A couple of weeks ago I heard someone say that with increased vision comes increased motivation. For some reason this really hit a chord with me. It got me thinking that in order to live the gospel with full obedience, you need to catch the vision of the Gospel. Then I realized.... in order to really catch the vision of the gospel, you need to realize you have no other choice but to rely completely on the Lords help.
My life had been fairly easy growing up with all of the things I needed provided for me. I had a happy home with a happy life and never seemed to have ar problem that I couldn’t fix myself without a bit of hard work. It wasn’t until I got sick that I realized I couldn’t solve all of my problems.
One day I decided that I had had it. I decided that I was giving up on the Gospel because I didn’t feel like God was doing his part. I remember driving home and thinking "Lord this problem is too big for me. If you were truly there you would have taken it away." I let myself for a moment think that perhaps God really wasn't there. I can genuinely say that that moment was the worst moment of my life. I felt dark and hollowed out and like there was genuinely no hope. That is when I realized that I needed him more than I needed anything else. I could go two years without my dreams coming true, but I couldn't go two minutes without the basic belief that there was a God, and that he loved me. The time following this experience had a myriad of ups and downs in my feeling peace with what God had in store for me, but I found that as I exercised my faith, the strength the Lord gave me made my life easier.
“The combination of trials and their duration are as varied as are the children of Heavenly Father. No two are alike, but what is being tested is the same, at all times in our lives and for every person: will we do whatsoever the Lord our God will command us?”-President Eyring
The desire to live all of his commandments perfectly because you NEED his daily guidance and blessings to keep your head above water is a valuable thing. Through complete desperation I learned that I truly needed God. And I knew that while his love was always there, certain blessings were dependent on my willingness to obediently living the Gospel.
I won't pretend that I live things perfectly in any way, the atonement is certainly a VERY close friend of mine, but....
This is where I caught the vision.
In this last conference Elder Richard G. Scott gave a talk that I gave a lesson on in relief society today. (woah talk inside of a talk inception) I'd like to share a little bit of it on the blog today.
In his talk Elder Scott said:
“Our Father in Heaven has given us tools to help us come unto Christ and exercise faith in His Atonement. When these tools become fundamental habits, they provide the easiest way to find peace in the challenges of mortality.”
Number 1 on that is is....
“As you exercise agency and include Him in every aspect of your daily life, your heart will begin to fill with peace, buoyant peace. That peace will focus an eternal light on your struggles. It will help you to manage those challenges from an eternal perspective.”
Question: What are some times that you guys have found that prayer had shined a brighter light on your struggles and gave them an eternal perspective?
Every day of my life I find that as I sincerely pray to my Father in Heaven to give me perspective in all that I experience, I find that little by little and piece by piece I am taught what all of this is for.
Number 2 is.....
“Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!”
Ok so this is something that always seems to get me when someone teaches this. In all honesty how much more time do I spend on Instagram then I do on my scriptures? What blessings am I robbing myself of when I decide not to read for lack of time, but I have scrolled through my entire feed that day?
Question: Does anyone else feel this way??
I add my voice with this promise: as you dedicate time every day, personally and with your family, to the study of God’s word, peace will prevail in your life. That peace won’t come from the outside world. It will come from within your home, from within your family, from within your own heart. It will be a gift of the Spirit. It will radiate out from you to influence others in the world around you. You will be doing something very significant to add to the cumulative peace in the world.
Question: Have any of you had time where you have felt like because of the peace the scriptures gave you, you were able to help bring peace to others?
The other day my mom told me that she had always wanted an experience like so many people share in testimony meeting where they open their scriptures up, and the first thing they read is an exact answer to their prayers. She had never had this happen until the other day she went to the temple seeking for some direction in how to help me. She said she asked God if he was remembering Haley. If he was remembering how much we were struggling and how hard we were working to do what was right. She then opened up her scriptures and the first one that popped up was Isaiah 49:16
And then she called me to tell me that the Lord has not forgotten me. That he cannot forget me because he has graven me upon his palms.
To all of you who wonder if the Savior has forgotten you. Know that he can't forget.
You're right there with me in the palms of his hands.
Number 3 is...
FAMILY HOME EVENING:
Now I will be honest, I have been guilty of allowing tests and other pressing things to take precedence over my FHE attendance both while I was at home and while I was away, but I do believe that when I do attend, extra needed blessings show up in my life.
Elder Scott quoted Sister Linda S. Reeves when she said:
“I must testify of the blessings of daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening. These are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes.”
