Friday, April 11, 2014

Put His Arms Unfailing 'Round You

 Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes! You are all so kind!
It is such a blessing to be back at Temple Square at such an exciting time.  The beautiful flowers are blooming all around, yet it is the spirit of God that emanates from the temple that brings the greatest light to these sacred grounds.  Every Prophet and Apostle from the time of Brigham Young has walked these grounds and I think of that with each step I take.  I feel proud to call these Apostles and Prophets my brothers.  I feel proud to know, through the restored knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, that I lived with each of them before.  I feel blessed when I think of the ways they must have stood beside our Savior and taught us there on high to be prepared for this short yet essential experience here on earth.
General Conference day 1 with some of the amazing sisters in our district!

I know this is why we feel such a profound spirit when we hear them speak at General Conference times.  The Holy Ghost is here to teach us of the truth and of that which is so familiar with our spirits.  If we were not spirit children of God, we would not be able to receive answers to prayers through one of His other spirit children, even the Holy Ghost. As we listen to their words, I pray that we apply them in our lives.  I pray that we receive them as words from our Savior. They have given their entire lives to fulfilling the very command our Savior has given us in the scriptures.
With part of my wonderful family! Thank you so much for everything! You are all so important to me :) Thank you for coming to the temple!
"Therefore, what manner of me ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." (3 Nephi 27:27)
As a representative of Jesus Christ, as a daughter of God working alongside these Apostles in this mission to bring everyone closer to their Savior, I testify that they are truly men called of God.  I testify that Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of God on the earth today.  I testify that we having living Apostles in our day who walk and talk with our Savior, who marvel in His glory and then give their lives to helping us, their brothers and sisters, to feel of His love.
I am so thankful to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The greatest joy has come to me as I have been able to be an instrument in God's hands to help our brothers and sisters feel of their Savior's love, striving to follow in the footsteps of our Apostles, and in the footsteps of Christ, Himself.
The greatest place we can go to truly feel the arms of our Savior is in the temple and this week, we were able to help Lesle feel this for herself.  
Companionship unity without planning it :) love her! Isn't she wonderful?!
Lesle was an investigator lesson we took with some of the local elders in one of the Salt Lake missions.  Lesle was married to a less-active member of the church who passed away just about 2 years ago.  The last two years she has looked everywhere for her Savior's love...Friday night, she really found it for the first time in a long while, and it was standing at the doors of the Salt Lake temple.
When we met Lesle we felt an instant love for her, we felt a sincere concern for her happiness and we also felt a strong pull to take her to the temple grounds.  As we walked arm in arm with her, we could feel her almost shaking.  She felt nervous, so unsure about what path she was on, but taking it step by step because she knew it would bring her happiness.  When we arrived on the sacred grounds of the temple, we felt that we needed to take her up to the door.
As we stood up at the gigantic, hand carved doors, we watched as she put her hand on the temple and looked up.  It would have been easy to solely notice her eyes looking up and down the frame of the temple, yet I noticed her calm, steady hand, no longer shaking, stilled by the spirit of the Lord that surrounds the temple.
I looked right into her eyes and just opened my mouth and heard the spirit speaking through me. "Lesle, with your husbands passing, I am sure you have felt the comfort of many friends and family putting their arm around you, like this," I said as I walked over and put my arm around her.
She looked right back at me and said, "yes, those arms have been what have been getting me through.  It's been feeling them there even know I can't feel my husband's arms there anymore."
So happy to be reunited with  Sister Taylor :)
With one of the most powerful moments of feeling the spirit I have ever experienced I put my hand on my heart and said, "When we are baptized, we feel God in here.  When we are baptized, He gives us the gift of the Holy Ghost that we can feel His comfort from the very core of who we are." Lesle nodded.
"It is a step to bringing us into the Lord's house where we feel His very arm around us. Where we feel His arms locked around ours forevermore."
Lesle just kept her eyes on mine as the tears streamed down her face. The hope of feeling such an embrace throughout her life put a smile on her face and let the Holy Ghost into her heart. We stood there silently until her simple words testified to me of the reality of this embrace.
"I have longed for something like that," she said, "I know it's real, I can feel Him there now."
After day 2 of General tired but SO happy!
Brothers and Sisters, the temple is our home away from home on earth.  Nothing can ever replace the powerful feelings of belonging we feel when we enter the temple.  I think of the joy I felt as a little girl when I would see my Dad pull up in the drive way and come through the front door.  I think of the weight of work being lifted off his shoulders as he then lifted me up instead.  Now think of how God feels when we come home to His temples.  Think of the worries that we take away from Him in seeing us walk through those sacred doors. Even just thinking about this brings such a smile to my face that I cannot contain it.  He is eager to welcome us home and to put His arms unfailing round us.  He is anxious to lift us up so that when we fall, we fall into the arms of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ.
Wherever you are, please go to the temple.  Walk around the temple, and do all you can each day to be excited for the blessing of having God's arms most powerfully around you.
Sister Briggs :)
Birthday dinner at City Creek with my beautiful companion, Sister Gearheart! Thank you Mom & Dad!
SHOUTOUTS: Thank you to EVERYONE for all the amazing birthday wishes, I feel so blessed! Mom & Dad, Bry & Casey, Brother & Sister Donakey, Mary, Becca, Sara, Barry, Heather, Briana and Alecsy, Grandfather and Grandma Jeanie, Grandfather and Lolly, Cascade Crest Ward, Layton family, the Pickerell Family, the Kendricks, Chay and Colton Miles, Barbara Slater, Jessica Helms, Sister Lin, Rob Versaw, Sean Burton, Britania & Tom (hi baby birds!) Sister Green and Caroline Slater :)

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