Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Leap of Faith

As I was reading in the Conference edition of the Ensign, I came across a talk entitled, "Get On With Our Lives" by Elder Steven E. Snow. The full article can be found at lds.org under gospel library if you are interested in reading it in its entirety, but I thought immediately of the change that sometimes seems to be forced upon us. It sometimes seems a bit like this:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I feel that this change offers so much opportunity for growth and learning. It can be a really difficult thing to undergo change, we feel that we have to keep things the same, have a sense of the norm being good, but how can we truly go from our "natural man" state to becoming like Christ without a hefty dose of CHANGE?

Elder Snow states that there are four simple ways we can prepare for and face change. The first is to follow the words of the prophets. Sometimes it may seem difficult to follow the prophet and their council, but as we do, we find peace and direction. In the primary song, "Follow the Prophet", it simply states, "We can get direction all along our way, if we heed the prophets- follow what they say." The second way is through keeping an eternal perspective. Sometimes much easier said than done. As we focus on the here and now, we lose focus on what is really important. Is moving away from friends as important as working towards eternal things? Or is losing a job, as terrible as it is, as bad as not living with your family forever? Keeping an eternal perspective helps us to focus on where we REALLY are headed. The third way Elder Snow says we can prepare for change is having faith. President Gordon B. Hinckley stated that we should "move forward with faith". We are often counseled that we sometimes don't know where we are headed, but that as we take that "leap of faith" the answers, peace and assurance will come. Even in the bible we learn that faith will guide us. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 Paul teaches the people of Corinth that "...we walk by faith, not by sight." It always reminds me of a clip from an Indiana Jones movie where he comes to a cliff and there isn't a way across. His father says from the other room, "You must believe boy, you must believe"... and then Indie takes his leap of faith to find an invisible path across the cliff. (The clip can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-c8_OFwZoY)

It's not easy, but as we take the "leap of faith", we can find the path we didn't see before.

Finally, Elder Snow tells us to BE OF GOOD CHEER! What a great thing! Laughter through our hard times can bring so much joy and love to our homes and our hearts. I know that there are many people in my life, including myself, who are dealing with change right now. I hope that we can all remember that as the changes come, and they inevitably will, that there is a reason and a purpose through the change in our lives.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Do you have any small stories or parts of your testimony that you would like to share with friends, family, and those interested in the gospel? If so, we invite you to contribute to our blog. Please submit any short, gospel-centered experiences to particlesoffaith@gmail.com. We appreciate any submissions as well as any suggestions on how to make this blog a more meaningful tool to spread messages about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Opening Our Hearts

This is somewhat of a continuation on my 'Give a Care' post. I was listening to a General Conference talk given by Gerald Lund while I was driving home from work yesterday, and I felt grateful for his perspective on the importance of allowing our hearts to be softened and receptive to the Holy Ghost:

"The heart is a tender place. It is sensitive to many influences, both positive and negative. It can be hurt by others. It can be deadened by sin. It can be softened by love. Early in our lives, we learn to guard our hearts. It is like we erect a fence around our hearts with a gate in it. No one can enter that gate unless we allow him or her to.

In some cases the fence we erect around our hearts could be likened to a small picket fence with a Welcome sign on the gate. Other hearts have been so hurt or so deadened by sin that they have an eight-foot (2.5-m) chain-link fence topped with razor wire around them. The gate is padlocked and has a large No Trespassing sign on it.

. . . I say again, the condition of our hearts directly affects our sensitivity to spiritual things. Let us make it a part of our everyday striving to open our hearts to the Spirit. Since we are the guardians of our hearts, we can choose to do so. We choose what we let in or hold out."

During the talk, he encourages us to purify our hearts and avoid setting our hearts upon the things of the world. Then we can be partakers of the Lord's promise that "the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers." (Doctrine and Covenants 112:10)

I know that God will never force or coerce us to believe in Him or to follow Him -- it is up to us to soften our hearts. When we choose to let go of our fear, our pride, our sin, our skepticism, our old hurts, or whatever it is that keeps our hearts padlocked, He will send His Holy Spirit to whisper peace and truth to our hearts. Our love for Him and for others will increase, as well as a true understanding that we are God's children and that He loves us. Again I know, and have experienced, that in yielding our hearts to God, there is nothing to fear and everything to gain. He follows through on every promise and simply desires to give us all He has.

Elder Lund's talk can be found, along with other General Conference addresses, at lds.org.