For those of you who don't know, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (yes, I'm Mormon). I don't usually blog about spiritual matters. I find it to be difficult because it can be so controversial. However, today I'm going to overcome that fear. Most of this is due a girl I recently met on 20SB, Jamie. Her blog is called Spread Your Wings & Fly (check it out. you won't regret it) She blogs about her life but includes a variety of spiritual matters. To be honest, I was inspired. Her posts gave me courage. So before I chicken out, I'm going to blog about my current feelings.
On the plane ride home from Colorado I finished a book my bishop had given me to read. When he passed it on to me, I figured I would skim through to get the general idea of the book and report back. I certainly didn't think I would get captivated and read the book word for word.
The book he gave me was Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson. Not only was it enlightening, thought provoking, and encouraging, but I actually enjoyed reading it.
There are so many wonderful concepts in this book, I don't even know where to start. The main topic was grace/being saved by grace. It was about the atonement and repentance- something that I recently have dealt with a great deal. I could relate. Stephen does a wonderful job of making sense & getting his point across. His stories are ones that I could relate too. He knew his audience & spoke right to their hearts (well mine at least)
I'll stop rambling about how amazing this book was and give you a sneak peak of what the content was like:
"However the Lord does say to us, 'Given your present circumstances and your present level of maturity, you're doing a decent job. Of course it's not perfect, but your efforts are acceptable for the time being. I am pleased with what you've done."
"God knows our circumstances, and he judges us accordingly. He knows who is standing in a hole and who is standing on a chair, and he does not just measure height-he measures growth"
"According to the scriptures [Jesus] knows more of the dark side than any of us. In fact, he knows more about pain, grief, loneliness, contradiction, shame, rejection, betrayal, anguish, depression, and guilt than all of us combined"
These are random, I know, but for some reason each one of these passages stuck out to me. I'm certainly not perfect. I have had my struggles with the commandants and staying on the right path. I was inactive for my first year and a half of college to experience "normal life," so I told myself. I felt held back by the LDS church. I wanted to be free of expectations. I wanted to be rebellious. I wanted to make decisions based on what I wanted at the time-what do they call it? instant gratification? Yeah, I wanted that. I'm not mad at myself for this decision. I would never take back the experiences I had or the mistakes I made. In a way, they made me who I am today. Now I KNOW what I want. I KNOW who I want to be. I've learned for myself that the church is true-for that I am grateful. My testimony of the church is mine and mine alone. I've been on both sides of the spectrum. & I have no regrets. I've lived and experienced so much-all which have lead me to the conclusion that life with Christ, the gospel, and the LDS church makes me happier. Happy-there isn't another word. I feel peaceful & happy when I think of the life I'm living now.
Ok, back to the book...
What I love about this book is the reassurance that I'm not alone. Christ is there and knows everything I am going through, all the time. The book stresses the unconditional love the Savior has for us. No matter what we do- no matter how far we stray or how much we neglect him- he is always there with open arms.
I am so thankful for Him. I am so thankful for the atonement.