, we had that silent conversation. He was surprised to see me take the mic and stand up. 
I do not remember the words that came out of my mouth, but I do remember that feeling. It is the feeling I still get when I can feel the spirit leap inside of me. A warmth that covers me from head to toe. 
No, I will and cannot let go of those moments. 
These special moments are the things that help me continue on. 
They help me to never doubt. They help me to always have faith my my beloved Father in Heaven.
After reading a few chapters in D&C, I switched over to my Ensign. I flipped open to a talk entitled, Obedience through Our Faithfulness by Elder L. Tom Perry. I had actually flipped open to this talk a couple times before, but avoided reading it. Obedience is a big word to me. Because I hadn't been doing the best on my personal scripture study, I did not want to feel worse by reading a talk about obedience...but, tonight, when I flipped open to it, yet again, it felt right.
Because my mind had been to wrapped up in this "Ordain Women" thing- my focus immediately went to that as I read. I want to share a few thoughts.
1. Elder Perry refers to training a team of horses. Each team has to have a leader (driver) for the others to follow. Quote: "The driver knows best, and the only way for a horse to know it is always doing the right thing is to be obedient and follow the driver's lead." 
The driver is our Heavenly Father. 
So many are driven away from this glorious gospel because they are not willing to trust in their Heavenly Father's will. Our driver knows best! He will not lead us astray!
2. He then shares the story of Abraham and Isaac. I am reminded of the power this story holds, each time I read it. It never gets old, but the message somehow seems to sink in deeper. Abraham was willing to follow the Lord's command. He walked next to his son for three days knowing what was coming, he built the alter that he would soon lay his son on, he had to explain to his son that he would be the sacrifice, and he raised his knife to slay his son. The obedience that this must have taken blows me away. 
3. "Too often we think of obedience as the passive and thoughtless following of the orders or dictates of a higher authority. Actually, at its best, obedience is an emblem of our faith in the wisdom and power of the highest authority, even God." As I have met new people, I have come across some who have brought these questions to me. "How can you follow your church blindly?" "Do you just do everything they say?" My answer is always no. I do not follow because that is the only thing I have even been taught to do. I follow because I was raised to have faith in my loving Heavenly Father and Savior. Obedience is a choice I have to make each day. As Elder Perry says, "It is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God's unlimited wisdom and omnipotence." 
Why would I not choose to follow the one who knows all? The one who knows me personally. 
As I finished the talk, I looked over at the next page and saw this heading, "The Prophet Joseph Smith." Of course, with all of these thoughts in my head- I had to read it. After the special experiences I had in the east while touring, I felt I had a very personal testimony of Joseph Smith. 
I believe that no one is perfect, not even Joseph Smith. People can point out all of the flaws in the world to me, but I know what I have felt- and no one can take that away from me. There will always be those who oppose him. "his name [would] be had for good and evil among all nations,...among all people." Elder Corbridge says, "Whenever the truth with regard to the purpose and destiny of man is revealed, there will always be a force to oppose it." Satan will try and deceive, derail, oppose and frustrate God's plan. He is doing this to everyone- members of the church included. 
I refuse to let him win. 
I do not write this post to annoy others, but to share what I honestly believe is true. 
I love this gospel and all that it holds. For me, there is no denying the happiness I feel when I choose the right and follow my Heavenly Father. Some believe that having commandments and "rules" stop us in life. But, our driver knows best :) Not our enemy! 
When mistakes are made, our Heavenly Father and Savior have made it possible for us to feel clean again. This is through Jesus Christ, our brother. He loves us and suffered for us that we may forever be happy. He made it possible for us to repent. 
Nothing else in this world can bring that feeling. Satan tries to convince us otherwise. He tempts us with all of the good and evil things of this world. 
I hope that we can all do our part to make sure that he never wins. 
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  1. Celeste, I love this. You truly are amazing! Love you!

  2. This is a beautiful post and I really appreciate you sharing your testimony!!!

    1. Thank you so much Courtney! and Thank you for following!!


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