What is said is not as important as what we hear and what we feel. That is why we make an effort to experience conference in a setting where the still, small voice of the Spirit can be clearly heard, felt, and understood.
Elder Robert D. Hales
Day 2 - Post a picture of your favorite temple.
This could change throughout my life, after the temple in my state is completed, or based on where I sere my mission, or get sealed, or who-knows-what, but for now it’s gotta be the Louisville Kentucky Temple. This is my home temple. It’s the first temple I ever saw in person, the first (and for now the only) I’ve ever entered. I have received so much knowledge here. I love the feeling I get when I walk through the door, the way the feeling of the air just changes and the Holy Spirit descends more fully upon you. I’ve had so many sweet experiences here. It will always be one of the most special places on Earth. It really is a house of the Lord.
I hope they call me on a mission when I have grown a week or two…
Now behold, a marvelous work is already coming forth among the children of men; for behold the field is white already to harvest! (D&C 4) I AM GOING ON A MISSION. LIKE, SOON MAYBE!
Let’s forget basically everything you/I knew about my plans. The miracles of General Conference and personal revelation have befallen me.
I should begin at the beginning.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)
Okay, okay… ~fast forward~
October September 28, 2013: I am in the chapel of my meetinghouse/stake center, earnestly viewing the General Relief Society Meeting broadcast. Thomas Spencer Monson, Prophet of The Lord is speaking. A thought enters my humble mind… (I have been job hunting for approximately one month at this time.) It suddenly occurs to me that a great many businesses will be hiring seasonal employees soon, and that those positions usually last until around January. I could easily get a seasonal job, save some more money, and leave on my mission when my job is over.
I ponder. I pray. I fast. I am excited. But I am cautious. The last thing I want is to drown out what the Holy Spirit is really telling me with my own ideas and desires…
(Switching tenses because the scene has been set and I’m tired of writing pest events in the present tense. Forgive me.)
I decided not to “make a decision” (Because it’s not up to me really—whatever the Holy Ghost says goes.) until General Conference, though I was pretty sure I’d have an answer by then.
All week I’d been feeling good about what was happening. I was studying it out in my mind like crazy. (D&C 9:8) I could feel the Lord preparing me for something. My eyes and mind were being opened. Scriptural questions I’d been struggling with for years (temple questions even!) were very suddenly being answered. But Satan was definitely in there too. I could feel him pulling at me like never before in my life. It was difficult because sometimes emotional excitement can feel like the Holy Spirit (it can even come from the Holy Spirit) but on the other hand, sometimes fear/nerves can feel like a stupor of thought. (D&C 9:9)
On Friday I got a phone call for a job interview. The interview was scheduled for the next day, just half an hour after the Saturday morning session of Conference.
Typically this job has a two interview hiring process. But I was offered the job during my first/only interview.
This was the very position with the very company that came to my mind when I had my original thought while President Monson was speaking. And I it had been given to me in less than a week. This was the final piece of the puzzle. I had my answer.
I’ll have full-time hours with the probability of overtime. This is by far the best paying job I’ve ever had. I’ll be working in the same place as Ben, so I’ll get an extra bit of time with him before I leave. This is perfect in so many ways. How much shall our Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11) I could not have dreamed up such scenario. I testify that He knows each one of us. He is so aware of our needs, and he is so unbelievably willing to bless us beyond measure.
So what’s next? Finishing my papers. I basically just need a doctor and a dentist to sign off on them and a couple of interviews. If my availability is February, then I can submit my papers this month! I could have my call by early November and be through the temple by Thanksgiving! This is happening so quickly (and I’m sure there will be some time-consuming bumps in the road), but I know this is right. I’ve been longing and preparing for all of this for so long. I’m so happy.
Putting in my papers now may not even result in me leaving early. I could easily get a call to report to the MTC in May (my original availability). But I’m opening myself up more fully to the Lord and his plan for me. He’ll give me the time I need to prepare, and I’ll go where he wants me to go when he wants me to go there. His will be done, not mine. That’s the best feeling.
Good morning! Happy Fast Sunday! :)
You should share your testimony with someone today, even if it’s not during sacrament meeting. You’ll feel the Spirit and you won’t regret it. I promise.
A brief note on the importance of hymns
Of course hymns are inspirational. They invite the Holy Spirit into a setting. They can add joy to glad times and they can be extremely comforting in times of trouble. I can’t understate how helpful it’s been for me to know even the most basic hymns recently. I’m only going to share one example for now but there have been many.
I’ve actually found myself directly quoting hymns in prayer. (Praying and singing hymns are two forms of worship, after all, and they really don’t have to be very different.) I seems almost every day lately I find myself pleading for Heavenly Father, word for word, to
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
(I Am a Child of God)
And I can feel the Spirit responding,
Be thou humble in thy weakness, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee,
Shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayers.
Be thou humble in thy pleading, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee,
Shall bless thee with a sweet and calm assurance that he cares.
(Be Thou Humble)
And that’s been exactly what I’ve needed. I know God is there. I know he listens and I know he’ll lead me perfectly if I let him. He will not fail me. And that is the sweetest of all assurances.
Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?
Friends who build up your testimony
I have a friend called Victoria. We’ve known each other for less than a year but she has quickly become one of the best friends I’ve ever had. In about ten minutes she’ll be set apart and blessed as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the most important things I’ve learned from our friendship is that no matter where you are or by what means you’re communicating you can bring the Spirit to someone by sharing Gospel truth. A friendship where this is a regular occurrence is precious and rare. If you’ve got a friend like this, cherish them. Because there’s a good chance you’ll have to go 18 months to two years without them. ;) The upside is that there are always letters. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
When I was Sharing and teaching the Gospel it felt like I was home.