This week has been full of miracles. I went on exchanges with the one-and-only Sister Marble on Tuesday! I would like to give our poor companions props, though. You see, our Sister Training Leaders are in a car-share. Because of my poor, broken bike, Sister May was stuck on the bike for the day in Stonewall. She and Sister Anderson braved the freezing cold rain and wind that day whilst biking down streets in their skirts. They got soaked, but continued being awesome anyway. We made sure they came home, got dry, and wrapped up in some blankets. It was quite the adventure!
We were also able to teach the Young Women on Sunday about missionary work. I think I may say this every week, but you members don't realize the impact you have in someone's conversion. A hand to hold and help guide them through this new spiritual journey allows them to grip the Savior's hand as they find their way. Y'all make such a difference.
This week, we tracted into a teenager whose parents were asleep when we first stopped by. Wanting to teach the family, we came back the next day to talk to her parents. They were sitting in the garage, talking quietly. The husband was reclined in a folding chair, fingers clasped on his stomach. A golden cross hung around his neck and rested on his stomach. He eyed us as we walked up, and he happily received us as we offered to share our message about Jesus Christ.
I will say, this conversation didn't really go anywhere. It was a lot of us bearing our testimonies, and him nor his wife listening to us. Sister May and I did our best to boldly declare our beliefs, and he declared his. We all laughed at the end when we said, "Well, one of us has to be wrong, huh?"
There was one part of our conversation that stuck with me. He asked us if we thought he was saved. On my mission, I have learned that every person has a different definition of "being saved" or "salvation."
For Latter-day Saints, to receive salvation depends upon our relationship with Jesus Christ and how we keep His commandments. Jesus Christ never taught passive discipleship. We cannot rely on one verse of scripture to bolster our beliefs alone; when we read scriptures, we have to think of others. Everything connects, just as the doctrine of "being saved" does.
I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I bear witness of His name, and I wear Him on my heart everyday. That alone is not enough to save me, however.
Jesus Christ taught, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). We know that a person must be baptized by immersion and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by someone holding proper authority. Jesus Christ had this authority and gave it to His apostles. They were the ones ordained to this, and "no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" (Hebrews 5:4).
Because of Christ's resurrection, we have all received physical salvation. We will all be raised at the last day. As Paul teaches, "...That there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust" (Acts 24:15). By that definition, we are all saved from the grave. However, to achieve spiritual salvation -- to have our sins cleansed from us, we must repent and follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized as described above. There must be things we must do, and as we try to keep the commandments, Jesus Christ's Atonement allows us to be stronger and be better. The Atonement will change our very natures if we let it.
Our happiness depends on us. We must rely on Jesus Christ. If we are to be saved, someone has to rescue us. Jesus Christ has rescued us from death, from sin, from ourselves, and from a life of eternal darkness.
Find Christ, brothers and sisters. Hold to the promises you've made, and He will help you keep them. As Nephi says, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7).
He will help you. Don't be discouraged. You don't have to be perfect; you simply have to try. He will lift you as you falter; He will raise you as you reach for Him. I promise He will be there. I've felt it for myself. The restored gospel has taught me of His love and His redeeming power.
Seek Him, and you will find Him.
Have a good week.
This is a store in Benton called "More Junk in My Trunk." It also has a Christian gifts store inside.
When it's Valentine's Day so you make cookies for EVERYONE
Sister May and I played dress-up with the leftover clothes from past sisters. #HomeComingOutfit