Journey to the WILDERNESS...

Blog Header.png

Christ Rose Above It All And So Can We!

“What will it matter... what we suffered here if, in the end,

those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life

and exaltation in the Kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?”

Sister Linda R. Reeves

I’m excited to be back again the writing arena...I’ve missed it immensely!

For two and a half months Elder Puzey and I have dedicated every minute to our mission, getting to know the people and the role we would play in their lives. It has been so rewarding. I would say the most joyous time of my life! ♥♥♥

I have been desiring ‘one day’ that I could dedicate to journaling our mission experiences here in Fort Wingate, N.M. Then, of course, a blog written to document the learning experiences along the way. Excited that I have got on top of my assignments and can now have a day for the desire of my heart.

I want to go back about 14 days and share a most joyous day for me. I had just accepted the invitation to teach the Relief Society class the next week, while Elder Puzey was volunteering us to speak in Sacrament Meeting whenever they had a need. We had talked about using a Sacrament Meeting opportunity to help get the ‘Come Follow Me’ Program off the ground and into people’s homes.

Of course there was an opening the next Sunday so he accepted. When I realized that I had a lot to prepare for on top of Seminary class, Temple class, Member visits, Family CFM training and feeding the missionaries, I quickly became overwhelmed!

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t enjoy teaching or giving talks. It’s not aligned with my nature so I was getting very tense....but, only for a few minutes because I remembered that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there for me, and have been even more so this last year and a half. I was than able to turn my concerns over to Them and felt peace from that moment on.

All assignments came and went without any stress. Peace prevailed!

I wrote my talk and put together my Relief Society lesson with so much passion, I was actually excited and looking forward to give them.

Sunday came and my anxieties never got the best of me, which would be my normal course of action. I was just excited to share the truths I had learned about the CFM Program. ( I love this course of study!!!)

While standing by the Branch Pres. waiting for our Branch members to arrive, he asked me if I would say the opening prayer, I said sure and reminded him that I also was leading the music for another Sister that couldn’t make it....wondering if he would choose another person to give the prayer, but with the reminder, he immediately wrote my name down and we began our Sunday Worship.

It turned out to be pretty much a one-woman show....and I was at peace! I was excited to share and serve.

I was interested in the passion that I had as I talked and as I gave my lesson in the next hour block....it was not me at all! I felt like Heavenly Father had changed me into a new creature! I felt magnified like I never have before and I felt ‘light’!

I had never felt His love and Glory like I felt it that day and I didn’t want to ever lose that feeling! I found that I couldn’t share the feelings I experienced...it’s hard to find the words and someone that understands. So, like Mary, I have held the experience close to my heart and have pondered the peace, light and glory of it all. It was like waking up and walking into a ‘newness of life’.

Now a week later I have had an experience that took me the opposite direction...it’s heavy and hard. One minute I felt like the Spirit was directing me and I was excited to share what was in my heart....only to be misunderstood. I can’t express the hurt and sadness that overwhelmed me and held me in a miserable, dark place for a very long time.

Christ rose above it all and so can we!

There is a beautiful picture that I have hanging on my bedroom wall of Peter, having lost his focus when attempting to walk on water when Jesus bid him to ‘Come’. In the picture, Peter is in the water....when his faith waned, he began to sink and cried out, “Lord, save me.” Immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31)

I love this picture.... and hung it with the word ‘peace’ next to it to help me remember the peace that comes when we choose to put our faith in our Savior and focus on Him.

A reminder that when we are drowning in thoughts of doubt and hurt and humiliation, that come from being a part of this world.....Christ holds out his hand and invites us to put our faith in Him and ‘walk on water’.... or.... do that which seems impossible to us at that very moment.

All we have to do is focus on Christ!

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not fear not.” D&C 6:36

My faith was challenged, my focus changed and I struggled to feel beloved! But, now His Grace has reached out to me and helped me to pull out of the consuming deep and to feel His love and tenderness once more!

I’m remembering last week’s message in the ‘Come Follow Me’ Manual, there was a quote from Sister Linda R. Reeves’ that really spoke to me. She taught, “I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, ‘Was that all that was required?’ I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter... what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the Kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?” Oct. 2015 Conference Address, “Worthy of Our Promised Blessings”

Remember, in a time of trial, Christ Jesus offers us ‘Grace’ - Divine help or strength given to us because of His bounteous mercy and love. An enabling power that lifts us and strengthens us to do good works that we otherwise could not be able to maintain. (See Guide to the Scriptures - Grace) I love the comfort and power that comes with these words!

Trials come, there isn’t a way to avoid them, no matter how good life is at the moment. Always keep your focus on Christ...doubt not, fear not! Turn to Him in all your challenges and then walk in a ‘newness of life’.

HIS GIFT OF GRACE & BECOMING

Step 2 Continued.png

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” C.S. Lewis

A PATH THAT LEADS UPWARD

We have journeyed for many days and it has been fruitful in that we know our destination. A place where we have desired to go....a place where we can behold the Son of God.

