Friday, July 15, 2011

My North Star

It's wonderful to have something to look to, to get you back on track.

Macro-scale, God is ultimately that North Star which every other leading light points to. This is a story about a micro-scale leading light that helped me this week in guiding me back to God when I was feeling lost.

If it wasn't clear from reading my previous posts, it's been a hard week. While I was writing in my journal and praying, I felt like it would be a good idea to go back and re-read the notes I took after receiving priesthood blessings from my home teachers (this link tells more about what home teaching is - just scroll down the page) and grandpa (the one who's still alive) before I left for Vienna. I got a little sidetracked and read my patriarchal blessing first, which was awesome, and read the other two blessings the next day.

I think in every priesthood blessing I've received, I've been reminded that Heavenly Father loves me, and sometimes I take that for granted and don't think about what it means. To me, it means that when I feel worthless and stupid, that I'm wrong, that even when I mess up, God still finds reason to love me, and that makes me worth a lot.

More than those specific words alone, the entirety of each blessing testifies to the love Heavenly Father has for me. The fact that I have it - that God has provided means through personal revelation and through His priesthood for His children to have His words to them - is a beautiful testament that He loves me and wants to talk to me. And what does Heavenly Father, my God, want to say to me?

- Reassurance of His love for me,
- a blessing of comfort and peace,
- admonition to continue in "the little things" that are important, like prayer and daily scripture study, because they help me to
- stay close to the Holy Spirit,
- and a few other specific, personal things.

Because priesthood blessings are catered to the individual and circumstance, I'm not going to go into detail here. But because I had written down the things I heard, I was able to go back, read them and gain comfort again. Additionally, because I have some perspective now that I didn't have before I left the USA, some things make more sense in my current context, and I can see how some of the blessings which I had doubted are being fulfilled. That gives me much more confidence that 1) I'm in the right place doing the right things and 2) Heavenly Father is intimately acquainted with and involved in the details of my life. Even when I'm feeling down and like no one cares, I can say with the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi, in the midst of my trials, "Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted." (the whole of chapter 4 is quite fantastic, so I recommend reading more than just the one verse).

In brief, I'm grateful for the love of my Heavenly Father and of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm glad for all the little reminders that they give of their love; these reminders lift me out of the dumps by showing me what is real, what is important, and what is true. The good news is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation exist, and that through them we are brought back into the presence of God (permanently, if we do all that we can and rely on the grace of Jesus Christ). That is my North Star. When I follow this path - keeping the commandments and developing my relationships with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ - I am following the path that leads to real happiness and fulfillment in this life - today - and in the part that comes after death. I know that these things are true. This I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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