Today is Fast Sunday, meaning all our wards held (or are holding) Fast and Testimony Sacrament meetings. I was blessed this morning to hear some profound statements by men and women who, just like each of us, are simply trying to make it through life the best they can. These men and women, however, have chosen to use the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a tool to help them do so.
One speaker in particular that I was blessed to hear from was Elder Lund of our local Area Seventy. He didn’t have a specific speaking or administrative assignment today, so he took the opportunity to meet with our Stake President and have Sacrament with my ward (the Provo YSA 184th ward). At the end of the meeting, he was given time to speak to and share his testimony with us. I’d like to share a few things that he shared with us:
- Sometimes it feels like we are doing back flips into the abyss (an analogy from the testimony prior to his) without someone to catch us, but there is always someone to catch us, we just might not be able to see Him.
- Fear dissipates when we view life from an Eternal perspective.
- Satan has no power over tomorrow. That’s why he’s so focused on destroying us today by preventing us from looking forward and thinking about future consequences.
- (Sharing an observation made by Elder Bednar) When Satan had the Savior’s attention in the wilderness, all of his temptations focused on trying to get the Savior to look inward. After this period of temptation, Christ heard that his cousin, John the Baptist, was in prison. The KJV says that angels ministered to Christ. The JST states that Christ sent angels to minister to John (Matt 4:11/footnote a). Christ’s instinct was not to look inward, but to look outside himself and help others.
- Now is the time to get back on track and get our lives in order.
- If your life is in order, know that Satan hates you and will do all he can to try to bring you down. (But we are stronger and we can overcome those temptations as Christ did.)
Some other insights that were shared by various members of both the 184th ward and the 79th/80th/81st wards:
Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Other times, He lets the storm rage on and He calms His child.
A life without trials is not a life that will get us to the Celestial Kingdom.
Satan doesn’t want us to grow and develop. He doesn’t inspire thoughts or feelings that motivate us to want to change, repent, and be better. Those promptings come from the Spirit.
Temples are a celestial embassy where we go to plead for citizenship in the Kingdom of God. (I’m going to ask for the exact quote for this one because it was stunningly beautiful. I literally stared at the speaker in amazement and whispered “wow.”)
We start out as body-governed spirits, but our goal throughout life is to become spirit-governed bodies.
We choose our happiness.
I know that The Church of Jesus Christ is the Lord’s true church on the earth today. The Gospel of Jesus Christ holds so many profound and simple truths which can help us every single day as we strive to become more and more like our Savior. Living a Christlike life is never easy (it wasn’t easy for Christ or His disciples and it is not easy for us in modern times), but it is worth every effort and sacrifice. It is the only way to find true joy and lasting happiness.