This path does not lead backward; it leads upward. It leads to heights we can scarcely comprehend! Do you have a hearts desire to change? To change from our worldly and fallen state, to a state of righteousness? Do you desire to be redeemed of God and become His son or daughter?

My heart races whenever I think of having Him near....of knowing that He is. Imagine the Awe and wonder of these uplifting and changing moments!

As we travel along, we will feel His closeness as we continue to learn of His love and the Sacrifice that He has made for us because of that love. God will pour out blessings of power and strength, enabling us to achieve things that are beyond our ability to obtain.

AN ENABLING POWER

It is by His Grace that we, His children, can overcome the pull of Satan’s enticings. As we are enabled to rise above sin and weakness, we BECOME perfected in Christ. Though we all have weaknesses, we can overcome them. Through faith in Gods plan and His gift of Grace, we can humble ourselves and that which is weak will become strong!

As we travel to our desired destination, we will encounter the mountains of opposition that will continually come into our path and the stumbling blocks that will trip us up and make our journey more challenging. But, gratefully we don’t have to endure it on our own....we don’t have to journey without Him there. Our faith is allowing Him to walk beside us, to lift us up when we fall and to help us climb the steep places. Empowered by His Atoning love....His Grace, we will be successful on this journey.

Throughout this journey, God’s grace will bestow temporal blessings and spiritual gifts that magnify our abilities and enrich our lives. His Grace refines us and helps us to BECOME our best selves.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

A CHANGE OF HEART

Do we understand that we are in debt to our Heavenly Father and need to come to Him in humility and with grateful hearts to receive the Grace He has to offer?

As we travel the distance, we will have time to think about what is in our hearts, we can become more aware of the magnificence of His eternal love and come to know that the Grace of God is our great and everlasting hope!

Repentance is a change of heart that will allow a fresh attitude toward God, ourself and life to come more fully into our being. Search deep inside....is there a change in your mind and heart? Is your heart yearning to turn from earthly and evil desires toward God’s will? Are your desires to BECOME more....to become like the Father and His Son?

SEEK HIM, KNOW HIM, BECOME LIKE HIM

A BECOMING is what we are seeking. A BECOMING of who He is and what He desires for us.

When we understand who we are and who we may BECOME, the full meaning of life and the purpose for this journey will unfold to us. The purpose of our lives will have more significance and we will find the joy we are seeking, the joy our Father sent us here to experience!

Our ‘Journey to Bethlehem’, to seek the Son of God, will require us to come to know Him more fully, to feel of His love and take inspired steps to BECOME as He is.

“Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.”

3 Nephi 27:27

To help us as we progress toward the Father, the Lord gave us this promise: “Every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” D&C 93:1

I think about King Benjamin’s great sermon, where many of his hearers cried out that the Spirit of the Lord “....has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” Mosiah 5:2

Worthiness is essential to BECOMING like Him, if we are losing our desire to do evil, we are making that ‘mighty change’ and BECOMING, through the Grace and love of God. The Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to make the progress needed to get to our destination. With this enabling power, we ‘change’, we begin to see things as our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ see them. We hear His voice instead of the voice of the world, and we are willing to do things His way instead of by the ways of the world.

ONLY THROUGH HIS GIFT OF GRACE

Christ’s Atonement not only provides forgiveness from sin and victory over death, it also redeems imperfect relationships, heals our emotional wounds, and empowers us to do that which is hard. Through our faith in His atoning sacrifice, the Atonement or Grace of God cleanses, strengthens and enables each of us to develop many of the attributes that define Christ.

Mormon taught, “Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, … that ye may become the sons [and daughters] of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him.” Moroni 7:48.

Trying to understand God’s gift of Grace with all our heart and mind gives us all the more reason to love and obey our Father in Heaven with meekness and gratitude. Our ‘Journey to Bethlehem’ will refine us, it will improve us, it will help us BECOME more like Him. This love of God will bring about ‘a mighty change in us.....that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually’.

His Grace is sufficient...because His Love never runs out!

THIS WEEKS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:

1 - On your Journal page, write out the thoughts you have, as you consider the Atonement of Christ....how can you apply it as you endeavor to become like God?

2- Also this week write in your ‘Sacred Journal’. Write a letter to your Heavenly Father. Share your desires to have Him empower you to move forward and take the inspired steps to BECOME as He is.

- Respond to your letter, allowing the Lord to enlighten your mind with the things He would like you to understand.

3 - On your ‘Journey to Bethlehem Map’ write the healing and enabling blessings that you are needing from God’s Gift of Grace, at this moment in time.

4- I invite you to share in the comment section of this Whisperings Blog, your thoughts and feelings about any experience you have had with the Grace of God, how have you been enabled to OVERCOME and BECOME strong in making your desired changes. We would all love to be inspired by your experience.

Find the Journal Page, Journey to Bethlehem Map, and Sacred Journal page under ‘Journey’ in the navigator tabs.

Your faith can move mountains...Your doubt can create them.

Trust in the Lord!

Love, Jeannie