Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My ever progressing Testimony

I think that the Lord uses showers to flood our minds with inspiration and reflection because we are in a relaxed meditative state, naked before Him and washing ourselves clean.

As I was in the shower this morning, I was reflecting on my beliefs and why I believe them. I do this often, and review my testimony often, but it is something that I keep to myself. I am learning that these are things that are to be borne to other people, shared and expressed so that I may be that light on a hill and not hidden under a bushel. So that I may be a conduit for people to come to God, as others have been that for myself.

My sister posted on Facebook her feelings about commercializing another Holiday and how she struggles with encouraging her children to believe in fantasy people and traditions. This is something that my husband has expressed to me, and I understand it, but I love the game and the make believe, so I defend this practice and tradition. I was pondering the things she said, the things my husband said and internalizing it for myself. Why do I participate in these things and encourage my children to believe in something that doesn't really exist?

The answer was, because it is a fun game to play - and nothing else. Then it began to be revealed to me what kind of ripple effects can be caused by creating a hope in something that really isn't there. It can cause doubts and a discontinued belief in something that really is there - like Christ.

I want my children to grow having a complete Hope and Faith in Christ. I want them to always know He is real and loves us. I want them to know that the things I tell them are true and that they won't be let down someday finding out that He doesn't exist. I want them to trust in me as their keeper on this earth and to keep them free of false hopes and traditions.

In doing this I have decided that if I want to play a game, everyone needs to know that it is one and we can still have fun with it. When I found out that Santa Claus and the Easter bunny didn't really exist, I was ok with it and still pretended and had fun with the make-believe. I can still do this with my children and teach them valuable lessons. St. Nick was a a real man, and his life is a beautiful message of Charity. St. Patrick  and St. Valentine were the same. The Easter bunny however is a commercialized version of a religious belief in a God of fertility. So there will be changes to develop along with fun and family traditions that instill a wholeness and Faith in Christ.

As I was pondering these things, I moved to reflecting over events that happened this weekend, and where my testimony is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -Day saints, and again, why I believe what I believe.

My focus was on prophets, apostles and what their role in my life is. It became very clear to me; I listen to our latter-day leaders, and all those who served in those callings from Joseph to present day because I know they were called to be there.

President Monson is a prophet. He has the spirit of prophecy given to him by the Holy Ghost just as any man does when the Lord gives it to him and he acts upon it. He has been set apart to receive those things for the church, where not all men are. He speaks words and lives his life in truth and points to Christ.

The apostles have also all been called to those positions also directing me to Christ and increasing my relationship with Him.

The same is with them as with the Apostles the Prophet Joseph Smith called to serve with him. They were called to be an Apostle, and then were commissioned by Oliver Cowdery to fulfill that ordaining by having visitation with the Lord Jesus Christ. I quote -

"You have been indebted to other men, in the first instance, for evidence; on that you have acted; but it is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, but others will. You will therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven.
Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete 'til God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid His hands upon His disciples, why not in latter days?" (DHC 2:195-196 emphasis added)

These men were called before they had seen and received Christ, if they did see Him face to face and had Him lay his hands upon them, then the ordination and calling was fulfilled. The same is today!

Even though I don't know if any of them have fulfilled that ordination, they have still been called to serve there and guide this church. I sustain them in that calling and pray that they DO fulfill their obligation, just as I pray that I fulfill mine, and that they bear testimony of it loud and clear so that all will hear and there will be no room for mistaking what they are saying and making assumptions.

It is important to me to know they have been called by God and have the spirit of prophecy because by knowing that, I know I will be lifted and edified in listening to their testimonies and directed to Christ. That even though they be imperfect, they are who God has placed there for me to receive added strength and guidance and that they can be a conduit to come closer to God.

I also believe and know that we are each called to individually receive that same testimony for ourselves, to be Priests and Priestesses, Kings and Queens, Prophets and Prophetesses and Gods and Godesses. My husband is my King and a Prophet to our family. I am a Queen and Prophetess to our family. I have seen Christ in dreams and know He lives. I am striving to have Him join me and lay His hands on my head and anoint me and seal me His before I depart from this life.

You can have this too, and will be greatly blessed as I have been by making this your life's purpose.

This is why I am who I am and believe what I believe.