This morning I was studying the New Testament in preparation for our Sunday School lesson. The New Testament really is so beautiful, is it not? To read the actual words of the Savior fills me with grattitude and amazement. I actually feel like it is something that lifts me to another place! I have always loved John 5:39; Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Now I know every person has their own way of interpreting scripture so you may think I am way off. But I have always loved to comapre this to the way I feel so happy and elated when I am really searching and pondering the scriptures. When I read them, I do think I have eternal life! When I am really reading, I feel God's love for me, and I feel His love for others through me. I realize all over again the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true! I know faith is something I must work at everyday. I believe that is true for everyone. I believe every spirit has need of constant nourishment. I really can testify the scriptures are true! And that any man who reads and asks in sincerity of heart may know by the Holy Ghost that they are true. God speaks to us through them and there are so many excellent things to learn!
I love this story in Mark 1:40-42 where the lepor kneels and begs the Savior. He says "if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." One lesson I have learned from this is about the faith this man shows. He essentially is saying "If it is Thy will, I know Thou canst make me clean." The Savior says "I will; Be thou clean." Those words are so touching to me, "I will." I learn from this that many blessings the Lord is waiting to give us, and they depend upon our asking in faith. I know we are individuals in the sight of God. I know "the worth of every soul is great in the eyes of God." Also I believe we are taught the importance of praying for God's will. Pray is the act of the will of the Father and the will of the child becoming the same, His will becoming ours. For His ways are not our ways and just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His thoughts higher than ours. Even Jesus Christ prayed "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done."
As I have thought of these things today I thought about my Dad! I have been and continue to be affected by the hemorrhagic stroke and the traumatic brain injury he now has. I recognize there are others (namely my parents) more affected by this than I am. But still it is painful for me. I am grateful for the scriptures which teach us, and the Holy Ghost which tells us the truth of all things. Because of that, I can know that whatever the reasons, this is God's will and I am happy with that! I also know that my Dad can be healed and will in fact be healed one day and be able to enjoy the full and proper use of his body.
I testify that Jesus is the Christ! That He atoned for our sins, that His sweat was as "great drops of blood" and He suffered, and that He took upon Himself the sins of the world in order to redeem us and fulfill the will of the Father. I know that God has spoken and does speak to us on earth. I am so thankful that I have found my love for trying to live a gospel-centered life. That is what brings me joy and happiness. I am not even close to perfect by any measurement, but yet God has allowed me to have such joy for believing on His name and for trying to follow the commandments and repenting when I make mistakes. I believe and I know Joseph Smith is a prophet who did, in fact, "commune with Jehovah." I believe that if any man will ask, showing real intent and faith in Jesus Christ that he may know the truth of all things! My religion is what makes me feel that life is worth all the headache on a bad day, that happiness is possible and worth working for. I am thankful for my God, I know He loves me, I know He loves my children and family and I know He loves you! We are all individuals in His sight and He does indeed hear all our prayers.
Thank you for reading and I will close all this in the name of Jesus Christ and an amen!