Friday, April 15, 2011

Summation of an Evening Before Finals

More things that made me happy tonight:

I am the-bomb-dot-com when it comes to picking avocados at the store. Usually I buy food a while before I use it, so I go for the avocados that are firmer so they'll last until I remember I have it and want to make something with it. Even with that subjective and variable timing, I've had good luck in picking the right ripeness from the store (without really knowing much of what I'm doing). Tonight we didn't have enough avocado for what I wanted to make, so I ran across the street to buy another one; when I got home and cut it open, it was beautiful. We had a good laugh about that, and it was extremely delicious with hard-boiled egg, mayo, lemon juice, paprika, and black pepper on a sandwich. 

One of our roommates got a mission call tonight to serve as a full-time proselyting missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She'll leave in July and will serve in the Slovenia-Croatia mission. We're super excited for her, and had over 20 friends show up to our apartment for when she opened the big white envelope. Not only was the occasion itself quite happy, but it was so, so good to see so many good friends together. As the festivities settled down to 4-5 of us, it was lovely for me to lay on the couch listening to Viennese waltzes, and reminisce and share new laughs with my friends. 

I am so grateful for the system that the Lord has in place through His church for watching over the flock. Every person has a couple men in the local congregation assigned to them to check on them throughout the month and help them with whatever service they might need (These are called home teachers). I've mostly been blessed with very diligent and kind home teachers; I know that if I ever need their help, they're willing to be there. With finals approaching and a few things weighing on my mind, I asked them for a priesthood blessing tonight. A priesthood blessing is a wonderful gift: a man holding the Melchizedek priesthood can lay his hands on your head and speak in God's name, pronouncing a blessing of healing, peace or comfort, as he is moved upon by the Holy Ghost. It is truly a blessing to have such access to revelation through both the personal and priesthood lines, and I'm grateful for both. After he finished giving me the blessing and left, I started writing in my journal and gained even more truth and insight into what the Lord wants me to know. 

That connection to God, our Heavenly Father, is so vital for us as His children. How else do we find boundless, perfect love, security, purpose, and unfailing strength in order to survive and thrive in life? It's too hard to any of us to do alone, and the good news is that we don't have to - we have Jesus Christ to rely on. It is so important for every one to hear and know this message. It's a message of love from God, that He hears and knows the hearts, thoughts, and pains of every single one of His children! He is there with open arms, waiting patiently, lovingly for you to come to Him. He understands you even when no one else does. Christ has felt your pain. The Book of Mormon prophesies this of Christ (83 years before His birth):
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Alma 7:11-12
The Book of Mormon testifies that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah, the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham and all the prophets that He would come to redeem His people. We are all God's children, and we become redeemed from our sins and burdens by repentance and coming unto Christ in meekness, with a heart willing to do His will. The promised blessings of coming unto Christ are peace, joy, and power to conquer Satan; as we exercise faith in Christ's Atonement, we will feel that peace and joy now, in this life, and after we've moved past the veil of death. What I don't know from personal experience, I learn from the example of others, and the Holy Ghost bears witness to me that all of it is true. You can obtain that same witness for yourself if you ask for it and apply yourself to studying (and doing) the doctrine. I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ; amen.

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