In the world,not of it.
Yesterday my granddaughter Bianca entered the waters of baptism and today she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is a time of great rejoicing for us. As I participated in this important ordinance I reflected on the committment to our Lord and His church that she has made.
I remember when I made the decision to convert and be baptised almost forty years ago. My brother,who had also taken the discussions and rejected them,laid his hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes and said¨you realize when you make this covenant there is no turning back.It truly is for eternity.Be sure Linda,your life will never be the same.¨ He promptly walked back into the living room and told the missionaries,¨I know it is true,but I can´t do it now. I have too many vices and things I can´t give up,but my sister is already born-again and she will embrace it. She knows Him .¨
Through out the years as my testimony has been tested and tried and grown,I have remembered his words. And a day or two ago,my son Richard,Biancas dad,said that it is not easy being LDS,itś a faith of action and service and making choices that go against the grain of the world and what is politically correct. He is right. We are in the world,but not of it.
So that said,in light of all that our world is going through,amid all the travail,violence,and upheaval and in spite of all the fear and hate ,I will live my testimony of my Savior. I know He lives and loves me. I know that the priesthood of His church is powerful and we are directed by a prophet today. He never changes. He is the Beginning and the End,the great I Am,my Father.I will praise His name and call Him KIng when everything is falling down around me and accept the peace He gives that this world can´t give.
His way is not one of force and demanding we follow or else. It is love and choice.Yes,we must live with the consequences of our choices,whether good or bad,but He doesn´t want one of us to be lost and I know the Holy Ghost intercedes for us. I have felt His arms around me,even at my lowest points His voice has spoken to my mind and heart. He has forgiven me even when it has been difficult to forgive myself.
We are supposed to see others with His eyes and that can be excruciatingly hard when we see the atrocities that some human beings inflict on their fellowman. He says to pray for our enemies and those who despitefully use us. But instead we want to retaliate and strike back. I do believe that we should defend ourselves when attacked or our families are in danger,but it shouldn´t be done without prayer and calling on His name. When the Israelites went to battle they sang praises to Him and called on His name. We have forgotten Him and taken Him out of the equation,made Him weak in our eyes,and made of Him a joke and non-existent.
It grieves me when I remember what He sacrificed for me and how He loves me in spite of the times I have ignored Him and have been willfully disobedient. I know that this post will be terribly unpopular and I will be ridiculed perhaps for what I have written. But that´s okay. We are at a point where I can only care what He thinks and declare that He is King and Lord. And one day perhaps I will lose my life for Him,but not because He demands it or asks me to harm someone else to declare my faith and allegiance. But in loving as He did and forgiving, that is what is right and true.
There is no argument or debate for me-He lives and His gospel is true.