Nobody said it would be easy coming home! In fact, most people said it’s harder to come home from a mission than it is to leave home on a mission. I would say that’s very true. However, light always conquers darkness. It’s a rough adjustment because I feel like the people and culture and language I love are so far away…but I try and remember that God truly has a plan for me, just like He does for everyone else, and I am at a different stage now. The mission gave me life experience, taught me to feel pure love, or charity, for everyone I meet, and helped me strengthen my relationship with God and my testimony of Jesus Christ even more.
Just as I did in the mission, when I catch myself feeling down, I remember Jesus Christ. I especially love John chapter 21 where He is with His disciples and addresses the fact that they are fishing instead of preaching His gospel. Verses 15-17 describe what happens next:
15 ¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Can we imagine how we would feel? We might have stuttered. We might have second guessed our answer. We might have analyzed our lives and if we’re doing what we really should be doing. Jesus asked Simon Peter if he loved Him more than those fish. Fishing used to be his hobby and still was! He enjoyed it. It made him happy, although he didn’t have the best of luck sometimes.
Now let us put this into perspective and apply it to OUR lives. Do we love Jesus Christ more than parties? more than popularity? more than social media? more than sports? more than clothes and fashion? more than skipping church for any other event that may come up in our busy and daily lives? Do we TRULY love him more than any of those things that we love in life? If we sincerely love Jesus Christ more than we love any other thing in this world, we will SERVE him, we will LOVE others, we will JUDGE less, we will BE OBEDIENT to His commandments, we will PRAY to our Heavenly Father and THANK Him, we will HELP others, we will READ the scriptures, we will LISTEN to the prophet He has chosen for our days…If we love Him, He will be our priority in life; If we love HIM, then this GOSPEL (having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) will become a LIFESTYLE, no longer a hobby or hobby in our lives. Church will not be a social event, rather a spiritually enlightening and uplifting experience. The scriptures will no longer be homework or unclear, rather a JOY and something that fills our souls with happiness, and the sincere desire to change and serve God. Prayer will no longer be an every day ritual for us, rather an enlightening conversation with our FATHER in Heaven where we may receive revelation or answers. The Spirit will be stronger in our lives. Trials will be easier to overcome. We will be happier on a day-to-day basis. We will be more loyal and honest in all things. Our lives WILL CHANGE…if we put Jesus Christ first. And that is the empowering and inspiring change that can take place in every one of our lives if we take the time to strengthen our relationship with God and come unto Christ.
Now when we take the time to FEAST upon the words of Christ, we will receive the desire, motivation and strength to change or better anything in our lives. Alma 5:7 testifies of this change: 7 “Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word;”
“Their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word”…that is what the power and light of Christ can do and THAT is how we are changed and purified. We cannot lose hope. We cannot ever say that God has forgotten us, because that is one of the biggest lies that satan uses as a trap to get us to distance ourselves from our loving Creator and Father.
He loves you. He has not forgotten you. You mean so much to Him and He does all He can so you can return to His presence again after this life. Now it is your responsibility to turn to Him, trust in Him, and do as He says–because He has provided us with the plan of salvation, which is also known as the plan of happiness. And it really is a joy-filled path if we are obedient to His commandments–they are there to protect us and to free us.
When we lose sight of what’s important and Jesus Christ is no longer our first priority, that is when we slowly distance ourselves from God which can lead us onto a very dangerous and imprisoning path. We must remember that whenever we do something against the commandments of God, we are only putting on the chains of guilt, remorse and bondage. And those chains can only be broken through faith on the Lord, Jesus Christ, second–repentance, third–baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, fourth–receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We must be strong, we must have hope, and we must act as true disciples, or followers, of Jesus Christ our Lord, Saviour, and Redeemer.
When we feast upon the words of Christ, truly seeking for guidance and tranquility in the scriptures, we will find it and we will want to become more like Christ. “Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” (2 Nephi 32:3)
Act on those impressions to read, pray, and go to church. That is inspired of God and you will never find a greater joy in this life. I have so much more I want to write but my mind is kind of allll over the place. I hope you all have a lovely afternoon and a great rest of your sabbath day! Till next time,
2 Nephi 31:
17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.