Now I don’t know about you, but at this age I need a stress reliever and direction and safety more than I can even explain. This is a sure promise and an easy way to be obedient.
What if we all attended this coming Monday night and then looked for the blessings that we have been promised would follow.
Might be interesting eh???
Number 4 is...
“Schedule a regular time to be in the temple. Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from being there.”
A couple of weeks ago I was in serious need of some support and direction. I wanted to get up early and go to the temple but hadn’t been able to sleep the night before so I didn’t wake up to my alarm. A friend of mine needed me to do something for her later that night so there wouldn’t be any time for me to go in the evening. I realized if I left right from work I would have just barely enough time to get to do baptisms in Salt Lake before I had to choreograph a girls solo. Well… a third of the way through my drive I realized that I had left all of my medications back at my apartment and those are things I absolutely CANNOT live without. I was so frustrated because all I wanted to do was the Lords work and everything seemed to be bumping in my way! Finally I got to the temple with only forty-five minutes to do the work and get back home. I quickly realized that there was a big ward there that I was going to be behind. After finally getting through confirmations I said a prayer that the Lord would help me in doing what He had asked of me and then walked into the baptistry. As soon as I got in I looked and saw that one of my best friends was at the front of the line and was about to be baptized by another friend of ours. She invited me up to be baptized by him without even realizing the desperate hurry I was in and what a hug blessing her being there had added to my day. I was able to attend the temple and accomplish everything else the Lord needed me to do that day. It was a wonderful testimony builder for me.
It taught me that the Lord is looking out for me, even with the smallest things. If I hadn't worked so hard to get there that day I wouldn't have had that added confirmation of God's love that I so desperately needed at that time.
Question: Have you guys had times where you feel like everything is working against you in getting to the temple, but have found added peace once you got there?
Where it comes into play:
Obedience to these four things are what will bring peace in our lives. Of course the obvious can be easily seen.... In asking for God’s help he will provide it and more often than not his support will come through the scriptures. And as we attend FHE and the Temple we will put ourselves in places where the spirit can reside and will encourage us to make better choices that will make us happier in the long run. This all being said, I have found that the "becoming," force these actions act as in our lives are what I most value from them.
I've mentioned before that I was once told that at times the Lord will withhold his answer to our questions for a better moment when a holding place for what he has to say has been carved out of us. Like maybe if he had told us earlier on it might not have meant as much or we might not have been mature enough to handle his important words with the care they deserve.
I believe that these four things help in carving out a holding place in our hearts for us to be able to endure our trials better and be prepared to receive his answers.
When I first got sick I was young and selfish and didn't have the maturity spiritually and otherwise to be able to trust what the Lord was making out of me. I walked around with bitterness in my heart. I was shrinking. But overtime as I decided to exercise faith and seek to form these four habits in my life as best as I could, there was strength there. There was added faith when I prepared to know what the Lord needed me to know in the time that he was ready for me to believe it.
My freshman year everyone kept saying to me, “Rely on the Savior,” and I kept not knowing what that meant. To me back then it meant going to God and saying “Hi, so like I can’t seem to kick whatever this thing is that is making me so sick, could you give me a miracle and make it go away so I can get back to my life?”
Question: What does relying on the Savior it mean to you?
Now after all this time, to me it means trusting him to heal me or not to heal me. Trusting that what he has next for me is better than what I have next for me. It was difficult for me to understand what it meant to go to “Go to Gethsemane,” but now that I have walked a portion of the challenge the Lord walked for me, I can better understand his sacrifice as well as know that the way to gain support from him is to believe him when he says he knows what’s best.
Because He waited, I now have a better testimony of these four things and the spirit that they bring with them. More than that I recognize my undeniable need for the spirit every day so that I don’t simply waist the newly attained knowledge the Lord has provided.
I would like to close with a final quote from Elder Scott. He said,
“I do not declare that your life will cease to have challenges. Remember when Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were free from challenges, yet they were unable to experience happiness, joy, and peace. Challenges are an important part of mortality. Through daily, consistent scripture study, you will find peace in the turmoil around you and strength to resist temptations. You will develop strong faith in the grace of God and know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all will be made right according to God’s timing.”
So to all of you who are hurting. Who are feeling broken down to your center. Who feel vulnerable and stripped of everything you once felt comforting. And if at this time the Lord hasn’t quite finished carving out the holding place for you to believe these things that I have told you…. lean on my faith for a bit and believe that in time the Lord will prepare your heart for this understanding. Genuinely ask him for it. Trust me when I say that he is working something incredible for you. Brilliant things are coming if you trust in him and do his will.
In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.