|Rochelle and Simone April 2013|
I love spending time with them, teaching them to bake, going to lunch, and sharing thoughts. We have so much in common with our up bringing--they too, do not have a father figure in their life who is respectful or loving to them, as they share their thoughts and feelings, my heart is full to point of wanting to burst into tears--so many memories are flooding my mind, memories of a childhood that should of been different, could of been different.
I was impressed a few weeks ago by the spirit to invite them to our home to watch General Conference and have breakfast with our family. Audrey (their mother), the twins and one of their brothers and his girlfriend came over. What a delight they are, I enjoy spending time with them. Audrey is a greeter at the church they belong to and could only stay for the 1st half of conference.
I noticed Rochelle crying, she and I went into my living room and spoke, she hugged me tightly, telling me how much she loves me and Mr Williams, that she loves the feeling in our home and how she wanted that for herself--she then shared some personal stories with me and at that moment I knew the Holy Ghost was whispering to me every word to say--
1.pray for light, pray to know HIM--HE knows you and he loves you
2. serve someone everyday, a smile, a hug or a special note can mean so much
3. be prepared that darkness does not always leave immediately, sincerely look for LIGHT
4. ask for the Light to be with you everyday, live what you believe, walk in the light
and lastly " As you walk toward the HOPE of God’s light, you will discover the compassion, love, and goodness of a loving Heavenly Father"
After conference today I had the opportunity to talk to the girls and answer any questions they had. One of the things they were wondering about was why there were not any other black people at church. I told them what a myth it is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not allow blacks to be baptized, the girls actually had heard this. THIS STATEMENT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE AND OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE BELIEVE IN. We just happen to live in a geographical area where not many African Americans live. I explained to them, as I will explain to any of you who are reading this and also have this misconception. The LDS church has never NOT allowed blacks to be baptized, across the nation and throughout the world we have active incredible members of the church who are of African American Heritage--we are inclusive, we invite all who are willing to truly listen to the truth of what we believe in to come to church with us. I explained to them at one time in the church history the black men were not able to hold the Priesthood, for what reason I do not understand, but just as many things in life change, this was a change the church was impressed to make. I explained to them, across the nation and around the world no matter what language every church building in the world is teaching the same thing, on Sundays we take the water and bread in remembrance of HIM who died for us, the sacrament helps us to remember the covenants we made when we were baptized, I also think of it of a time to repent for all the little things I do during the week, the Atonement is available to each and everyone of us. I also explained to them, "you girls can walk into any church from here to Africa, and you will not hear anyone from the pulpit talking bad about another church, we love all people, because we know our Heavenly Father loves all his children the same. Walking in the light of Christ means trying your hardest to be exactly like HIM, of course we know this is impossible but trying and repenting and trying and repenting is what we do everyday to try to be more like HIM"
Every talk that was spoken today was perfect for what these girls needed to hear. A member of the Stake Presidency spoke about the presence of Satan in our lives, Rochelle told me she was so glued to the words he spoke. There are times in our lives when Satan wants us to feel as though we are not quite good enough, he wants the young mother who is trying her hardest to raise strong healthy, spiritual children that her house is not clean enough, the father who has lost his job that he is not quite doing is job as a husband and father, the young girl who did not get invited to prom or homecoming that they are not quite beautiful enough or good enough. I told the girls, I remember feeling inadequate as a child of God, I was too skinny, to ugly, and not quite good enough for anyone to ask me to prom or homecoming---I never went, and yes, I did feel those pains of not being quite good enough--how sad is that? If we could all feel the spirit enough to know, our Heavenly Father loves us for who we are, and what we contribute to life.
There have been times in my life when I felt small, and insignificant, I felt that the world was my Goliath, I yearned for the feeling of surety that HE loved me. It took me searching in my soul, and truly asking for guidance, there were things I had to let go of, when I questioned choices I made I finally realized it was Satan trying to keep me from the light. Satan is smart and cunning as he travels and moves through the lives of our youth especially, he does not like to be alone either, he always snatches one, then cunningly says "now go and get your friend to partake" especially for our youth who are trying so hard to follow in Gods light, satan does not want that to happen, he wants them to invite their friends--misery loves company--and satan wants you to justify your actions with others around you who are doing the same thing--following in the darkness. Don't get caught in that trap.\
It honestly took me going through my cancer journey to realize that it was OK even though I was 46 years old to start to listen to my heart, to turn things over to the Lord, to accept the Gift HE had given me, the gift was the Holy Ghost--listening and preparing myself for the day to day, HE is leading me through this journey of life--we all have more strength then we know, and when we start to LIVE WHAT WE BELIEVE we will gain the confidence we need, no matter what we are experiencing in our lives, no matter where we are in our journey, for some the journey towards the light starts at birth and for others that light of Christ comes when we are adults, if we follow in HIS light HE will guide us home.
I wish for every youth out there in the world, member of the church or not, that they could just HOLD ON-we all try and fail, some have been in darkness longer than others, but one of the lessons we can learn is that HE has promised the answers will come when we ask. There have been nights I have prayed, thinking I was the only one who was walking in the darkness, oh how NOT true that is, there are so many who walk in darkness, and fear, but if we can HOLD ON continue to pray, serve, and be obedient, repeating this day to day until we finally GET IT, he will never leave our side.