I am so glad I went. I needed the spiritual food that was served there today. It was custom made for me. It was as if my Heavenly Father was there with His arms around me, telling me that He loved me....that I wasn't alone. As I've been struggling with the desire to attend and engage in church, this was a reminder to me of why it is so important for me to be there, whether I feel like it or not. My Heavenly Father knows what I am in need of regardless if I know that myself or not.
A sister gave a talk today. She is not one that I know very well. She walked up to the podium for her talk with nothing in her hands. She proceded to share three amazing experiences which brought the Spirit to the meeting. I won't do the stories justice, but I want to at least have something down to jog my memory when I forget. ;)
The first was when she was serving a mission. She and her companion were out walking and got lost. They decided to tract (going door-to-door knocking) to pass the time. They came upon a house that appeared to be abandoned. They skipped the house and went on to another one. The Spirit told both of them to go back to that abandoned house. They did and found a little lady there, very excited to see them. She greeted them in Spanish, to which they kept telling her, "No habla Espanol". She invited them to eat lunch and as they sat there, they realized she could speak English and told them how she was a member of the Church and how she had not been able to get to church and needed a ride. This sister from my ward told her that they would coordinate with the ward she was in and get her to church. They finished lunch and left. Her companion was quite upset with her. She asked her why and was told, "I didn't know you spoke Spanish!"
"No, I don't speak Spanish."
"What are you talking about?? You were just speaking perfect Spanish to that sister."
"No I wasn't. We were speaking English."
"No you were not. You were speaking Spanish."
Through the power of God, the sister from my ward was able to communicate and answer the prayer of this sweet lady that needed help.
She then proceded to tell a second story. She was now married and expecting a child. Things were very difficult for her at that time. Her husband was always working and there were other issues she didn't go into. She felt very alone and abandoned. She screamed out with a Bible in her hand, angry with God for not listening to her. She slammed the book down on the table, sat down, and began to sob. The room started growing brighter and brighter. There then appeared a personage who told her, "We are listening."
She asked, "When is it going to get easier?"
He said, "It's not going to get any easier for a long time. But we are here and we are listening." He put his arms around her in an embrace.
He then disappeared. She said that he was right. Things didn't get easier. But she never felt alone again.
The third story began several years down the road. She was a single mom with three small children. She had just gotten divorced and had no one and nothing. She was about to get evicted from her apartment with no idea how she would pay the rent. The only thing she did have was old car. Someone wanted to buy her car. She had been promised by God that He would give her a car, so she sold it. With that $500, she was able to pay her rent for the month. Coincidentally, she had a meeting with the bishop that night. He scolded her for selling the car. But she told him of the promise from God that He would give her a car. He said that she had made a mistake. She went home, and instead of being offended, just went to bed. The next evening, the Bishop called and he had a car for her. A colleague had bought a car for his child & spouse, but they had bought a car for themselves the same day. He knew his friend was a bishop of a congregation and would know someone that could use it. He handed him the keys and the title. And that is how she received the promised car.
With the testimony of these amazing stories, the Spirit was so strong. I felt the love of God all around me. I felt the Spirit testify to me that although I haven't had such miraculous spiritual experiences, I have had spiritual experiences and that I am never alone. He testified to me that I am loved by my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
During Sacrament Meeting, there was also a musical number. Two sisters sang "O My Father" to the tune of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". These are two very important and spiritually moving songs for me. It was absolutely beautiful and really touched my heart.
I went on to Sunday School and Relief Society. Someone in Sunday School shared something his father would say...."It's harder to run away when you are on your knees." Since I am so good at running away from things, I know I need to remember this.
Our lesson in Relief Society was on Elder Uchtdorf's talk "Forget Me Not". I had heard this talk before, but it really hit home today. As usual, I commented more than the teacher spoke, but I felt His love for me again, so strongly as the words I felt flowed from my mouth. I knew that He was mindful of me. I knew that He was aware and cared about my struggles. I knew that I needed to rely on Him more. I need to get down on my knees more and pour out my soul to my Lord and Savior.
This post is a little jumbled and random, but I needed to record what and how I felt and what prompted those feelings.
I know that Jesus is my Savior. I know I am a child of a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and loves me. I know that we can have the Spirit testify to us of truth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Christ prepared a way that we can return to live with Him and the Father one day. I know that we all have worth. We all have value and that we must treat everyone with love and respect, as we are all children of our Heavenly Father.
I leave this testimony with whomever may read this, in the name of my Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.