Then spake Jesus saying, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Monday, September 21, 2015

sep 21: in one week, i'll be home! hit me up

This week I got a few emails in which my family members expressed their testimonies. These testimonies mean the world to me. Thank you. I would absolutely love a testimony from each and every one of you. Whether it is one line or one page, whether you are a member of the church or not, it is a gift for me to peek into your hearts. A testimony is what you can’t see but you know is true, and we have that capacity. To trust beyond what we can prove or measure. Because we can feel. I know that inside every human body is a spirit—a child of God that lived with Him before being born on earth—that feels. And vaguely— very vaguely—recognizes that there is something greater. Not only a Supreme Being, but a Supreme Plan. Before telescopes, we couldn't prove or measure most of the other planets, but they were there, just waiting for us to discover them. One day we will all see and hear God, but we don’t have to wait until then to believe. 

I know that God is our Heavenly Father, that He has a body of blood and bones. That we accepted His offer to come to earth—suffer, laugh, sacrifice, risk, love, create—and grow. We are brave.

We trusted that our Father would give us everything we need to get back to Him—and He has. He has given us prayer to be able to talk to him and the Holy Ghost to be able to feel His reply and know that He exists. He has given us His church—which He directs through people that put His will above their own—to teach us everything we can’t remember. He has given an ultimate sacrifice that has healed or will heal every wound and trauma—lost limbs, mental illness, abuse— His Son, Jesus Christ. There are no words to describe His sacrifice.

He never overrides our freedom. But He has a bird’s eye view, and has established His church to help us elevate our view and see the same. There are many churches, but He is the head of one. I know without a doubt that THIS is HIS church—the instruction manual from the Manufacturer. In His church, we can be sealed with our families for time and all eternity. I know that He has called many, including Moses, Peter, Joseph Smith, and Thomas S. Monson, to be His representatives and establish His church. It’s not hard for me to believe that God calls prophets in our day because the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I know that those I mentioned and all the rest He has sent throughout the history of the world are men of God because I have read and Bible and the Book of Mormon and asked in prayer if they are true. And what I felt was undeniable. I know the Lord answers petitions and answers questions and truly exists.

Lots of people talk about life before and after the mission as the “real world.” But I have learned that the world we live in isn’t the real world. The movies and the music and the art are temporary things. There are only three things that are permanent: our families, the things we learn, and the person we are. This past year and a half, I haven’t seen TV, listened to music, or gotten on the internet. But I have been more in the real world than ever: The things I have been able to do are eternal. And I am grateful to my Heavenly Father because I felt Him giving me health and strength to do them. I am grateful to you—my family and closest friends—for your love and confidence in me. Because I couldn’t have done it alone.

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