Sunday, October 20, 2013

A split second-

Today my body is weak and I am in pain--I considered not attending church, however something within me was saying "go and take the sacrament"  I am so glad I listened to that still small spirit and HIS promptings.  I am full of the spirit today.  Tara Carpenter spoke in Church about the principle of service, she is leaving to serve her mission in Nashville Tennessee, the word she spoke today reminded me to go out and to more than I am doing, there is always someone in need and our purpose here is to help lift each others burdens whether they be large or small.
Justin Durfee spoke, he is a newly returned missionary in our ward who served in the Barbados mission taking in 11 different countries--WOW I had no idea.  His talk about obedience to the laws and commandments of the Lord rescinded in me, I have been studying and learning more about the law of obedience, and listening to him speak about the very things I have been reading in my scriptures and pondering over the last couple of months really hit home.
Lastly, and the part that impacted me the most was the music in church today.  Our ward has a tradition of singing, The Spirit of God when a new missionary comes home, and Called to Serve when a missionary is leaving.
These songs are known through out the LDS church membership anywhere in the world--however, no where in the world except for ONE place can it be heard the way people hear it in the 6th ward, my family ward--I had to sit on the front row of the chapel today, because it was so full, I had a perfect view of my favorite organist in the world--Stephen Phelps--as soon as I saw Tara and Justin were on the program to speak, I knew exactly why I was prompted by the spirit to attend today's meeting.
The music started the congregation began to sing, and my heart began burst as the tears welled up in my eyes and I could not see the words on the Hymn book, I took off my reading glasses, closed my eyes and enjoyed Stephen Phelps bearing testimony from his heart to mine through his music--it was a "Monya Moment" I will not soon forget, everything was tuned out, the outside noise of the world, my brain trying to make sense of things in my life, EVERYTHING was gone, all I could hear was my own heart beat and Stephen Phelps music.
A couple of weeks ago we had General Conference, one of the songs they sang was Called To Serve, and I have to admit, I wished that Stephen Phelps was playing the organ, so that all the world could hear what we hear in our ward every Sunday--no-one, not even the Mormon Tabernacle choir has the blessing of his music--and I'm convinced there is no ward on the face of the earth that has heard or felt the spirit when singing Called to Serve like the members who attend our ward on those special days.  Today, while singing Called to Serve I watched Stephen and our eyes met, he smiled big and I was touched with his spirit in that split second--a split second that I would not have had if I had not listened to the spirit and came to church today.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Embrace your faith in God

I've learned as I have grown older, made mistakes, repented of wrong doing or things I've said, I am still learning.  One of the things I know without a doubt is that the only son of our Heavenly Father died for all the sins of the world, that he suffered and felt every sin and pain of the world so that I can return to live with HIM again as I strive my hardest to be obedient and follow my heart when listening to the spirit guide me for answers in prayers.

A friend not of my faith recently confronted me about some of the things I believe in, this conversation has troubled me, and I wondered if I left the conversation with her heart feeling mine as I tried to convey what I know to be true.  Although we do not have the same beliefs, I am open to and willing to listen to the beliefs of others, because I also believe many of the worlds best people all believe in the same God, just choose to worship differently.

Something she said to me has stuck in my mind for weeks now, and I wish to share it here on my blog.  I was told "If you had the faith that God could heal you, heal your hearing in your right ear, and heal your health issues with cancer, you will be healed"  I asked her if she believed those people who have died and gone before us who suffered from life threatening illnesses died because they did not believe the Lord could heal them? she replied "yes, that is proven in the Bible" since that conversation I have pondered over my situation, doubted my faith, and wondered what was wrong with me and my relationship with God if I was not being healed.

I have studied every scripture in the King James Version concerning 'Healing' marked it, cross referenced it and still found myself kneeling in prayer asking for answers.  The answers came, and they came quickly, "do you believe in miracles?" this thought has been in my head for days. Of course I believe in miracles, I've seen them happen in my own life, but what does this have to do with her questions?

In my opinion, my life was all mapped out, after all hadn't I suffered enough through my childhood and the death of my brother?  I soon found a huge mountain in my way.  I used to pray the Lord would take it all away, but instead it became a beautiful journey.  Heaven has shown me so many miracles, I now take the rain with the sunshine and enjoy every minute of it--well most of it--the sleepless nights I have tried to pray away, but instead they have become my most learning times of the day--and I would never trade any of it--I am so grateful for knowledge I have of our Saviors love for us all, I am ashamed I asked HIM to take it all away--life is our school of learning, and the Lord is giving us a test to see how well we do.

