22 January 2012

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

"And since He bids me seek His face, believe His words and trust His grace,  I'll cast on Him my every care."

This morning as I dressed for church I wondered about the gospel.  I wondered, for those who haven't endured a faith-testing experience, I am surprised they even bother.

I don't really mean that.  I have always had a testimony of my Savior, and have had need for the Atonement due to sin.  But I never really understood the teachings of Jesus Christ.  I'm quite sure that I still don't.  But I see it in a new way. 

A woman whose marriage has been plagued by addiction made the comment "I have spent many years worshipping eternal marriage, rather than worshipping God."  I understood exactly what she was trying to say.  There is so much disappointment in our lives because we fall short of the cultural ideals associated with our religion.  But the true principles of the gospel bring us peace and joy in spite of our disappointing failures. 

It has amazed me, as I've felt the healing power of the Atonement on my broken heart, how for years I have been going through the motions of the gospel without allowing myself to truly partake of its liberating message.  I've been so consumed with the way I appear to others and their salvation, that I have neglected my own, and in the process denied myself the joy that comes with gratitude, forgiveness and love. 

Though hard to achieve, the gospel allows me to live a life without frustration, worry, anger, or sadness.  The influence of the Holy Ghost draws me back to my Savior, when I am "prone to wander." 

A couple months ago I was feeling depressed and empty on a Sunday morning.  It was fast Sunday and I knew that if I could muster the spiritual strength to bear my testimony I would be rewarded with the sweet feelings of the Spirit.  I did so, and as I stood at the pulpit I wept with gratitude for the chance to once again feel close to my Father in Heaven.  I told the congregation that what I really wanted, was to just stand there and relish those tender feelings. That of course, is not the point of testimony meeting, so I shared a brief testimony and sat down. 

I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.  It is full of truths and principles that are saving me. 

If you are not familiar with my beliefs go here:

3 comments:

  1. I recognize that I don't know you, nor you I. I also recognize that you will likely ignore what I'm about to say. Nevertheless, I feel compelled, after reading some of your posts, to comment.

    I think you and your husband need to speak to a therapist, a non-mormon therapist, someone who is not your bishop. You guys have some serious marital issues that you need to resolve. Unfortunately, because of our faith, you are placing all of these issues on the supposed sin of looking at pornography. I can assure you. That is not the problem; it is only a symptom.

    I myself had a "problem" with pornography when I was a member of the church. Once I left the LDS church, I suddenly had no problem. I realized that the constant guilt and application of self-loathing only pushed me towards the pornography rather than away. Once I realized that Satan doesn't exist, that I am making my own decisions and choices, no one is tempting me, I was able to take control of my life and choose what I did or did not want to consume.

    I sincerely wish the best for both of you. Good luck.

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  2. Thank you for commenting when you feel compelled. You are right about seeing a therapist, and I plan to post about that soon. I have done so and she helped me to see that some of my biggest issues in my relationship with my husband are not related at all to pornography.

    As for the LDS church I recognize that my membership gives me guilt and shame that make these struggles more difficult. But as I wrote in this post, my belief is so fundamental to my happiness I could not possibly find peace if I set it aside.

    Temptation or not, I absolutely believe I am making my own decisions. But for me- whether or not there is a Satan- the following statements are true.

    1. Being selfish comes naturally to me- this means self-pity and unkindness are my default reactions.

    2. Acting selfishly and resentful makes me miserable.

    3. Forgiving and having hope that these painful experiences on earth are changing me into a more kind person makes me feel joy.

    I wish the best for you as well. I appreciate and respect your opinions, and the ways you have found stability in your life. But even if you see me as confused or disillusioned, no matter. I can not be persuaded that there is no Jesus Christ. I KNOW him now.

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  3. I'm glad you guys are meeting with a therapist and working through the more complicated issues. I sincerely wish you the best.

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