I recently had an experience where someone thought I had stopped going to church.
Wow? I was shocked. How could anyone think this about me?
I was baptized and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 21 years ago. Since that time, I have striven to live the gospel of Jesus Christ on a daily basis, making Him the center and focus of my life.
I know I lived with Heavenly Father, and with all of you, before I came to earth. I know this life is a preparatory state to learn and to be tested. My ultimate goal is to return to Heavenly Father and to become like Him.
I searched for a few years to find truth as I felt the influence of the Holy Ghost before I found the church I now belong to. Once I found it, I jumped in with both feet and have never regretted it. And yet someone thought I was no longer going to church. That stung a little.
I know living out in the sticks has it's challenges and the isolated lifestyle is vastly different from where I grew up and from where Eric and I began our raise our own family. But it is not so isolating that I would cut myself off from the church I so dearly value and love, that brings me hope, motivation, practice, and support for centering my life around the Savior.
The principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ ring true to me. There is no bending God's laws to make those who don't like it comfortable. In fact, I find it to be the opposite. Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is quite uncomfortable. I am constantly prompted to get out of me comfort zone (yes I have one), to develop in ways I never imagined, and to become a better wife, mother, and daughter of God - always striving for improvement and progression.
I choose this for MY life and I accept that there are many who disagree with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the church to which I belong, whether they interpret it differently, or whether they disagree entirely. I am grateful that I live in a country where religion is not mandated, where every citizen can practice what they believe. That I belong to a church that promotes the same. Article of Faith # 11 sums it up well. Yet, there are some who want the freedom to choose their lifestyle or religion but persecute others for living a lifestyle or religion that contrary to their own.
I have accepted that I will not understand all things in this life. But, I have been privileged to glimpse the life to come, the life after physical death, where our spirits will dwell until our bodies are resurrected and reunited with our spirits. It is glorious! I hang on to those glimpses when life is hard. I have faith that what I have experienced in that regard is real. I have faith!
So how could someone think I left the church I so dearly love and have devoted my life to? Have I not set a good enough example? Have I not made the Savior, Jesus Christ the topic of conversation, or part of my everyday language? Have I shied away from my declaration to follow Him? Have I not kept my baptismal covenants?
Well, it ended up being a misunderstanding when I explained that my church used to meet for 3 hours each Sunday and now we meet for only 2 and we do the other hour of church at home (which ends up being way more than just one hour). I guess because I home school and do everything at home, it would follow that I do church at home. OK, I will own my part in that. I'm glad it was just a minor misunderstanding.
Each April and October, we have General Conference. This is when the world wide leaders of the church address us. I love General Conference! While General Conference was 2 weeks ago, I have just begun to re-read and listen to each and every message again (and again).
Here are some things I took away from it the first time.
"I glory in plainness, I glory in truth, I glory in my Jesus"
Do you honor your promises? Is your word your bond?
The 2 great commandments!
STUDY: D&C 25, 84, 107
There is no need to constantly tell our spouse or children how they can improve; they know that already.
There IS a need for love.
Create and environment of love!
Increased Holiness leads to increased happiness.
The greatest battle is within ourselves.
Overcome the 3 Ds of the adversary.
Cheetahs and Topis
Dalmatians and striped kitties
Less wifi and more Nephi
Consider the ways
Jesus Christ is at the center of it all!