I just watched the CES devotional Elder Holland gave and I feel really good.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Not because I was raised Mormon.
Not because I go to BYU.
Not because I went to EFY a couple times growing up.
It's not because my parents are active members.
I love the gospel because I have a personal relationship with my savior.
I can feel my savior's love pretty much on a daily basis. And I wouldn't trade that for anything. Do you know how wonderful it is to feel that? To have the spirit testify to you personally that God loves you and wants you to be happy?
Lately I've been surrounded by a lot of negativity about religion. I guess it's because I'm 21 and attending a university and because I use the internet. But lately it seems that members of the church want to know more about the gospel in an intellectual way. They want to be able to grasp solid tangible facts that validate Mormonism. And a lot of the time they come up short and get confused and try to compensate a lifetime of faith with a new-found desire for intellectualism.
I know that it's important to find things to be true on a personal level. I know it's okay to have questions and to study things out. But faith is such a huge deal when it comes to this gospel. Faith that we don't know everything and that's okay. For me, feeling the spirit and feeling guidance in my life is enough proof that keeping up with the Lord's standards is important.
I feel conflicted. A lot. I don't know how to reconcile so many people around me falling away with my own testimony. I don't know how to support them while simultaneously sticking up for what I believe. I love people and offending anyone is the last thing I want to do. Ever.
I can't "check my religion at the door" as Elder Holland said.
I am trying daily to find that perfect balance between distinguishing "the sin" from "the sinner." I want to let my friends and family know that it's okay that they have questions and that they want to figure things out and that I love them no matter what path they decide to take. But I also want them to know that I feel confident in my own decision to keep the commandments and I don't want to be looked down on for that.
I guess I have to trust that people are generally looking not to offend one another and that they will respect me for what I believe if I respect their beliefs. I feel good about that.
Life is hard.
And "righteous judgement" is a hard concept to figure out.
But I'm trying.
I love the gospel. And I love everyone I meet because I know the savior knows them and loves them with the exact same intensity that he cares for me.
Hope your Sunday has been good, whatever stage in life you might be.