Although it is not fast Sunday, I did have the opportunity to fast today, which I feel is something which can make almost any day better. Not only that, but today in church today for the first time in my over 22 months serving I was called by the Bishop to stand up and fill some extra time left at the end of sacrament meeting. I was not nervous about standing up, but as I had fasted my head was a little fuzzy, my stomach was growling, and I just felt really tired. The entire time was talking I had this verse running through the back of my mind; “verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.” (D&C 59: 9-10) I am not sure how well the “rejoicing” popped out of the brief testimony I shared, but I do feel that the opportunity of being here as a missionary and the difference is something to rejoice about!
Today we were actually able to attend a Sign Language Ward again, which I love attending! To me, it is amazing that many of the deaf members will take the time to talk, when I have to finger spell about every other word I want to say! They are an icon of patience and perseverance, and I have loved being with them briefly. In the sacrament meeting today, I was uplifted by the Spirit, and there were a few things I learned about which stood out to me. I think one of my favorites was the story of King Christian X of Denmark—
Wikipedia tells me it is just a story, and not real, but I still like it. King Christian was the king during the German occupation during WWII. The reference is in reference to the German decree that all Jews must wear a yellow armband with a Star of David. As the story goes, the response of King Christian X was that “One Dane is exactly the same as the next Dane. And [King Christrian] will wear the first Star of David and he expects every loyal Dane will do the same.” While this story is not particularly true, in the brief reading I did, the Danish people did exhibit exceptional valor, pride, and support of their country, and those people who were in it.
In the world today it can be very easy to see the differences we have in each other, but the gospel of Jesus Christ is about looking beyond the differences we have, just as the example of King Christian of Denmark. As we have our mind focused on those things Christ wants us to focus on, we are concerned about helping each other. I love how the speaker in church today tied this into a verse I have often read in the Book of Mormon; “. . . and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” (Mosiah 18: 8). As we bear each other’s burdens it is not that we take them from each other. It is not that we compare what we have with others, to find those who have gone through more than us. But, just as the example with King Christian showed, it is an opportunity for to spread the weights we do have. As we spread the burdens we have through everyone, and we are all helping lift those burdens of another person our own become light. I am very grateful for all the blessings I have. I am grateful for this gospel and how it has influenced my life. I know it is through Jesus Christ that we can find the solution and the strength to overcome all the struggles we have. As we help each other, He is there to lift all of us. I love this church, and I do love this gospel, hallelujah! J