Thursday, April 30, 2015

A mighty leap of faith - Personal Progress Faith #1

I am working on the Young Women's Personal Progress program again. I have received my medallion twice, but it has been awhile. I believe being single is a beautiful time in your life to become your absolute best self. It's a time to improve in every area until you meet the one you want to spend the rest of eternity with and then you can proceed to grow together.

I am working on Faith exercise #1.

Gaining a testimony doesn't happen all at once. I wish I would've known this at different parts of my life. As a little girl, up until I graduated high school, my testimony was rock solid. I followed every commandment and standard to the T. As life progressed, different situations I was put in really tested my testimony and my faith.

I've come to understand it's the moments where I look back often saying "Why isn't it like this anymore? Why don't I feel that way anymore?" That's when the actual change has taken place. Things are never supposed to stay the same. If you are looking back missing what was comfortable to you, you've already changed. These changes aren't often noticeable day by day, week by week, or even month by month. The changes I have seen within myself are often small and slow . You're always changing and growing when you're depending on your faith. It's not meant for you to see because that would be perfect knowledge and faith isn't perfect knowledge. {Alma 32:21} Heavenly Father wants you to keep walking forward and He doesn't always point out how far you have come because then it wouldn't be faith. Have faith that if you are doing good things in your life, then you ARE moving forward! Have faith that as you make good and righteous choices daily, that are becoming the person God desires you to be.

Changes don't come all at once, that's not the way it's supposed to be. But slowly and surely you will get there. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Who won? The tortoise because he took his time. Faith takes time, patience, diligence to grow where we would desire it to be. If your faith isn't where you desire it to be, just keep living and acting on the faith you do have and I promise you it will grow!

There is also such thing as a 'leap of faith'.

Elder Boyd K. Packer said, "Somewhere in your quest for spiritual knowledge, there is that “leap of faith,” as the philosophers call it. It is the moment when you have gone to the edge of the light and stepped into the darkness to discover that the way is lighted ahead for just a footstep or two. “The spirit of man,” is as the scripture says, indeed “is the candle of the Lord.”"

Three years ago around this time, I had some major decisions to make. One in particular.

This exact song was playing in my car one day, and something about one of the scripture heroes in this song struck me hard. It was then that I knew exactly what I needed to do and while I didn't know the how, I knew the what. It was the hardest decision I had ever had to make in my life. I relied on this song constantly, as it gave me the courage and strength I needed to follow through with the decision that would be my biggest leap of faith yet. 

But what exactly is a leap of faith? A leap is to move or act quickly or suddenly. When I think of leaping, I picture myself leaping across from one mountain to another, unsure if I will make the land or if the long and deep valley will catch my fall with deep pain and sorrow instead. To take of leap of faith it is believing that Heavenly Father will always help you land and will never let you sink or fall in-between the mountains. A leap of faith is letting go of something/someone that has great value to you, knowing it will be replaced with something much more fitting for your life because Heavenly Father knows you perfectly.

So back to my story, yes I took the leap of faith. I did what I needed to do. It was so hard and yet so right. It took so long for me to understand all the reasons, in fact somethings are still unfolding for me but I have never been happier and I know I am on the track Heavenly Father wants me on and I know He is pleased with me. I couldn't have taken that leap without much diligence in prayer, scripture study, and pondering. The Lord loves to bless us and all we have to do is make the simple sacrifices He asks of us. What seems like the biggest sacrifice we could possibly fathom, is really but a small seed because in the eternal perspective of things, all sacrifices and leaps of faith are worth it because they bring about the most joyful of all blessings. Personally, I desire to be like the King in Alma 22:15, so willing to give away my entire kingdom, absolutely anything and everything I have, even my HEART. i would give anything for my Father.

He asks us for our heart, meaning "our will" or "our desire", not just because He wants to collect all our hearts in a jar for Himself and see how much He can make us live without. It's actually on the contraire, He desires to bless us with SO, SO much more, and the Lord always keeps His promises.

I LOVE studying Alma 32:17-43 

I am sure you have heard all of these thoughts and principles hundreds of times, but here are my personal notes from these verses. 

- It isn't faith if you know.

- You are asked to have faith in things you don't have all the answers to.

- If ye have FAITH, ye hope for things which are not seen which are true. (This particular scripture is often misinterpreted because we personally don't get to decide what is true or right for our life. Just because it's something we want or desire doesn't mean we can assume it's true. This is where prayer and revelation is SO important, we have to ask Heavenly Father what for us is true.)

- God is merciful and wants you to believe in His word.

- Men and women can receive His word through angels.

- Humble yourselves, faith isn't a perfect knowledge!

- Even if it's just a desire, let this desire work within you.

- It's a good seed if it's delicious unto you, bringing peace and understanding.

- When the seed starts to grow, you will know without a doubt that it's a good seed.

- Your mind begins to expand.

- Light is GOOD! But it doesn't bring perfect knowledge .

- Have diligence and be patient in all that is good!

And this post just reminded me of Elder Holland's last General Conference talk, found here

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