I believe in Christ

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm pretty sure everyone who reads my blog knows that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints... but if you didn't... now you do.

In most congregations the first speaker in sacrament meeting is a youth speaker (age 12-18). In my branch, however, the first speaker is any member of the congregation asked to speak on "Why they believe." 

It's seriously my favorite part of church. I've been in the branch for over a year and a half and it's fascinating and uplifting to hear why all the different members believe and how the spirit has testified differently to each of them. Of course, ironically I've also dreaded them asking me to give my own why I believe. 

How does one effectively articulate a very personal belief that is a result of personal spiritual experiences? 

But here's my attempt... (because in the shower I decided if I die on the way to church I want my kids to know why I believe and that I do have a testimony (yes, I do have morbid thoughts like that... all the time))

Why I believe? 

I have always believed. I know in my heart it is true. Unlike most, I can not identify one specific point of conversion or several instances that added up to my belief, it's just something I know in my heart to be true.  Of course, I have had many wonderful experiences and I see the hand of the Lord in my life on such a regular basis that I can not deny my belief, and the truth of this gospel is regularly testified to me by the spirit. 

I suppose to a skeptic, just saying I know because the holy spirit has testified to me is never enough. It's not "proof."

So I sometimes ponder the approach, Why wouldn't I believe? We all have hangups. We all have aspects of the gospel that we don't understand or we just don't know or are perhaps still praying to receive a testimony. I also have questions and a great deal about the gospel that I don't understand. But I'm ok with this. I think Satan knows we have hangups and he uses them as a tool to drive a wedge between us and the lord, to drive us away from what the spirit has testified to us. 

I think Elder Utchdorf gave wise counsel this past conference when he (my summary) counseled us to not toss away our beliefs because we have doubts. 

And although there's a lot I don't understand, I do know god lives and he loves each one of us. I know that we matter to him. I know because I have prayed to know and the spirit has testified of this truth to me. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the Atonement is real, and it's healing power is real. I know this because I have felt Christ's love in my darkest days. I have never been alone, when I seek after Christ I find his comfort. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know this because I have read it. I know that we can grow closer to god by following it's teachings, because I have tried it. I know I'm happier when I am following Christ's teachings, when I am striving to love others and live righteously. I know we have a prophet who lives today. I believe he receives guidance for our day and provides counsel to guide us and protect us from the storms of today as well as tomorrow. And I believe that these things are enough to get by, that the Lord will help me understand what I need to know as I need to know it.

And yes, I want my kids to have a record of my testimony, but I hope to live a better life that is a testimony itself of these truths. I leave this as my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Kaley said...

Powerful testimony, Carla! Thanks for sharing! I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to write my testimony down just to remind myself of what I know.

LMorgan said...

You made your mom cry. Love you

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