Monday, January 27, 2014

The Courage to have Faith

I love my companions!
(Kelsey serves with 2 other Sister missionaries in the Reno area for her 3 month time away from Temple Square - They live, teach, travel & study together) 
Hello again everyone! This last week I hit my 8 month mark serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I witnessed miracles.  I hope that throughout all of my experiences that you have taken note, that whenever I write the word miracles that the miracle is always someone not something. and I...every single person you see...we are most important to our Heavenly Father.  This week Morgan was really our miracle.

Morgan is just one of my favorite people.  He reminds me of a much more hyper version of my own Dad...probably why I love him so much :) He is big into fishing and we even have our own signal that we give to each other of us reeling in a fish.  We have been meeting with Morgan for a couple of weeks now, and this week we were really able to see a whole other side to our dear friend.

We meet with Morgan about 3 times every week and he never fails to come to church.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday we meet with him in the back of the McGregor Inn.  We bundle up in our warmest clothes and although we are surrounded by drinking, smoking, yelling and really everything you could imagine, we have seen the light come on in Morgan's life..especially this week.
at the mission office :)
Morgan has been struggling with his faith.  I sat across from this dear friend of ours, and thought of how much I just wanted to see his happiness.  I thought of the homeless shelters he has been in and out of, I thought of his parents who seemed to just leave him without any aid, I thought of the times he pleaded to know God and felt he had never received any answer.  I wanted him to have hope, I wanted him to have the courage to have faith without feeling that it too would abandon him as all else had before.

"Morgan, what do you have faith in?" I asked.

After some moments of silence he looked up after having been laying his head on the table to say, "I have faith in me."

I thought about how powerful that was, to have faith in oneself really gives us to have courage to have faith in the best man this world has ever known, our Savior Jesus Christ. There is no true confidence in ourselves unless there is confidence first in Christ.  As we internalize His very character, we will become like Him and find that firm faith and confidence in ourselves as God's children on this earth.

We can have the courage to have faith in Christ because of the person He is and always will be.  With Morgan I saw how many times he had felt let down, how many times he had felt betrayed and belittled.  When we come to know our Savior Jesus Christ, we come to see we have no need to reserve or hold back any faith in Him.

In the Bible Dictionary it says under "faith"...

"To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone.  The Lord has revealed himself and his perfect character, possessing in their fullness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in him without reservation."

Just like Morgan, we all need to come to know our Savior Jesus Christ, to know that we can fully depend on Him, to really truly come to have stronger faith in ourselves as well.  As we become like Him, what can cause us to falter?  As we become like Him, what can cause us to fear?  There is a reason the scriptures tell us that He is the light of the world.  There is a reason we are told in the scriptures to be a be like have the courage to have faith in one much greater than us all.

I know and testify that such courage, such powerful and illuminating faith comes from coming to know your Savior.  I testify as His personal representative that The Book of Mormon is the miracle that all of us are looking for to strengthen our faith.

The Book of Mormon is divine evidence of the power of Christ.

Think about that.  The Book of Momron is evidence from God above of the power of Christ and His Atonement.  Of the power of our Savior's love, of the power of coming to have courage to have faith in Him. 
The Temple Square Sisters :)
I invite you all to read from The Book of Mormon and to have the courage to have faith.  It has given myself and Morgan more courage than I can explain.  I have seen Morgan change in these few weeks.  There is a tangible essence to the light that is about him, and I know it all started from his courage to have faith.

I testify to each and every one of you that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God.  I testify that He is our advocate, He is our friend, He is the one who pleads on our behalf.  I know we lived with God before we came here, and that gives me the courage to have faith.

I love you all :)

Sister Briggs

SHOUTOUTS: Mom & Dad, All the Briggs family, Robert Donakey, the Donakey family, The King family and Sister King, Nicky Lin, Octavia Olden, Ariel Ibarra and Tori Thomas! :)

Special Message to my family:   I received the call from the mission President yesterday afternoon shortly after church about Papa Jim and your experience.  Please know that you are all in my prayers, and that I know with a surety that Papa Jim is okay, just like it says in Ether it :)  I am grateful you were all able to be there.  I love our family very much and pray each day that I am away from you that we all are able to grow together.  Please let me know what I can do to help the family or anyone at this time and please know how much I truly love Papa Jim.  He always cared for each of us and I know he always did the best he could to show us.  I love you all :)

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