Monday, April 8, 2013

Trials of Faith

General Conference is awesome.

Awesome 'cause I get to chill with the fam.

Awesome 'cause I get to hear exactly what I need to from the Lord's servants.

But most importantly:

Awesome 'cause I don't have to shave. :D

Okay, okay, maybe that's not the MOST important...but it's a close second.

In any case, I definitely needed to hear Elder Holland's talk. Not just because it's Elder Holland (I mean come on. We all know he's the favorite. Let's just be honest.) but because what he spoke about is literally exactly  what I needed to hear.

I don't know what it is, but ever since I decided to go on a mission, all things pertaining to my faith have been thrown off-course. Now, a lot of prospective missionaries wonder if they have enough of a testimony to go out there and tell people all about the good news. But for me it was different.

I was wondering if I even had a testimony.

I would say the things that I had always said, that I knew that this church is true, that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He lives today and only wants to see us happy. That the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. That Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God to restore the church today, and that we have a living prophet today still carrying that same mantle of leadership as the head of our church. But for one reason or another, these words, my testimony, weren't sparking the same feeling within my heart as they once did when spoken aloud.

That's when things got scary.

I hadn't done anything vastly disobedient. I hadn't begun to stray.

But the words began to feel dry in my mouth.

I felt like I had lost my testimony. However, thanks to some amazing Young Women's leaders, I was able to remember that the very last thing that I wanted to do at this point was to stop putting drops of oil into my lamp. So, I read my scriptures more. I prayed more fervently. I really started to make an investment in my own testimony. I began to "anxiously engage" myself in the Gospel.

Before, it was so easy to just slide on by doing the bare minimum. Go to church, don't do anything to get the rumor mill goin' on about you. But it wasn't enough anymore.

It never was.

I wish I could say that I have this booming testimony now. I used to think that I did. But things were still hard as I was doing things for my papers, as I talked to friends about why I was leaving. They're still hard. By the time General Conference rolled around, I was pretty much begging Heavenly Father to provide me with something. Anything. I wanted to feel the burning in my heart again. I'd begun to feel it in small bursts every now and then, but I wanted to have that fire burn in my heart at all times. I felt like I was getting absolutely nowhere.

But then, that talk. Oh, how I needed to hear those words. I saw that I had, in fact, come a long way from where I had been. And that I had the strength and the capacity to keep pushing forward.

So, to Satan I say:


You can't get me down, no matter how hard you try.

I will stand as a witness of God.

I will go into the mission field, to join the ranks of the Lord's army.

I will stand tall.

I will stand with Him.

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