Friday, December 4, 2015

Repentance and the power to change

In this weeks lesson there was a lot about repentance and being clean and the power to change.  We all know from the 4th Article of Faith that repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel.  We all at some point are going to have to repent.  The Savior is our key to repentance because it is through the Atonement that we can receive forgiveness when we repent and our sins are washed away and we become clean. Those of us who have gone through the repentance process can attest that it is one that can be very painful but is worth it.  Elder Holland said "Repentance of necessity involves suffering and sorrow.... In the process of repentance we are granted just a taste of the suffering we would endure if we failed to turn away from evil.... We learn that when repentance is complete, we are born again and leave behind forever the self we once were."

I find so much comfort in those words.  Additional comfort is that our Heavenly Father remembers our sins no more.  What most of us have a hard time with is we think that there are scars left after we have repented, that they are there to remind us of what we did in our past to help us not repeat those mistakes.  While I think that we will have times when we might think for a moment about our past, which we have been counseled by our Lord to not do, we can take comfort in the fact that those scars do not exist.  Elder Holland reminds us again with these words "To me, none of the many approaches to teaching repentance falls more short than the well-intentioned suggestion that 'although a nail may be removed from a wooden post, there will forever be a hole in that post.'..... where repentance is possible, and its requirements are faithfully pursued and completed, there is no 'hole left in the post' for the bold reason that it is no longer the same post.  It is a new post."

It is through true and honest repentance that we can be made clean through the Atonement and are given the power to change.  Elder Christofferson reminds us that "without repentance there is no progress."  Just as in the days of Alma, we live in a time when the Lord calls all to repentance and to be born again.  As we heed that call we can all take comfort in knowing we are on the path to returning to our Heavenly Father.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Back in the saddle again!

I can literally say it has been years since I have done my last post, since May of 2009 to be exact!!!!  Oh boy how my life has changed since then!  One of the big changes is I am taking online courses from BYU-I through a program called Pathway.  It has been such a blessing in my life these past 6 weeks.  One of the assignments in my class is to post a blog about what I have been learning in the past week.  I actually can choose between 6 activities for this assignment, and I have chosen to use "write a blog".  I am a little rusty, so please forgive me for any mistakes I make.

Our lesson/study this past week has been focused on 2 Nephi chapters 9-16.  Along with our reading we are also asked to view some videos in a section called "Digging Deeper", that correlate with what it is we are learning that week. One of the videos really struck a cord with me.  It is titled "Omniscience of God" by Bro. B.J. Rowe. It first struck me because I just love the word omniscience and how it sounds when you say it, if you can say it correctly. I have always been curious as to what this actually means and I was curious as to how he would share the word's definition.  In 2 Nephi 9:20 we read "O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things and there is not anything save he knows it."  Simply put, that is the definition of omniscience.

I could stop right there, but I thought I would share how that applies to me in my life and why it is important for me to know the word's definition as I live day to day. I know that he exists and I know that I need His help every day.  I am often amazed at how many children He has on the earth right now and how many He has EVER had.  How does He keep track of us all?  How does He hear all of our prayers?  How does He know what each person is going through?  When I am driving or walking in a crowded area, I have found myself thinking how He knows every single person I can see and He knows all the intimate details in each of their lives.  How do I know this?  Because He knows me.  He knows what I am going through.  He hears my prayers.  He knows my family.  He knows what they are going through.  He hears their prayers.

I had an experience just a few days ago.  Jeremy is in the marching band at school and they made it to the Area competition this coming Saturday.  Yay!  If they do well, they will move on to the state competition in November, so this is a very important contest. It is what they have been working towards all season!  We received an email from the director stating that due to the heavy rain that is expected on Saturday, there is a possibility that they may have to do their performance on Sunday, so he wanted us to prepare for that and expected everyone to be there.  My heart sank.  Sunday.  He expects everyone there Sunday.  We prayed as a family that night for there to be some way, some how, that the Lord could make it so the band doesn't' have to play on Sunday.

The following morning I got the strong impression that I needed to fast.  I felt like if we are going to be asking the Lord for this special favor we needed to do our part.  My heart and soul were in this fast.  Keeping the Sabbath day holy has been something we have always tried to strive for.  I found it very interesting that one of the lessons in my Pathway class talked about a member who had to make a tough decision about the Sabbath and in the back of my mind I had thought, "I am so glad we have never had to make tough decision like that."  I think the Lord heard me.

Yesterday morning I had another strong impression to speak to the organizer of the contest and express my concerns as a parent.  I got her information and gave her a call.  I knew that I may not have any persuasion power, but I just felt like I had to say something and explain to her why Sunday was so vitally important to our family and to many of the youth in our ward who were also in the band.  I shared my idea of maybe being able to hold the contest on Monday.  Since the rain was a concern for her on Saturday and there was a possibility of it raining on Sunday as well, she said she had considered that.  I sent her email to the parents of the youth in our ward also in band and most of them expressed their concern to her as well.

We found out later that afternoon that the contest will be on Monday not Sunday!  Now, I do not know if our concerns persuaded her in making her decision, but I know without a doubt that the Lord played a part in it.  I know that He heard the prayer of His valiant youth who didn't want to play on Sunday.  He heard the plea from parents who wanted to help their children keep the Sabbath holy.  He heard the humble plea of a mother who had never had to deal with type of decision but knew that if it was a righteous desire and part of His will, miracles can happen.

I don't know how the Lord's Omniscience works, but I do know that He does know all things and He know each and every one of us and the very intimate details of our lives.