Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Taking That Step of Faith

This morning I got to go to seminary and share a few insights to the junior class! It was pretty similar to what I talked about to the senior's but I felt like I should reiterate the topic again. What I focused on was "taking a step into the darkness with faith" and why it's important to do it WITH faith. I used an analogy that I made up:

Imagine you are getting ready for bed. You get up to turn off your light but know the second you click the switch, your room is going to be completely pitched dark. Whenever I turn off my light, the first thing I do is reach my hand out and feel for something that's familiar. The second I know what it is I'm touching, I can always tell how many steps I have to take or the direction I have to jump in to make it safely into my bed. The same is with Heavenly Father! When we step into the darkness, we need to HOLD ON TO HIM! We need to reach out our hand to Him and grab on tight and know that however long the journey (trial) He will eventually lead us to the end of the tunnel and we will see the light.

I asked them what are some ways that we can build our testimonies and help us prepare for those moments where we will have to take that step of faith into really...the unknown. The four that I focused on with them were prayer, reading your scriptures, attending the temple, and writing in your journal.

Prayer: Not only is it important to say our prayers every night but it is just as important to say them every morning. I know, it's hard! I just started this past semester to finally say my morning prayers and it took a personal challenge in my Doctrine and Covenants class to really do it. Prayer is the only way where we can directly communicate to our Heavenly Father. If we work on saying our prayers, we will gain a stronger relationship with Him. Now, we can't just "say our prayers" but we need to be sincere with our prayers. Be direct! Be thoughtful! Give thanks! and most importantly...don't rush :) Doesn't it bother you when someone calls you and is distracted or not focused during the conversation and you wonder, "Why did you even call me??"...I don't know exactly how Heavenly Father thinks but I would assume it would be something like that. I know He loves to hear from His children but I'm sure He would love it more if we sincerely pray to Him :)

Scriptures: READ THEM EVERY DAY! I promise you that the scriptures can give you comfort, can give you answers, and can give you knowledge. I just started reading my scriptures every morning at the start of the new year. I love it! I can't imagine my mornings without literally rolling out of bed to fall on my knees and THEN to read the scriptures. I just read a chapter or even a few columns but the point of the matter is is that we do it. We do it because we are commanded to feast upon the scriptures to gain truth and knowledge.

Temple: I went to Rexburg for 5 semesters and I didn't go to the temple as much as I should have. The temple literally is a 1-2 minute drive from both apartments I've lived at. It's only a good 10-15 minute walk. When will I ever live so close to the temple again? The Oakland temple is a good 27-30 minute drive from Pleasanton. We must go regularly! Not only is there important work that needs to be done there but it will be a place of refuge from the world for us. It will become a place that we can go to knowing that we will feel the presence of our Heavenly Father. It will become a place to go to in order to receive answers, personal revelation, and love. I love the temple and it has been a source of strength to me during the most difficult times of my life and I know that it can do the same for you.

Journal: Okay...if you know me I LOVE journals! I have so many of them lying around my room that I can't wait to share to my children one day. We should write down any spiritual experience we have in order for us to remember them. When you're going through a hard trial...pull out that journal and read it and you will be reminded of the wonderful blessings that Heavenly Father has poured into your life. Write down the trials you go through as well. I know that it's been a great way for me to reflect on my life and to see the type of person I was before the trial and how much I've grown from it. Heavenly Father gives us experiences to progress towards perfection and I feel that those experiences include those difficult trials. It's also a great thing to pass on to your children! I'm sure they are going to want to know the type of person you were at their age and it can be a source of comfort to them as well.

From personal experience, I know that if we try to do at least one of these things and work towards strengthening it, it will help tremendously during those times where we have to step into the darkness in faith knowing that Heavenly Father is going to be there every step of the way.


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