Sunday, November 8, 2009

GC Recap #6 - Safety for the Soul

Each conference I look forward to hearing Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk. He is so moving. He speaks is such a straight forward way, that one can not help but be touched, uplifted and motivated. In this last conference he said,

"The Savior warned that in the last days even those of the covenant, the very elect, could be deceived by the enemy of truth. If we think of this as a form of spiritual destruction, it may cast light on another latter-day prophecy. Think of the heart as the figurative center of our faith, the poetic location of our loyalties and our values; then consider Jesus’s declaration that in the last days “men’s hearts [shall fail] them."

Tonight Shon and I were talking with my brother-in-law about this. We discussed this subject like Shon and I have done many times, considering the events that have taken place in friends lives lately. Just as Elder Holland said, "The Savior warned that even those of the covenant, the very elect could be deceived by the enemy of truth." It seems that the more the you know, the harder you fall. How do we protect ourselves from this?

Elder Holland said, "Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair. That is the message with which the Book of Mormon begins, and that is the message with which it ends, calling all to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.” That phrase—taken from Moroni’s final lines of testimony, written 1,000 years after Lehi’s vision—is a dying man’s testimony of the only true way."

Daily reading, studying and application of the Book of Mormon will combat our own fall and destruction? Prophets over the centuries have born their testimony of this and the Book of Mormon in and of its self. We have been counseled to read it daily as that protection.

Elder Holland adds his testimony of that book. He said, "Now, I did not sail with the brother of Jared in crossing an ocean, settling in a new world. I did not hear King Benjamin speak his angelically delivered sermon. I did not proselyte with Alma and Amulek nor witness the fiery death of innocent believers. I was not among the Nephite crowd who touched the wounds of the resurrected Lord, nor did I weep with Mormon and Moroni over the destruction of an entire civilization. But my testimony of this record and the peace it brings to the human heart is as binding and unequivocal as was theirs. Like them, “[I] give [my name] unto the world, to witness unto the world that which [I] have seen.” And like them, “[I] lie not, God bearing witness of it.”

Recently I was struggling. I had been given a promise months ago in a blessing that I didn't see being fulfilled. I was doing all the logical things that I saw or felt I needed to do. I was frustrated. I questioned why the Lord had left me to struggle through this on my own and why he was not fulfilling His promise.

One night while pondering this, the spirit spoke to me and I came to a realization that I had not before. I was not doing the things in my spiritual life that I needed to be doing. How could I expect the Lord to do what I wanted him to do if I was not doing what he wanted and counseled me to do. Yes, I was reading my scriptures but not diligently or if it was regualrly I was not studying them and taking their application into my daily life. Yes, I was praying, but not with the sincerity that I need to do.

I decided to change. I began earnestly studying every night. I began speaking with the Lord. The promises are still being fulfilled, and maybe not as quickly as I would like, but I know they are being fulfilled. It didn't just happen overnight as a result of my change of heart. It had been slowly but I do see His hand in it.

Because of this change in my reading habits, I can testify that there is a peace and security that comes from the Book of Mormon. It is real. It is calming, it is peaceful. It inspires us to do better, to be better. It can change lives.

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