Happy Valentine's Day and President's Day everyone! I hope you have truly been filled with love and gratitude for those around you...and even for those who you don't see immediately around you. I hope you have smiled, laughed, and embraced someone every day. I hope you have prayed, studied the scriptures and served every day.
The most true and pure love comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ, and we come to know Him and feel of this love as we serve Him and do as He once did. His love is not only infinite, but it is eternal. It overcame the bands of sin and physical death because the love of Christ will never give up. It will work through when things are the hardest. It will raise up when all feels at its lowest. It will push you toward your Father in Heaven when you feel like laying low in the things of this world. Nothing can ever replace the love our Savior has for each and everyone of us. I may not know you whoever is reading this, but I know that our Savior died for you, and for me that is more than enough to know and testify boldly and honestly that you are loved.
|I was so happy I got to go swinging on Valentine's day...it was SO windy! Thank you for the scarf from last Valentine's Day Robert :)|
I've really learned this week as I witnessed so many investigators keep their commitments, the pure love and motives of our Father in Heaven. It is against the very nature of God to do that which is bad for us. Know that your pleadings in the night are heard. Know that your prayers of simplicity are held in high reverence and that your Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ not only hear, they hearken.
This last week we read the talk, "We Never Walk Alone," by our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson, to many of our less active members. The spirit filled the room on too many occasions for me to not share this important message with each and every one of you. I love the poem he shared and feel impressed to share it with each of you now, especially those dear friends and family of mine whom I know are pleading with the Lord in search of relief.
"I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered, soon or late.
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought;
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest."
The last two lines of this poem are my absolute favorite. I assure you with absolute confidence that God not only hears your prayers, but He knows them just as surely as He knows you. He knows that what you yearn for most, He knows the deepest and most sincere desires of your heart. It is only in His nature to answer your prayer, to grant your quest, or else He will give you an answer that will leave you far more blest. It is all about our perspective. Often times, our definition of "things working out" are far more different from our Heavenly Father's definition. How grateful I am for this difference.
When we pray for success, our Heavenly Father gives us the experiences we need to learn to endure. When we pray for joy, our Father in Heaven may give us sorrow to better appreciate and recognize the joys we already have. When we pray for hope, faith, peace, comfort, He gives us opportunities to use and apply the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we pray for change, our Father in Heaven gives us a change of heart, and opportunity to become more like Him. For Him, things "working out" is being defined as what it will be that will move us closer to eternal life with Him and our Savior above.
Time is certainly one of our most precious gifts on this earth and in the eternities. Because of the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ, each of us will have infinite time, but the gift of eternal life is protected for those who seek it. How grateful I am for the Savior Jesus Christ and for His restored gospel. Every thing that we are asked to do, is Him truly asking for an opportunity to pour out His blessings upon us. We can preserve and protect our infinite time, that gift from our Savior, by doing that which is of eternal value here. God wants more than immortality for His children, He wants eternal life. With each step we take, we press forward with a renewed trust in God that the magnification of our mortal lives is His deepest and most sincere eternal wish.
Think of the joy you feel when you receive a good grade, or when you perform better in a game or with a musical instrument...these are temporary and yet how great is your happiness. Our Father in Heaven wants us to leave our mark on eternity. Look at the good you do each day. Ponder the ways you have felt the spirit. Think about the blessings you have received from prayer and scripture study. The time you give to Him, is indeed treasures in heaven you store up for yourself and your family. It is the greatest way to give thanks to our Savior and Redeemer.
I was overcome this week as I witnessed so many families and individuals in Reno not give up their time, but give of their time to something greater, to something more eternal. I have seen the blessings and witnessed the change of heart that comes as allowing ourselves to grow closer to God...
Morgan has felt the spirit testify to him that The Book of Mormon is truly the word of God. Axel began to ponder that he is important to the creator of this very world. The Krochus have put aside their past and are working towards a temple marriage. Holly allowed the Preisthood power to bless her life and to give her strength from her hospital room. James, a 12-year old boy, who's mother is fighting cancer, found strength in the story of Nephi who was an example to his entire family.
I invite you all to leave your mark on eternity, rather than simply on the world. YOU are a child of God, never let yourself forget that fundamental fact. I testify to each of you that Jesus Christ lives, He is our Savior and Redeemer and the Son of God. He is our older brother, our example and our friend. Your life, including your joys, your struggles, your triumphs and your falls are all so important to Him, that He was willing to give up His very life for you, all of you. Take the time you have, dedicate it to Him, and you will be dedicating your life to become that which it was meant to become. Let yourself grow, let yourself be changed, and you will grow higher, taller and come nearer to God.
Have a wonderful week!!!
Sister Briggs :)
SHOUTOUTS: Mom and Dad, Bryan and Casey, Sister Hoyt, CHAY MILES ( I love you and miss you so very much, thank you for your sweet letter!), Robert Donakey, The Donakey family, Grandfather and Grandma Jeanie, Sister Green :)