Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's a Sure Bet!

Wow! It has been a fantastic weekend!  It has been a little like Christmas, but without all the stress!  Did you watch general conference?  I hope you will take the chance to enjoy it if not.  Once again it has been a testimony for me that those men are called of God.  Although, recently I have been thinking about how it must be for someone on the outside looking in.  Is it obvious for them as it is for me that this church is true?  What is it that makes me so sure- and am I really so sure?  Some things I know absolutely are true from experience I have had.  Other things I just know, however it is the things coupled with the experiences I find I am able to glean the largest support.  I want to share my thoughts with you today about the sure way I know these things- and how you can know them as well.

I believe I have shared this story before, but that is ok as I am sure I will share it a little differently now.  I remember when I was little thinking about those some questions I mentioned above.  One evening pondering these things I had the question come to me about how much I would be willing to bet if the church was true.  I thought 1000$ would do . . . a little more thinking and I was up to 2000$ . . . soon up to 3000$ . . . and so forth continuing to climb.  After a time I realized there was a problem in trying to settle on any number to bet.

Yes! You guessed it – The Mormon church says we can’t gamble or bet! . . . No j/k, what I realized was that if eternal things do exist, it seems pointless to compare any number to infinity.  No matter what I had in this life it could never compare to the infinity of an eternal world.  I realized at that time- what I needed to do was really be willing to bet all I had on this or not.  Looking back on this now, I recognize that as an eternal principle- although hardly ever easy to follow.
Moroni tells us we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith- it is needed for us to take those first steps into the darkness before we find that the path of the Lord is actually there.  Just as being willing to bet all we have, we need to take the actual step of faith into the dark.  It is more than just sticking out foot out- it is more than casting some pebbles and listening for a sound.  There is growth and there are blessings in our lives that only come as we boldly follow the Lord and step, following Him, onto a path we may not be able to see all at once.

Recently I have not been asking myself about any bets.  I have been asking- would I be looking if I was not born in this church? Would I recognize the same things in this church looking on the outside that I see from the inside?  How can I help others be as sure as I am about these things?

I think obviously- I would recognize different things.  I don’t know what would stick out to me and what would not.  But, despite the differences there may be, there are a few things I know would remain the same.  Always- the first thing I think of is the influence of the temple.  There is a tangible power and spirit of peace and love there which is incomparable to anything else.  The strength and power of it is such I know it is not from myself.  Really- the best way to understand it would be to visit a temple.  One does not need to go in, the spirit spreads beyond the walls and can be felt walking on the temple grounds. 

There are so many things in my life which God uses to show me His love and presence.  This conference for me has been a wonderful occasion.  Somehow- the whole focus again seems focused specifically on me and the needs I have.  I know God, our omnipotent Father in Heaven, has done this for everyone who listens.  Taking time to prepare, having questions, and sincerely listening helps to unlock the power of the spirit and can bring us testimony of God and His infinite love for us.  I am grateful for my Father in Heaven and for unfailing love, patience and support.  Daily I find as I turn to Him, He is able to turn my angry heart away from spiteful things and fill me with His love and compassion.  His blessings and His love is extended to all of us unceasingly, without tiring, and full of patience.  We can find these gifts as we seek a relationship with Him through prayer and reading His words, and as we follow the things He has asked us to do.

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