Pages

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Confusion

I've hit a wall on knowing what to write about for my blog.  In an attempt to not bore you to death, I wanted to write a different post in between each "chapter" of our story.  But I don't know what to write about.

Honestly, I have felt very confused lately.  All my life, I have believed what I have been taught in church.  It has never been hard for me to believe.  If I was confused, I would pray and search the scriptures for an answer and I always found one.  I'm not saying that now I don't believe what I have been taught.  I am just confused on how I can explain it to someone without starting a fight.  My church's name has been dragged through the mud by the media lately, and terrible names have been given to us because we believe differently than much of the world.  Oppressive, manipulative, discriminating, judgmental.  Just to name a few.

Our culture has decided that loving someone means giving them what they want now.  Accepting someone as they are means refusing to disagree with anything they do.  The idea that freedom of choice extends not just to our own choices but choosing the consequences as well seems to be how people think now.  So to be a member of a church that has rules, has guidelines, has unchangeable doctrine given from God means that I am wicked because I'm not changing with popular culture.  

Is it wicked for me to believe that marriage is divinely instituted by God and should be between a man and a woman?  Is it wicked for me to be happy that I am a woman, to look forward with excitement that I can be a mother someday?  Is it wicked for me to follow rules that I have prayed about and felt the Holy Ghost tell me were given to us for a reason?  Is it wicked for me to uphold my beliefs?  Our culture is telling me that, yes, I am wicked.  Hence the confusion.

In an institute class, our teacher emphasized that we should get our answers vertically, not horizontally.  Our prophet said, "It is better to look up."  Are we getting our answers for hard questions from other mortal people, or are we talking with God?  Do we even believe in God?  Are we doing things to remember who we are and who He is each day?

I believe in God.  I believe that He loves me, and I love Him.  Life isn't meant to be easy.  Hard, confusing times come no matter who you are or where you are.  Times of confusion can be a breaking point or they can help me continue to grow and learn about my Heavenly Father and His plan.  Whether or not those moments break or build me is up to me and how I search for the answers to my questions.

Sometimes, God doesn't answer our questions immediately.  Sometimes it takes years before we receive the blessing that we have been searching for.  And that is not a bad thing.  Believe it or not, but hard times are the moments when we can draw closest to God, perhaps because we feel that we need Him the most then.  In the end, God will make it all right.  I believe that with my whole heart.

I may not know how to explain what I believe perfectly, but that doesn't mean that I don't believe and it doesn't mean that I hate other people who don't believe the same things.

My confusion is not completely gone, but being able to write it down and focus on what I know helps.  And the best part is that I don't have to be an expert right now.  This life is about growing and learning and progressing.  I just have to give my all, and God will make up the rest.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chapter 3: Listening

I believe that we are children of a Heavenly Father, who loves us dearly.  Though we can’t see Him, we can talk with Him through prayer.  And if we are quiet enough, we can learn to feel the Holy Ghost, who testifies to us of the truth of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and who comforts us and teaches us.  The Holy Ghost is a distinct individual, just as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are individuals.  The Holy Ghost speaks to us for Heavenly Father.

When we are baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost and promised that as we fill our lives with the things of God we can always feel the Holy Ghost.  Some people feel the Holy Ghost as a warm, burning feeling in their heart.  Some people cry.  Some people get goose bumps on their arms.  A friend of my mom’s giggles when she feels the Holy Ghost.  It’s different for each of us.

For me, I feel the Holy Ghost as a feeling of peace when I am afraid.  I feel Him as specific thoughts and ideas when I am searching for answers.  Sometimes it’s a name of someone I should serve, sometimes it’s the impression to avoid a situation where I may be in danger.

During the summer that Jordan and I met, I worked two different jobs: one was the internship where we met and the other was a job working with machines.  It’s not super fancy, but it ended up helping me get me through college.

One day, I was alone at work.  The music on my computer was playing on shuffle, and I realized that it had repeated a song from an opera depicting Jesus’s Christ’s atonement.  As it played the song, I thought about the line when Christ said, “Not my will but thine be done”, and I thought about goals that I had made recently to not run away from hard things, to ask for “mountains to climb”.

"Will you say that?" ran through my mind.  It was a prompting from the Holy Ghost, in regards to the phrase, “Not my will, but thine be done.”  I prayed to know God’s will, and realized that He wanted me to marry, soon.  And He wanted me to marry Jordan.  Throughout the summer, I had received prompting after prompting to be with Jordan, to love him, to never give up, and to forgive him for hurting me, even though he had no idea that he had.

The cool thing is that I didn’t have to choose this path if I didn’t want to.  God has given us all the ability to make our own decisions in life, and it’s beautiful!  He wants us to come back to Him, but He will never force us.  So in essence, Heavenly Father had shown me a path that He wanted me to take, and was asking if I would take it or not.  He could see everything that would come from that choice, while I could only see the fact that Jordan wasn’t interested in dating me.  Terrifying?  Most definitely.  Exciting?  Duh.

I said yes.

That August and September, I was confused and scared and nervous.  I didn’t know how to let Jordan know I wanted to date him without freaking him out.  I went for a walk by the Logan LDS Temple, because I always felt calmer there.  As I walked around the grounds, I worried and I prayed.  Then, I felt the words, "Do you really think I cannot do this?  Do you really think I can’t make this work?"  And I could have sworn I heard thunder, even though there wasn’t a storm.

I realized that I had chosen to fear instead of choosing to believe.  Fear is not from God.  Instead of remembering the miracles I had already seen in my life, I saw only the things I thought were hard and impossible.  All those miracles were not my doing, they were God’s.  So why not now, too?  I just needed to believe and then do my best.  God wouldn't give me a commandment without helping me accomplish it.