Monday, September 22, 2008

Long-winded thoughts on a Monday night

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a bishop in our church is a leader placed over a geographical area called a “Ward”. He is responsible to offer spiritual and temporal guidance for the ward area. We believe that Bishops are called of God, through inspiration to our other leaders. The bishop donates his time, never receiving wages for his service. This calling can take up the same amount of time as a full time job, which these men continue to do in addition to their church work. So, when our bishop speaks, I listen. I know he is called of God and if I heed his council, I will find greater happiness. Sometimes the spirit bears witness to my heart immediately that what the bishop is saying is correct. Sometimes, I have to go home, think and ponder about the message, then after prayer, I come to know that his guidance was correct.

Yesterday the Bishop spoke to the congregation. I love when we get to hear from him. There is a spirit that fills the room and speaks to my heart like no other time. There were many things that he asked us to continue doing. Continue gathering food storage, continue to share the message of the gospel, stay out of debt (“no” on the new van for nowJ) and much more. There was one scripture he repeated several times, which stuck in my heart.

It is from the Doctrine & Covenants chapter 82:10. I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

The Lord has given us commandments. These commandments, if followed, will bring us more joy than we can fathom. He has promised us peace, comfort, love. He has promised us, “peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) He promised us we would receive comfort and peace. That means it WILL happen.

“But,” some may ask, “Why am I not receiving peace? Why am I in such turmoil?” The simple answer is that we have to do our part. If we want to receive all the Lord has, including His peace, we have to do His will. Then, we are promised, He is BOUND to keep His promise.

John 7:17 shares a similar principle, “If any man will do my will, He shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.” A person may claim that they have not received a testimony of the existence of a God. But, if I am interpreting this scripture correctly, they must first live the way God would desire them. Then they can receive a confirmation from the spirit that His existence is real. He is BOUND to this promise. He is BOUND to reveal his truth to us. It will happen. We have to believe it will.

In our church, there are many doctrines that some may take issue with. I know some who don’t have anything against the church per se, but they do not believe its doctrine of… such and such.
Here’s the thing, pure and simple, if we want to understand a principle, gain a testimony of something, or receive peace, we HAVE to do what the Lord has outlined for us. And that is when He will be bound to His promise. That is when we will have our answer, our testimony, our peace.

Whether we need to know if our sins are truly washed away through the atonement, whether or not we should follow the council to gather and store food, or that there is a God in Heaven that loves us, the answer is there. He has promised He will not leave us alone. He will not leave us comfortless. But we can not look to the world for our answers, we must trust the Lord will comfort us in His own way. He has promised us and is BOUND as long as we do His will.
Sometimes, it is especially hard for us to see these things. Sometimes, we can think ourselves out of believing because it doesn’t make sense logically. Sometimes, we give up because we figure we have already committed so many sins that there is no hope for us. Sometimes, there is a doctrine that doesn’t set well with us and we let it fester until it extinguishes our flame of testimony. Sometimes, we may feel so alone that we are unable to feel the tender arms of our Savior surround us.

If your heart is aching, if you feel as though you are lost, too far gone… remember He is bound. Our loving Father in Heaven will NEVER turn away a sincere prayer. It isn’t going to happen. What parent would say, “Tough bananas!” when they are approached by a child with a broken heart. For those who say, “I tried, I didn’t get and answer.” I would dare say try again and again.

A gymnast doesn’t make it to the Olympics simply by thinking long and hard then going to a couple practices. Our knees must hit the floor daily, sincerely, over and over again. Our hearts must turn to Him daily. Our minds must be clear of the world. The answer will come.

I know there is a God. I know that His Son is my Savior. He offered himself willingly to help me overcome death and sin. There is an enabling power that comes with this sacrifice. A power to overcome loneliness, a power to overcome sin, a power to KNOW that you are loved beyond measure. He has promised He will not leave us alone. We have to believe that. We have to do our best to live His teachings.

These are the thoughts that have been brewing since hearing our Bishop speak. I hope that I can remember these feelings and what we have been promised.

1 comment:

Loni's Argyle Socks said...

My sister emailed me a link to this post. Thank you for sharing.