In my New Testament class this week, I studied about some of the Savior's miracles that He performed and also some of the parables He taught during His ministry on earth.
There is no way that I could possibly share everything I learned this week. That blog post would be WAY too long and boring...even for my 5 biggest fans who still read my ramblings on this blog. :)
I'm going to try and narrow this down to three main points...my three biggest takeaways from this week.
#1- It is important to have friends who help you come unto Christ.
In Matthew 9:2-8, Mark 2:1-12, and Luke 5:18-26, we find the story of the paralytic man who was brought to the Savior to be healed of his infirmity. There was a huge crowd around the Savior, and the man's friends, who were carrying him on a stretcher of sorts, were having a difficult time getting him close to the Savior. Because of their faith, they knew that if they could get their friend to the Savior, He would be able to heal Him.
Did these friends tell the man, "I'm so sorry. I know we have brought you all this way, but we cannot get close to the Savior, this man who can heal you. We will have to try another time."
These friends exhausted all their resources, finally resorting to removing the roof of the house that the Savior was in so they could lower their friend down to the Savior. They did not give up on their friend and they did not give up on their faith.
I would give anything...even my life...for my family and friends to be able to come to know how much the Savior of the world loves them, how much He has done for them, and how He is the one to turn to in order to receive peace and joy in this life and beyond. Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic and unbelievable, but it is 100% true. The Savior is everything, my friends. Everything.
#2- Part of the Savior's divine mission is to call the sinners to repentance.
"They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." -Mark 2:17
We are all sinners because we are all imperfect. Sin comes in many forms and even though it sounds like a harsh word, a sin is something as simple as losing your patience with someone. We are all in need of the power that comes through the Savior's Atonement and because He is the one that offered that great atoning sacrifice, He is the one that sets the terms for what we need to do, and how we should live in order to fully partake of all the blessings He has in store for us.
"Because of what He accomplished by His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ has the power to prescribe the conditions we must fulfill to qualify for the blessings of His Atonement.
#3- The Savior's compassion and power to heal are extended to all people, everywhere.
In Mark 5:25-34 we find the story of the woman who had an "issue of blood" for twelve years. Because of this illness, she was considered an outcast from society and despite her best efforts of seeking medical help, she was not able to be cured from her ailment.
"When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes,
Immediately, Jesus sensed that "virtue had gone out of him", or in other words, He knew that His power had been used to heal someone. His disciples thought He was crazy. "There are so many people here", they said. "How can you say, 'Who touched me?'"
But the Savior knew because He knows all of us. He knows our hearts, our fears, our weaknesses, our strengths, our desires...everything. He knew that this woman had come to Him to be healed and through her faith in Him, this healing took place.
The Savior didn't care that this woman was an outcast in society or that she had something "wrong" with her. He saw beyond all that and extended His healing hand through her faithfulness.
And He does the same for us, for you and me, for all men and women everywhere. As we turn to Him, as we trust in Him, as we do the things He asks of us, as we exhibit faith in Him, He heals us.
I know this. With every ounce of everything that is in me, I know this to be true. So turn to the One who can truly save you and He will make you whole.
As of this moment, my plan is to complete a Bachelor of University Studies degree with a minor in Family Studies. Because I am not going to school to secure a job, I felt that this would be a good, well-rounded education for me.
By the time I finish this degree (hopefully in 4 years, but maybe more), I will have 2 children out of high school, one in high school, and one in junior high. This means that I definitely am not opposed to working, as long as I could find something that would allow me to work while the kids are in school. As I have prayed about this, I have one field of work that keeps sticking in my brain. What does that tell me? It's probably something that I should check into...
I feel that if I were to pursue a career, it should be as an LDS Seminary or Institute teacher. It brings a smile to my face whenever I think about it. How cool would it be to teach people about the Savior every day?
More Info about the Pathway Program
Before I close this post, I have to share the website for Pathway, and leave you with this...
If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, active or inactive, and have ever thought about going back to school, you must check into this program. It is inspired. It is incredible. It is life-changing. I cannot say enough wonderful things about it and I will be forever grateful to a loving Father in Heaven for making a program like this available.
