Friday, January 15, 2016

Joy in the Gospel



Earlier this week I was asked to give an impromptu spiritual thought. I quickly glanced through my Book of Mormon looking for a message I could share, when thankfully a scripture came to my mind and I felt a message in my heart. After sharing the thought and sitting back down, someone that I thought I knew really well, came up to me and said;

 "I admire that you find joy in living the gospel." 

Quite honestly, I was a bit taken back from this comment. If only this person could see the specific ways I have been battling the pride cycle in my mind as of late. Of how I was laughing about how God's timing is sure different than mine is at times. I am not perfect, I will be the first one to admit that anytime and anywhere. 

After admitting a few of my weaknesses after this comment was made, I started to learn a lot more about this person than I had ever known before. Ironically my thought that I had just given was on the difference between knowing of someone, and truly knowing them. I had assumed some things about this person that were obviously invalid and incorrect. Perhaps I thought I knew this person, but really what if I just knew of some incredible attributes they had, but I hadn't correctly taking the time to know them.

How many times had I been observing actions and thinking I knew all, instead of actually asking the questions and going right to the source? 

How many times was I seeing a person, with never really seeing a heart? 

In giving the thought, I testified that the only way we can ever really get to know the true depth of a person is by serving them, ironic how God works because He then gave me an opportunity immediately after to serve that person, and that person ended up serving me as well. 

The words that were said "I admire that you find joy in living the gospel", they keep replaying in my mind. Do I? Do I really? When I fully give my heart to God, when I give everything I am capable of giving, 
do I thank Him enough for knowing the GOOD NEWS! I have the knowledge of the greatest truth on the earth, do I really understand that and live my life accordingly? That comment sure made me want to try harder and be better! 

I don't think finding joy in the gospel comes from living it perfectly and marking off all the boxes on the checklist. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father creates different checklists for us at different points in our lives, and that's all for our happiness and so we can find the most joy that is available to us at that time.

But joy in the gospel, where does it come from? 

I don't have the answer for everybody, but I will testify where it comes from for me. My joy in the gospel comes from me admitting I am weak, admitting I have the greatest need for the atonement, it comes from praying just so that both God and I are on the same page that I need Him, and even when I'm happy and it feels as if  don't need Him, that joy comes from admitting that the joy and happiness I do have is from Him as well

I think that's the purest form of humility, when you feel on top of the world and as if every bit of strength is yours and you still give, you still serve, you still realize you are incapable of making it all on your own and acknowledging that Christ is the way, the only way! I haven't reached that point yet, but catching glimpses of it from time to time is enough for me.

But that's why I feel like I go through the pride cycle so often, I forget to let Christ help. And the times when I remember are the times when I am remembering Him always just like the sacrament prayer says. Happiness in the gospel...it's a journey for everyone, but the truth, that is available to ANYONE willing to open their heart to let that in. For the Holy Ghost tells you all things that you should do (2 Nephi 2:3) and I testify the Holy Ghost will help you understand where happiness in the gospel comes from for you personally.

Because I do know enough, because I do know the greatest truth on this earth, I want to live in a way others can see that joy, that pure joy that comes from holding the most important message we will ever know. The gospel is simple and is centered around Christ, I never want to forget the joy Christ brings to my life.

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