Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Looking into the Soul of a Mormon Apostle

SAN DIEGO — This week has been LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG! Great, but long.
I hope you all had a great Pioneer day:) My week has been full of many, many lessons from Heavenly Father. 
There have been moments on my mission that I completely and absolutely lose perspective. I wish I could see through Heaven's eyes every single moment for the rest of my life, but unfortunately, sometimes I get blinded. 

This week I felt so heavy, my heart was weighed down, I was overwhelmed with the task that Heavenly Father had given me, and I needed to learn a great lesson about the Atonement. It is amazing at how fast perspective can change, and it all depends on who you allow to take care of your heart.

This week I experienced both: 

First, I experienced giving Satan my heart.  As Alma said:

"And behold I say unto you all that this was a snare of the adversary, which he has laid to catch this people, that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his chains, that he might chain you down to everlasting destruction, according to the power of his captivity" Alma 12:6

Anything that is against the will of God causes us to give way to Satan. We have to be pure, (or without blemish). I realized that any sin such as thinking badly of others, doubt, impatience, anger, frustration, jealousy — any tiny little thing — we are giving Satan our hearts and allowing him to chain us down. Sometimes it is not something we have even done, we are completely innocent, but still we have to let go, to forgive, to completely turn away from Satan and give Heavenly Father charge of our hearts.

 I think that is why Alma asks us in the Book of Mormon:
"Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? Alma 5:14 

This week, I have also experienced the peace and comfort that comes from giving in; giving everything to Christ and letting him take care of it. What an amazing experience that has been for me. 

Heavenly Father just added a "cherry on top" of my week of learning because yesterday we were able to learn from (Mormon Apostle) Elder M. Russell Ballard. He talked a lot about missionary work, explaining how important it is for us to be us. He told us that who we are is what God needs us to be in order to do his work. 

Even more important than what I learned was how I felt.

I looked into the face of an Apostle of God. A man who has trials and troubles, heartaches and fears just as any one of us. As I looked into his eyes, you could easily see his soul. He was hiding nothing, he was pure, he was light, he was radiating the light of Christ. I felt the peace enter my heart. There was no denying it. God's Restored Church is on the earth again, headed by a prophet of God and twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The Spirit taught me more this week, than any words could teach me in a lifetime. 

The hard thing in this world is that it is full of noise. It is loud and offensive to the Holy Ghost. When was the last time you turned off the radio in the car, just to listen? When was the last time you spent a few moments in the morning to listen, ponder and pray? When was the last time you opened your Book of Mormon?

I promise you from experience just this week, that the peace that comes from using the Atonement — from trying every day to change and become better, to be pure in heart — is worth more than anything in this world. 

No wonder Moroni says, "Except ye have charity, ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God.'

Let's change our hearts!

1 comment:

  1. Sister Newman,
    Thank you for your beautiful testimony and for sharing your missionary experiences! I am lifted and touched by reading your story. Love you forever!
    Sister Woodbury