Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 10 - {my testimony}

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I am home sick today, with a severe cold or maybe it's a mild flu. Anyway, I have aches and drips and a bad cough, so unfortunately I am missing today's meetings. My amazing DC got the boys ready and took them, and also will play the piano for the meetings, as I was supposed to be playing the organ. I {heart} you, DC!

 

100 days of gratitude tag

 

I'm sure most of you know that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Every first Sunday of the month for us in the Church is "Fast Sunday", which means members fast for two meals, and then give the money saved by not eating to the Church to be used to help those in need. (This is beyond the principle of tithing, which we pay regularly based on our income).

During our worship service on Fast Sunday, after partaking of the Sacrament, we are given the opportunity to stand and share our witness of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have only done so twice since Benjamin's death. It is very hard for me to share such deep feelings without bringing to the surface overwhelming emotions that make it hard to talk. But today I had been semi-planning to do so, until waking up ill. . . .

Maybe sharing it this way will be easier--or at least less damp!:)

Of countless blessings Heavenly Father has given me, I consider my testimony to be one of the most precious. It sustained me through the difficulties of my teenage and young adult years, and helped me to choose good things that will forever bless me and my posterity.

But over the past year, which has undoubtedly been the hardest time I have ever experienced, my testimony has become means of sheer survival. I have clung to it as the knowledge of my only hope. I share it now as my "pearl of great price." 

{tears already beginning to stream down my face, thereby enhancing my congestion at an alarming rate} :)

I know that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and my truest Friend. I know that He came to earth as the immortal Son of God yet also the mortal son of Mary. As such, He was willing and able to give His life for all of Father's children, and then take it up again, thus shattering the consequences of the grave! This has always been a source of great comfort to me, but my knowledge of it has been tested by the experience of burying my beautiful little baby boy. As I stood there at his grave after he was lowered into the ground, I was filled with an unearthly peace. There were angels surrounding me then.

In the months since that time, I could not always feel angels nearby. I have had to lean on knowledge through the ministrations of the Holy Ghost.

imageIn less heavenly moments, that knowledge is still there, and it reaches to the deepest roots of my heart. I know, better than I know anything else, that the end of this life is not the end. That I will hold Benjamin in my arms again, and this time feel his warmth and see his eyes smiling at me. That when we are all reunited, it will be never to say goodbye again.

Jesus Christ has also conquered hell and the consequences of sin. I try so hard, but I am so human. I forget things. I get mad. I fail at things He has asked me to do. I hurt people's feelings by accident, and shamefully, even on purpose sometimes. I could never live in the presence of my perfect Father again, if it were not for Jesus' suffering as He paid for my mistakes. This deepest love that He showed all of us gives me the hope of being clean and worthy through repentance, so that I can have the dearest wishes of my heart of being with Him and my family forever.

It also makes me worthy now to have His Spirit with me, whose comfort I so desperately need.

I bear witness of Heavenly Father's infinite love for us. He loves His children on earth today just as much as in ancient imagetimes. I bear testimony that He and His Son appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in answer to a prayer. Joseph was confused and wanting to know which church to join. He went to the woods near his home in upstate New York to find a quiet place for this fervent prayer of his heart.

I'm sure he had never dreamed that the results of this prayer would affect millions of lives around the world! He was called to be a prophet and bring forth a new testament of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon. It is through the Book of Mormon that I know Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God, and that this Church is truly our Savior's Church.

As it has been translated into over a hundred languages and taken to countries I have never seen, it has been tested again and again and found to be the word  of God. I love the Bible and I  love the Book of Mormon. Both bring me closer to God and keep me connected to Him during my time away from Him. If you have not read the Book of Mormon, you should!!! It testifies of Christ and strengthens the truthfulness of the Bible! It is true. Email me or leave a comment with your address and I will send you one. :)

The ripple effect of Joseph Smith's vision has brought Heavenly Father's greatest blessings to the earth--the Priesthood authority and temples, where families can be sealed for eternity. Those are big enough that I need to save them for a separate Day of Gratitude post.

Finally, I want to share with you that I know we have a prophet leading Christ's Church today*.

This is my testimony, and I'm so grateful for it!

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*His name is Thomas S. Monson, and he will be speaking to us tonight at the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. It will be broadcast at 7pm CST over satellite on Dish Network (channel 9403) and the Internet, if you would like to watch. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and orchestra will perform, and they always show the beautiful lights on Temple Square, too!

12/9/08 UPDATE: I am so sorry I forgot to credit the pictures! Here are my sources:

Tack-o-Rama

Greg Olsen "Forgiven"

Walter Rane "The Desires of My Heart"

Wikimedia

14 comments:

Becky said...[Reply to comment]

Thank you for sharing your testimony, Michelle!

Kara said...[Reply to comment]

I hope you get better soon. You have a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing.

Marc and Megan said...[Reply to comment]

Michelle - your feelings and convictions are so beautifully expressed here. thank you so much for sharing them with me... i needed to read them today.

OR Duck Fans said...[Reply to comment]

Michelle - What a great idea to share your testimony on your blog. I enjoyed reading it and the was touched by the spirit while reading it. Lashelle

Jennifer said...[Reply to comment]

Thank you so much for sharing. I'm truely strenghtened by reading your thoughts (I'm a little more congested now too.) Missed you today. We wish you a speedy recovery.

Christian Baker said...[Reply to comment]

Michelle- I'm so grateful that you have so much faith. Life would be so much harder without the gentle but real assurances of the Spirit, and your choosing to follow them. I love you!

Vauna said...[Reply to comment]

Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. I hope you feel better soon. I'm glad you have the understanding that the gospel gives. One thing I'm learning is that the atonement encompasses so much more than giving us the ability to repent. Through Christ's atonement our hearts can heal when we have been hurt or wronged by others. It also enables us to become so much more than we can possibly become on our own, so much more God-like. Through the atonement God is refining you, purifying you like Gold.

Mom/Nana/A. Nancy said...[Reply to comment]

What a strong, powerful testimony! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I'm so grateful you have such a love of the Gospel, of our Savior, of our living Prophet and of the Scriptures. I felt the Spirit confirming to me the truthfulness of your testimony. Get well soon. Call when you have a chance and feel like visiting.

Natalie.Rob.Branson said...[Reply to comment]

Thank you Michelle...I needed this tonight. I needed the spirit it brought as I read about this life not being the end...I am so thankful we know that! You are a beautiful, strong daughter of God.

Flamingo said...[Reply to comment]

Thank you Michelle for sharing such a wonderful testimony. I could feel The Spirit as I read it and I am grateful you put it into words. I am very grateful to have a friend like you!

Andre said...[Reply to comment]

I, too, felt the Spirit when I read this. THank you for sharing. Where do you get your pictures at?

You asked me how I will incorporate Austin into our Christmas. I'm having a hard time dealing with the secular stuff. But I have a stocking that my mom put his name on, we bought an ornament that has his name on it, and I want to get a gift for him and on Christmas go to the cemetary and give it to him. My husband wants to get a small tree to put at his grave. What do you do for Benjamin?

SWIRL said...[Reply to comment]

Thank you for sharing that.
Thanks for stopping by- it's good to see you out and about.. (if blogging can be considered "out and about" tee hee hee.)

{{{hugs}}}}

Andrea said...[Reply to comment]

Beautiful. Thank you. I am glad you shared it hear, because of my sickness as well I would not have been strengthened like I just have been. Thanks for your words. You are a great writer. Where do you find your neat pictures?

Jen said...[Reply to comment]

We love you, Michelle! We feel strengthened by your testimony. Get better soon.