Friday, December 20, 2013

Once And For All

I personally find it to be beyond incredible that the most influential person in the world was born in a manger. Despite the humble circumstances of His birth, Jesus Christ has brought hope and joy into the lives of an innumerable host of God's children and continues to do so 2,000 years after his birth. Though I may have never met the Prince of Peace in this life, and I may not have been with the Son of Man on the Mount of Transfiguration, I know now as surely as I would have if I saw the Man Of Sorrows hanging on the cross, that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of my soul. I have been filled with his peace and love as I have prayed in earnest communion with my God for a remission of my sins; I have felt the comfort of his spirit as I have pondered in his Holy House, the Temple of God, and I know that he knows me by name and he has felt my pain. My testimony has come to me slowly and progressively over time, but it has come to the point that I do not doubt that I am living the life that my Heavenly Father would have me live.

Three things in particular have carried my faith to the point that it is at right now. The first would be the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The Second is the joy and happiness that fills my heart and soul as I live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and go to the temple. The third would be how as I ask questions and as I study all aspects of science I find that all truth completely agrees with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would like to elaborate on those particular aspects of my testimony.

There is a promise given by the prophet Moroni roughly 1600 years ago. It is found in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon. It is as follows,
"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
That is a powerful challenge with an incredible promise. It got to the point in my life that I felt that I needed to take Moroni's challenge. As I read the Book of Mormon I felt the spirit of God enter into my life, pre-preemptively testifying of the truthfulness of that Book. Finally I found myself in the shoes of Joseph Smith escaping to the very same grove of trees to approach my Father in humble prayer. As I prayed I didn't receive a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ, but rather I felt the burning of the Spirit in my heart and to my mind came the comforting words, you know that these things are true, now see that you do them. From that point on I have never once doubted the divinity of the Book of Mormon, and I never will doubt it because it truly is the words of Jesus Christ.

My next experience is that of Joy and Happiness. My great-great-great grandfather, Alfred Cordon joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Liverpool, England shortly after the first missionaries arrived in the country. I had the opportunity to read his journals and to hear in his own words the story of his conversion, and the point he truly knew that the church was true without any doubt. Due to the nature of his story I will keep it brief and scarce in detail. I will say that it was in December and only six months after he had joined the church, and shortly after he had been ordained to the office of Elder. It was a scary night in which the life of his beloved wife, Emma, was threatened. The Devil saw that my grandpa was weak during this emotionally and mentally difficult time. He proceeded to cast doubt upon his mind filling his head with hopeless lies. My grandpa writes of a mental battle that took place throughout the night. As he reached the early morning when the world was awaking, he began to be filled with the strength as he recounted the joy and happiness that the Gospel had brought into his life. He reasoned that something that brought such beautiful joy into his life had to be true, and it must be of God. With the dawn of a new day arose a new man filled with the Spirit of God. With faith and confidence he blessed his wife with the authority of God that he held and she was healed that morning. Similarly to my great-great-great grandfather I too have experienced a life changing joy that fills my souls and calms my mind with the knowledge that what I am doing is right and is pleasing to the eye of God.

The way I look at life is that I will search for all truth and embrace it. Truth is true regardless of the source from whence it sprang (I think that is a quote I heard once). In this church you are not discouraged against asking questions in fact it is encouraged. As I have delved into the depth of understanding and pierced the veil of common knowledge I have found that the Gospel of Jesus Christ that has been restored by Joseph Smith, is taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is found in the Book of Mormon is beautiful, complete, and perfect. You will receive answers to questions of your soul that will resonate with the cords of truth that form the foundation of your religious testimony. I am eager to learn and grow in the gospel and for the answers that I will continue to receive on my path to enlightenment. Which fittingly is a bright path full of confidence because I know that answers will come and it will meticulously agree with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I still have much life ahead of me and many trying experiences that will grow my testimony. I look forward to the trials ahead knowing that if I remain faithful I will be delivered from them all in due time, and that God will mold me into more of a man than I ever could be come on my own.  I want it to be known once and for all, forever and always, that I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ the Son of God, and that I will remain faithful to his divine cause for the rest of my life. I know that Jesus is the Christ and I know that through him we can receive a fullness of joy. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment