Is a blog an appropriate place to express ones religious beliefs? If not here, than where would be more appropriate?
I’ll not burden my reader with any expectations of agreement. I’m not so insecure that I need your affirmation of my beliefs to shore them up. I believe because I feel it in my heart, because I have seen His hand at work in my life, not always pleasantly.
I tell you these things that you may know where I stand.; where my faith is, where my heart is, and in what direction my efforts lie. I struggle here with the inexactness of my ability to communicate to you what I believe. Or of the inability to convey the scope of this belief. Or the utterly inconceivable scale of what I believe God is.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am not a member simply because my parents were. I have had more than enough time and experience, both in and out of The Church, to have opportunity to question and explore on my own. My experiences with faith, and doubt, and re-newed faith are my own. My questions were my own, but the answers I finally learned to accept were always there. God loves me, and is aware of me, and cares about what happens to me. He cares enough to chastise me, betimes sharply when it’s needed, but like the loving God He is, shows forth more love again after, lest I esteem him my enemy.
God doesn’t just love me, He loves all his children alike, but not all his children are listening, or recognizing His hand in their lives. Some, like I did, believe they are not worth enough for an all wise God to take notice of them. They don’t give Him enough credit for His abilities, His love, or His reach. Because the concept of a God so powerful bothering to take notice of any of us, who are so Not good, or powerful, or pure, or whatever, is so foreign to our understanding, we fail to give Him credit, and we turn away from what He has to offer us.
He loves and has loved all His children throughout history, so much so that he has visited all of them, throughout all the isles of the seas; and left with each peoples instructions on how they should live with and treat each other. As he stated to His apostles in Jerusalem , John 10:16 And other sheep I have, not of this fold: Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. One of these accounts of his instructions is contained within the Book of Mormon which is an excerpt of a history of a people spanning a thousand years and more.
I can’t convey to you properly how well this book explains the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Nor how clearly it explains gospel truths. I can tell you that I find in it’s pages such a profound oneness with the Bible, that I cannot even imaging one without the other. They are a complimentary set. Beautiful truths contained within each one, and tragedies recounted in each, all proclaiming the sameness of God, and His certain and unchangeable promises.
What I believe is that God and His Divine son, Jesus Christ, have worked out a plan so complete, so intricately woven through our lives, so all encompassing, that we could not begin to fathom it all; but every once in a while, a few of the details concerning our own place in it are revealed to us, if we ask in faith. Just enough for us to know we matter to Him, insignificant though we may seem to ourselves. and yet he notices us. This knowledge is breathtakingly humbling. Such joy as can be had among people will be had when it is understood how much He loves us. We have only to turn to Him, to`a ask in faith, believing that He will answer, and listen with all our heart. When we are willing to follow his example,; When we understand that willing and happy service to our fellow men and women is the only way to follow in his footsteps, when we fianlly understand that working for the welfare of others Is working for ourselves, and we do it because we love them, and want their joy and happiness as much as we want our own, this then is the way, the truth and the light that Christ taught. To love God with all our heart, might, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Mine is not the only testimony of the truth of this gospel. There are Other testimonies from many places, and many voices, all understanding that the Book Of Mormon is a second witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ, and a clear set of instructions to assist in filling in the gaps of knowledge not contained any more within the pages of the Bible. A book such as this could only have been preserved and brought forth again through the gift and power of an unchanging God, and the raising up again of a Prophet in the latter days, like unto old times. That there are doubters…. that is like unto old times too. That there is confusion, likewise. Where truth lies there also lies Satan, that deciever, waiting to trip you up, so that you cannot tell the truth from the lie; therefore, you will be needing a personal revelation from God, to affirm the truth of His holy word, wherever it is found. Fear not that you are not worthy of His telling you of it. His word is worthy enough. His desire that the truth should be made known, that the accomplishments of His son should be accepted and proclaimed throughout the world. This is enough reason alone for Him to reveal the truth of any of His works unto even such as yourself. That you should know the truth of a thing, and the truth shall set you free. Free to embrace the gospel in all it’s enlightened latter day sentiment. Free to believe His son died for your sins, that if you are willing to follow Him, and take His name upon you, that you might havehis spirit to be with you in this life, and everlasting and eternal life with Him hereafter.
And now I sound like a fanatic, but it is not so. I am just another human like yourself. I am not perfect, far from it. I have need daily of repentance, fighting against my nature which is indeed an enemy to God. I am entirely too likely to want to sit and be comfortable when I should be doing something else. Too immersed in my everyday world to take note of things that need attending to. Too caught up in my own fantasy of what I want the world to be to make room for other view points. Too idealistic to understand that what I consider an ideal may not be the best way to handle something. Too human to understand that not all things come in a time and a place of my choosing, but rather that of God’s choosing, for He has understanding of all things that have an impact on our lives.
I have had enough time here in this world to finally see that what I think I understand is only shadows of what is, and what I think I know is only one facet of the whole. As was mentioned in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
I will wait and trust in the Lord, that all things in the end will be revealed, and I will understand and know finally, what I do not understand and know now.
My brothers and sisters, for you are all my brothers and sisters, I tell you these things, my feelings, and my knowledge; such that it is, in all honesty, in the name of the only begotten of the Father, Jesus Christ, Amen.
© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.