Wednesday, February 25, 2009

El Libro de Mormon

I was working on a remodel at one of our Church buildings and some guy came by asking for money and food. I had a little chicken in the fridge and heated it up for him, but didn't give him any money. That's easy since I don't have any. But I remembered having a Spanish Book of Mormon in my truck and gave it to him with a piece of chicken and a bottled water.

I don't have any idea if he will be interested in the book, but I was surprised that I was able to talk to him in Spanish. That hasn't happened since my mission - and I was English speaking. This reminds me that there are opportunities all around to share the gospel if I will just keep my eyes open.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Experience in Utah

Since my husband, Kemp, and I have moved to Utah we have been introduced to the "culture shock" of the area. We have never been around so many LDS. Earlier this week we were driving around looking for apartments and we went down one street that had 2 church buildings within a block of each other. We continued a few more blocks and saw a 3rd meeting house. We finally found a house for rent next to some of our friends that we met at Southern Virginia University. Although they are right across the street from us, they are not in our ward. There are 4 different wards in our neighborhood! It's amazing!

We have both been raised in the church, but there seems to be a difference in the LDS here than in Idaho (where Kemp is from) or Texas (where I am from). This isn't a good or bad thing necessarily, but the church is a constant figure here in Utah. When we went to Home Depot, we were helped by a non-LDS man who moved to Utah from Las Vegas. He mentioned that some people in the area are very critical of those with other beliefs. This was somewhat disappointing to us because we always thought that Mormons are the "nice people". Of course we don't fully understand the circumstances, but I hope for the LDS to know that as they sincerely share their beliefs they can also be offensive.

Members of the church must realize that they can share their beliefs, but cannot force it on anyone. Our faith is designed to be bring a fullness of joy to life. It is a spiritual experience between the Lord and those who are investigating the church. The LDS community has been nothing but friendly since we have moved here, but we are already members. I hope that we can reach out to those in a more subtle way to help them find their way to happiness.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Following the Prophet

In a talk given at BYU in 1973, Harold B. Lee had some interesting things to say. The thing that stood out most to me was this:
The measure of your true conversion and whether or not you hold fast to those ideals is whether or not you are so living that you see the power of God resting upon the leaders of this Church and that the testimony goes down into your heart like fire.
Fast and Testimony meeting yesterday got me thinking about something related. I realized more specifically than ever before how it is continued obedience to the counsels of living prophets that brings the greatest blessings.

After high school, I followed the prophet's direction by going on a mission. That decision has blessed my life immensely. But yesterday, I realized that it would not benefit me any if I didn't listen to the prophet now.

Specifically, in October 2006, President Hinckley gave counsel to the men of the Church to get as much education as we could. Because of that talk, I went back to school to get my masters degree. I am amazed at the growth experiences I had while studying a demanding curriculum. In the month since graduating, I have already seen so many doors and opportunities opened to me that have blessed my life.

Going on a mission is vital to the good things I have done in my life since then, but I would miss out on so much had I not again heeded a prophet's call directly to me. I needed the mission experience to prepare me for what I have done since, but that was only the foundation. In the decade since I first started preparing for my mission, I have been faced with several transition points.

While imperfect, I have tried to always choose the right. Because of that, I still have claim on the blessings that started with my mission. And now I have claim on blessings from two college degrees and years of practice teaching in various settings in the Church.

The next time I hear that call, I plan on responding. That will allow the blessings of my mission and my education to continue to grow so "that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance" (Alma 29:9).