Monday, November 1, 2010

Apostolic Blessings and Following the Spirit

Oh my goodness, this week was absolutely wonderful. I learned a lot about so many things. This past week my district made a goal to learn how to follow the Spirit better and it was amazing how Heavenly Father knew our goals and helped us reach them. Guess who came to the Tuesday Devotional? Elder Scott! As soon as I saw him walk in I knew we were about to learn just what we needed to hear about following the Spirit because that's his favorite topic... and sure enough. He gave one of the most powerful talks I've heard, along with four Apostolic Blessings. The first was a blessing of protection directly to the Sisters, contingent on our listening for promptings of danger and following them. The second was the Gift of Tongues. He said, "If you don't already have it, now you do." He said he had "installed the capability" but we had to develop it through our faith. That completely reinforced the blessings I've already been given, and gave me even more strength to exercise my faith. The third was that we would have the confidence to know that we had been prepared for our missions and for the rest of our lives better than we could've dreamed. And the fourth was that we would be able to remember the experiences we have on our missions so we could learn from them and use them throughout the rest of our lives. I could hardly believe he had given us all those special blessings. It surely was a sacred night.
Throughout the rest of the week my companions and I (along with the rest of the district) really tried hard to follow the Spirit. The culmination of it all was the teaching experience at the TRC on Saturday. We had been diligently preparing all week to know how and what to teach, and when we started teaching, it seemed like the words to say, the questions to ask and the scriptures to use came easily to my mind. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson, and as we listened to the investigator's concerns we found answers for them in the scriptures. As we each bore our testimonies throughout the lesson, the Spirit taught and lifted us all. I felt like I was walking on a cloud after the lesson was finished! I KNOW the Spirit is critical in teaching effectively and in meeting the personal needs of those we meet.
Throughout that experience and the rest of the week I've come to learn even more about how this gospel is so personal. The center of the message is that Christ sacrificed His life so that He could understand our difficulties, pains, loneliness, temptations, and everything else we experience. Because He chose to take upon Him our pains, he completely understands and knows how to comfort, relieve and rescue each one of us. Individually. I have experienced that in very specific ways in my life. I KNOW that my loving Heavenly Father is watching me intently and loves it when I communicate with Him through prayer, and that He delights to answer me through the whisperings of the Spirit, and scripture study. Answers to ANY of life's problems can be found in the scriptures, especially in the Book of Mormon, and through modern and personal revelation. The whole point of the Gospel is to help each individual through this life successfully. It's a gospel that blesses individuals who follow with blessings untold. And the best part is that I don't have to prove that to everyone. It proves itself to those who test it out with real intent.
The gospel has blessed my life immeasurably as I've received comfort, gudiance, joys, and rich blessings from following Christ and living the gospel principles. I know that no matter what difficulties come my way, there is one who understands, is sympathetic, and will help me overcome each time if I come to Him for help. That, perhaps, is the greatest knowledge I could ever have.

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