So if you haven’t watched conference, I suggest you go to it right now and watch something that has the potential to change your life-literally.
My idea for my weekly email this week changed this morning as I received some news that distrubed me and I realized why the greatest emphasis I receieved from conference was different than what I expected.
I was impressed throughout conference about the need to stay strong in the gospel and stay that way.
I have heard of too many experiences on my mission, from my mission and from back home of people leaving the church, getting caught up in other things, reading something that turned then away, or getting offended because someone forgot to say hello to them at church on Sunday.
I have been sitting here for the last few minutes typing something and then erasing and then typing again and erasing because I am not sure how to articulate this to you because of the brevity and importance that strength in the gospel, despite social factors is vital.
There are a couple of main reasons that I have seen why people choose to leave the Church they are as follows:
1. Got offended
2. Found ‘scientific evidence’ that contradicts doctrine
3. Slowly lost their testimonies
4. Dreged up some historical ‘fact’ that causes them to doubt.
My answer to all of these questions is simply this:
There will always be questions we will not be able to answer in this life, but the answers will one day come. On the list of qualifications for eternal salvation there is no where that says that we need all the answers to all the questions. Before my mission I always pictured salvation and the entrance to exaltation came in the form of a rigorous testing period here on the earth where we were to learn all that we could and be the best people we could be (which is true to this point) but I thought that, if after I died I had not lived a perfect life, or as perfect as I could get then I would be denied entrance. But then, I thought, that, if by some miracle I managed to make it through this life as a perfect person then I would still be confronted with the multiple choice question test and then the lengthen short answer section (timed of course) followed by an essay explaining why I deserved eternal exaltation and entrance into the celestial kingdom. And then if I managed to survive a second death after the timed test I would have to stand before Christ and have to listen to him flip through sheet after sheet of every single little sin I had never repented of from the age of eight till I died.
I would then have to hope that the Lord would be merciful enough to maybe give me entrance into the Terestriale Reich. Maybe.
I always had so much fear for death and for judgement because I felt that I was not doing enough. There was no way that Lillie Marguerite Maren Hammock would be granted entrance into the Celestiale Reich after she had live a horribly unperfect life because she was so terribly weak and didn’t know how to follow Christ as exactly as He required.
My dad always told me that there were two reasons why people didn’t do things. Fear and pain (granted he was talking about tests and studying in school, but I think it can be stretched into an eternal principle). And I guess you could say that I was afraid of the pain that would come to me if I didn’t live a perfect life and so I decided that it wasn’t worth working so hard and then failing in the end anyway. I was so terrified of my own personal weakness that I had already decided my own fate. Luckily I was saved from my own fear and my own doubt, but I came close to giving up entirely.
There are so many voices in this world that will tell you that you aren’t enough.
You aren’t rich enough, not strong enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not tall enough, not skinny enough. And sadly, there are people that believe it.
But there is always Someone telling you that you are enough. The Lord Jesus Christ is one of the voices cheering us on, telling us that we can keep going and telling us that He’s waiting for us there, at the end, to pull us into His arms and tell us that He loves us. He’s going to give us strength and carry the burden with us, because He experienced it already.
Christ is always going to be telling us that we can make it, He’s always going to be rooting us on, but it’s our decision of whether or not we choose to hear it. Just like we can turn up the volume on a speaker, we can turn up the Savior’s influence in our lives. But we can also turn it off. We have to be so careful because His voice isn’t going to come in over the radio yelling at us, it’s going to come quieter and softer and we have to be willing to constantly listen.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10