Tuesday, October 27, 2015

He Knows Me

He knows me.  I believe that.  I believe that I lived before I was born.  I lived a life full of knowledge, and faith.  A life wherein I walked with the Spirit of power, confidence, and joy.  A life where I dwelt in the presence of my Father in Heaven, and I had conversations with my elder brother, and chosen Savior.

In the scriptures, we read of how God knew Joseph (Smith) more than 3,000 years before he was born, and that Joseph would "bring forth the Book of Mormon to the confounding of false doctrine."  B.J. Rowe also goes on to say, in his talk the Omniscience of God, that "God knew the minute details of the life of the prophet Joseph Smith."

There is nothing written of me in the scriptures.  I have no ancient prophetic source that reveals to the world what my purpose is on this earth.  And yet, I still believe that He knows me.  There have been moments when I have felt such a pressure in the very depths of my heart, as though it were being encompassed all around, and I had no idea why or what it meant.  I recall as a young girl, when I lost a dear friend, and could not fathom how a loving God did not have a better plan in place other than purgatory or limbo.  How my young heart, broke that sad, sad day.  And in the most dire of moments, when my heart and my mind felt such sorrow and hopelessness, I was overcome by the most enveloping sensation of light that touched the top of my head, and radiated through my body to the very tips of my toes.

That moment was an answer to a prayer.  A desperate prayer filled with countless, "please God, please, please, please, please God."  Those were the only words that could be spoken.  I didn't know what to ask or why I was asking, but He had heard the pleas of my heart, and answered me.

He knows me.  I believe that.  I believe that I lived before I was born.  I want, now to live a life full of knowledge and faith.  Faith in God.  Faith that I will again walk with the Spirit of power, confidence, and joy.  A life where I will again dwell in the presence of my Father in Heaven, and have conversations with my elder brother, and chose Savior.

In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

And She Said To Me . . .

To help decipher what we are reading in the Book of Mormon, we implemented a study skill called "Lists."  We broke into groups of twos.  I was searching, reading, calling out passages, comparing the questions while searching for the answers, I was on fire!  My brain was clicking away, bam! bam! bam!  Our group was doing so well.

When it was our turn, I stood up and walked to the front of the class, grabbed the marker for the white board, and began introducing our portion of the lesson.  When I looked around, I noticed the attention of a few of my classmates were directed off to the side -- where my group companion was still trying to make her way to the front of the class.  So, I smiled at her as she slowly walked up, I opened up the marker and handed it to her.  And away I went!

After a moment or two, I noticed a few eyes were directed behind me.  I turned and noticed that my companion was trying to write as quickly as I was speaking.  Her hands shook a little, her writing was very small, and she was diligently trying to catch up with me.  I took my cue and slowed down, repeated myself, and then asked if anyone had any questions while my companion caught up.  I glanced over at the student leader and her look said "hurry up!"  So, I did.

At the end of the lesson, I gathered up my things to move back to my seat, my companion said to me, "I'm so sorry I wasn't helpful.  It's just that I haven't really read the Book of Mormon a lot, and I feel a little insecure about talking about what I don't know."  Okay, so I felt horrible.  While everyone was headed out for a short break, I thought I could just say "oh, it's okay" and then get up and move back to my  side of the room.  But it struck me that, with all that I've learned or have tried to learn I've constantly been asking myself: "What else should I be learning?"  This was definitely a moment to ask that question.  I paused, took a breath and then took a moment to have a private discussion with my group companion.

The conversation was important for me, but not as important as the lesson.  In 1 Nephi 6:4, Nephi says that he wrote with intent "to persuade me to come unto God . . ."  That needs to be my intention as well.  It's all well and good to sit in a group or class setting and shoot out answers, ask profound questions, and bask in my own intelligence, but a true disciple of Christ will always seek to find ways to serve.  I sit a classroom surrounded by truly lovely people, all striving to be better in the ways of the gospel, the Savior, and Heavenly Father.  But I can do so much more, by being mindful of the needs of others.  And, if my intent is to be led by the Spirit so that I can become a better disciple, I need to learn to listen better.