I stand on my convictions that the Lord performs miracles, modern day miracles just as he did in the days of the Savior.  And yes, faith is needed to receive these miracles, I know because I have that faith-I have felt the spirit when a doctor who told me my cancer had in his opinion returned,  98% sure of it.  We as a family, as a ward family, stake family, and friends of all faiths began to pray for me.  I cannot say for sure what was said in those prayers, but I can tell you I had faith and believed in every fiber of my body that this was not the time for me to die--that through my faith in the doctor, and with my faith in miracles, I was saved.  I did not live through that simply because I had enough faith, I lived through that because the Lord, and only the Lord knows when it is time for us to return home to him.  It was not my time.  Every trial we endure here on earth, the Savior has felt, he took our sins and sorrows upon himself.  The Atonement is for EVERYONE, not just those who have faith in him, not just those who live in the light of Christ.  The Atonement is for the men and women sitting in jails for unthinkable sins, it is for the perpetrators of hideous crimes, there is one thing I know for a fact is that HE loves everyone.  He is disappointed, just as a parent is when a child makes a choice not appealing or wrong, he is sad when we do not kneel in prayer everyday and say Hi, there is always HOPE for every single soul, none of us are better than others in his eyes, he loves us all the same.

When it is time for me or any of us to go home to HIM, it is because HE is in control, it has nothing to do with how much faith we have.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

World Peace vs. Inner Peace

Since the beginning of The Miss Universe Pageants started  in 1921 the question has been asked to many beautiful woman around the world "If you were granted one wish what would you wish for?"
ANSWER: "World Peace"
For some reason this phrase makes me laugh, how wonderful it would be to have "world peace" can you  imagine a life of no opposition, no worry of a husband, father or parent not coming home tonight because of an act of terror, never thinking that  going to a movie theater could possibly be the last breath you take, the freedom of knowing when you send your little ones to school they will come home to you safe and sound never imagining they may be hiding under a desk while a crazy gunman shoots down their friends? The televised sight of 300 children being killed in Syria, has brought me to the thoughts of what is the difference between world peace vs. inner peace.

The truth is, the adversary would not survive in a world of peace, and we would not grow and learn to become reliant.  I do not personally believe there will ever be a time of World Peace while we are on the earth. Not to be a downer or anything, but there is a plan in place and unfortunetley Satan never wins, so with that being said the world leaders will continue to be on opposite sides of the table, there is always going to be opposition in all we do.

Knowing all in the world that is going on outside of the walls of our home, can be overwhelming as we listen to world news.  However, I believe with all of my heart there is a difference between, inner peace we get from knowing who we are, where we came from, and where we are going, and this to me is much more important than world peace.  This may sound strange to some, but to me it makes perfect sense, I have no control over world peace, except to be a more kind and gentle person, be honest in all I do and share the knowledge of Jesus Christ love for all of his children with others.

Inner peace comes from knowing we are doing the best we can to live a more Christ like life.  How do we as women get this inner peace on a daily basis with so much going on around us?  This is an ongoing process, I have learned over the years this inner peace has to be constantly worked on.  We all are in different season in our lives, I can say as I raised small children it was difficult to find inner peace as I tried to balance motherhood,  cleaning my home, daily balanced meals on the table, scripture study, Family Home Evenings, Temple attendance and attending weekly Sunday meetings, I also have always held callings in our church, from teaching Primary Children, teaching in the nursery, young women and Relief Society. As I look back now on those years I realize there was so much more I could of done to have inner peace, I could of cut back on activities within our family that could of given me the extra time to spend studying the life of our Savior trying harder to be more like him.  Now, all of my children are married and moving forward with their own children and families.  I sometimes feel inadequate and wish I had done some things differently, when those thoughts come into my mind, I quickly realize it is Satan who is trying to convince me of my failures.

Some of the ways I try to obtain inner peace in my life is to not allow myself to enjoy the things I like to do, until I have done the things I need to do.  Those things are not always the easiest to do, reading and studying my scriptures 30 minutes each day, for me sometimes it is sitting down and actually reading, on someday's it is listening to conference talks,  I do not ever get in my car without listening to church hymns or conference talks, these are the physical things I can do to find my daily inner peace. Weekly Temple attendance is such a great way to feel the inner peace needed to help me through a week.  I also take time to enjoy what the Lord has given us, instead of focusing on what I cannot do I try and focus on the things I do have control over and the things I can do.  I love the song from our Primary Children's Song book, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me"  the words to this song will forever hold a special place in my heart, I learned it when I was a child.  Whenever I can I try to take a moment each day to see the beauty the Lord has given us in the world.

Whenever I hear the song of a bird,
or look at the blue, blue sky
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
or the wind as it rushes by
Whenever I touch a velvet rose or
walk by a a lilac tree
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father Created for me.
He gave me my eyes that I might see
the color of butterfly wings
He gave me my ears that I might hear
the magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart,
I thank him reverently
For all his creations of which I'm a part,
Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

I think the last line of this song say's it all for me, Yes, I know my Heavenly Father loves me.  Not only because of all the beautiful things in the world he has created for me to enjoy, but because I have learned on my own, inner peace comes from being obedient to the Lords commandments, it comes from getting on your knees daily and thanking him for all the blessing I have in my life.  I am still living today because the Lord has a purpose for me, I am a stubborn person and I have not quite learned what that is, but I will continue to repent daily for my shortcomings, and ask HIM to help me become more like HIS son, to give acts of kindness everyday, and try to implement all the attributes of Christ in my life--this is where my inner peace comes from.