This past week, our class studied the first paragraph of The Family: A Proclamation to the World". There is a lot of great info in that one little paragraph and as I mentioned earlier, I was struggling to know exactly what the Lord needed me to share with the dozens of people who read my blog. (A quick shout out to my family and close friends who have stuck with me and my ramblings this far. Thank you so much for your support!)
Before I continue, allow me to share the first paragraph with you...
WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
Again, so many wonderful truths contained in that paragraph, but the one that I would like to focus on today is learned in the very last two words...
We are His children, created in His image, and He loves us.
And because we are His children, He has blessed us with prophets, apostles, and most importantly, a Savior. All whom have taught us and continue to teach us the things that we need to do in order to live with God again.
"Because our Father loves his children, he will not leave us to guess about what matters most in this life concerning where our attention could bring happiness or our indifference bring sadness...We can expect that God won't just tell us a few interesting things about the family; he will tell us what a family ought to be and why."
I Am a Child of God
And now a challenge for you...
*If you have not asked God if you are truly His child, DO IT. What are you waiting for?
It will be okay though. I can do hard things like taking a math class. All will be well and I am actually seeing that my brain is not as rusty as I thought it would be.
And of course, I am absolutely LOVING my religion class. (What?!? Des loves her religion class and is going to tell us about what she is learning in it? That's not like her.) I know, I know. I'm like a broken record with all of this spiritual stuff, but guys! Christ is awesome! I can't help myself!
There is really only one thing that I want to share for this post. I am only choosing to share one thing for a couple of reasons.
1. It is by far, the thing that has touched me the most, spiritually, in this class.
2. It would take me WAY too long to write a post about everything that I have learned so I am only choosing the thing that made my heart sing the most.
I realized something and it's HUGE, my friends. HUGE!
Last week we talked about The Creation, The Fall, and The Atonement. I was the lead student and at the beginning of the week I thought, "This will be a pretty simple lesson because I feel like I know about the Creation and we have talked a lot about the Fall and the Atonement lately." Well, as usual, God said, "You basically know nothing so if you will allow yourself to be humble and let me teach you, that would be great." (Okay, so He didn't say it that way, but you get the picture.)
As I began to study the lesson I realized how much about the Creation of the world and everything in it that I just had not picked up on before. Sure, we know the basics, right? Christ created the world under the direction of the Father and He did it in six days with a day for rest on the seventh day. But it was so much more than that. It was organized and planned carefully. Each thing was created in the order that it needed to be created with everything existing spiritually before it was created temporally. The earth was created specifically for us so that we could be organized in families.
But, I digress. Here is the mind-opening, wonderful, beautiful thing that I realized. It comes from a talk by President Russell M. Nelson entitled "The Creation."
While visiting the British Museum in London one day, I read a most unusual book. It is not scripture. It is an English
Isn't that one of the most beautiful things you have ever read? My new favorite word to describe Christ is "ADVOCATE." He is our advocate with the Father. He stands by our side. He helps us fight our battles. He encourages us and loves us. Yes. Advocate is the perfect description.
But here is the thing that touched my heart the most.
"And He heaved sighs over him daily, saying, 'If I put breath into this [man], he must suffer many pains."
Our loving and caring Father in Heaven loves us so much. I have not ever thought of how hard it must have been for Him to know that we would have to experience sorrow and pain in order to make it back to Him. I know how I feel when I think of my kids getting hurt and it pretty much rips my heart right out of my chest. The way that our Heavenly Father feels about each of His children is 100 billion times deeper than that!
This is what touched my heart. This is what exploded in my brain saying, "Yes. Yes, I do love you that much. Yes, I hate to see you suffer, but I have given you my only Begotten Son to help you during those times. I have provided a way for you to return."
Our Father in Heaven is glorious and I love Him so much.
I have a Christmas miracle story to share with you on this fine Thursday morn.
'Twas the night before the last day of this college semester.
I am so grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I am equally as grateful that I strive to be diligent and consistent in keeping God's commandments and the covenants that I have made with Him so that I can have the Holy Ghost with me at all times. It's sweet moments with the spirit, like the one that I had last night, that help me to know that God truly does love me. He cares about every aspect of my life and wants to help me succeed. As long as I keep living my life in accordance to His will, I know that I will always have His spirit to help me along the path, wherever it may lead me.
Hallelujah Chorus- The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
#LIGHTtheWORLD- Day 15
Jesus Worshipped Through Song and So Can You
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE:
Music is powerful and I have a testimony that God works some of his greatest works through the inspiration of music. I encourage you to participate in this day of celebrating the music of the season of our Savior's birth. I have included some links to past Songs of the Season posts to help you get started. Happy Listening!
OTHER POSTS YOU MAY ENJOY:
Well, no matter. Since I am a couple of weeks behind on my update, I think I will just do the format that I did in my last post, which I actually really liked a lot. Bullet points are great to read quickly and get the point across.
From my Religion Class:
Regarding the Ministry of Christ in the Americas:
*Did you know that Jesus Christ came to the American continents after he died on the cross? He did! Isn't that amazing?
In the Introduction of the Book of Mormon it says this...
"The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after his resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come." [i]
Jesus Christ visited the people living in America after he was resurrected. I know that this happened. How do I know that? Because I have had a special witness from the Holy Spirit telling me that it did. How did I find out about it in the first place? I read about it in the Book of Mormon. 3rd Nephi to be exact (Chapters 10-27) You should check it out. It's ah-mazing.
Regarding Obedience to God's Prophets & the Commandments:
*I know that God speaks through His prophets and I know that we have a living prophet today. Just as God spoke to prophets such as Moses and Abraham, so he speaks to Thomas S. Monson today. Isn't that a wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father? That tells me that He loves me enough to not let me flounder down here on earth without help from above.
"What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heaven and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." -D&C 1:38
I testify that Christ directs His church by giving instruction to the prophet. Sometimes the things that we hear from the prophets may be hard to hear or confusing. That is when we have the wonderful opportunity to take that something, whatever it may be, to the Lord in humble prayer. We have the agency to do that. We don't have to just follow blindly. Sometimes the Lord won't give us the reason behind the problem, but what He can give us is peace; peace in knowing that the He will never allow His prophet to lead us astray.
"We would do well to investigate what the Lord has revealed to His prophets." -Kevin R. Duncan
Investigate. What a perfect word to describe what we should do with the counsel we receive from our prophet and other leaders. May I add another word to that though?
The Lord wants you to be at peace. He can help you feel peace about His teachings and the teachings of His prophets. But we have to go about finding the answers in the way that He has instructed us to do and that includes talking to the Lord through prayer.
From my General Studies class:
*We are the ones who are responsible for our own spiritual & temporal well-being.
And here is one of my favorite quotes from this lesson:
"The development of our spiritual nature should concern us most. Spirituality is the highest acquisition of the soul, the divine in man...It is the consciousness of victory over self and of communion with the infinite. It is spirituality alone which really gives one the best in life." -David O. McKay
Want to learn more about self-reliance for yourself? Check out this website.
*Working increases your sense of self-worth.
And my favorite quote from this lesson:
"So much time
and so little to do!
Strike that, reverse it!"
One of my favorite quotes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it rings true for how the past several weeks of my life have been. I have been happily engaged in lots of good things which have given me little time for blogging about any of them. That's alright though. The world will go on without my blog posts, of this I know.
I have learned SO many things over the past several weeks that it would be impossible for me to write in depth about all of them. Instead, I'm going to give you the condensed, "play-by-play" version.
From my Religion Class:
*Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things. If you consistently feel the need to ask God for signs, then you are not exercising faith.
*We cannot be saved IN our sins because "no unclean thing can inherit God's kingdom & dwell with Him." (Alma 11:32-40)
*In order to qualify for baptism and keep the covenant made at baptism we need to:
Regarding the Sacrament:
My advice to someone who is trying to make the Sacrament a more meaningful part of their own lives:
Regarding the Strengthening & Enabling Power of the Atonement: (my favorite)
"One of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to show...'what great things the Lord hath done' for us. These 'great things' include the divine assistance, strength, and tender mercies that individuals receive through the strengthening & enabling power of Jesus Christ." -from my lesson worksheet :)
Regarding the "Spiritual Wrestle":
*Are you willing to engage in an on-going spiritual wrestle? That's what is takes to gain answers to questions about the gospel.
From my General Studies Class:
Regarding Decision Making & Goal Setting:
*A choice involves making a conscious decision. To make an intelligent decision you need to evaluate all available facts on both sides of an issue. Then you involve prayer & inspiration.
"Just do the best you can each day."
I am loving my second chance at life.
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