Monday, September 1, 2014

"I will rest in you"

President Poulsen invited us all to come to Music & The Spoken Word with them afterward! Madison at the end said to Oscar, "Oscar, this is home!"  Oscar then responded, "No, Madison--heaven is home."  Wow.  The things this family has taught me, and how I love them so.

Happy Labor day everyone! As we celebrate the great changes made in the laboring environment of the United States, I today stand and celebrate not only the great and fulfilling loves of labor, but the great relief of rest. 
Sister McQueen and I woke up this morning to go running nearby.  As I ran the prompting kept coming, "think about it, what is today?"  September 1st.  It hit me.  I go home next month from my time as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As I ran looking at the temple, looking at the clouds and light above, I was overwhelmed with such a sense of gratitude for every single moment that the Lord has given me to serve, both here at Temple Square and in the Reno Nevada Mission as well.

This morning we were able to meet with all the sisters in their first transfer, and to watch a powerful and very Spirit-led devotional by one of the Lord's chosen Apostles in these days, Elder Holland.  He talked about the importance of serving the Lord because we love Him. As I looked around the room I remembered watching this very same devotional and crying with my MTC companion, Sister Marsh.  I remember thinking, "Yes, I love my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ more than anything, help me to do enough!"  I remember thinking about being anxiously engaged in a good cause, in the very best cause--the cause of helping our Father in Heaven bring to pass our eternal life through the Atonement of His Son. I've come to realize throughout my mission that we may be anxiously engaged, and yet take moments to stand and be still, and know that God is there.

Everything has been coming around full circle.  Yesterday, in our ward Sacrament meeting, Sister McQueen and I both gave our "farewell" talks, and Sister Marsh and I sang "I will rest in you" by Mindy Gledhill with our dear sisters, Sister Garcia from Spain, and Sister Jacque Sweeney from Utah. This song has such a special place in my heart.  For those of you who really know me and saw me go through the process of deciding to come on a mission, you may remember that it wasn't the easiest walk.  There was trial after trial thrown my way, things came and went, but there was something, someone, that never, ever changed, even though I couldn't always fully see it at the time.
It was God.  He was there, and in every moment of despair or loneliness when I felt I didn't even know what to say in prayer, I would listen to this very song, "I will rest in you."  That song has brought me peace throughout my mission and has changed from being a song of rest, to being a song of focused determination to help my brothers and sisters know they have this same place to rest just waiting for them.
As I prepared my talk for Sacrament meeting yesterday, I was asked to speak about the importance of covenants, the two-way promises we are asked to make with God to help us receive blessings and progress in this life, and eternal life with God in the life to come, I knelt and prayed, and asked for a scripture that would be meaningful and important to share. As I prayed the experience of Enos, from The Book of Mormon, came to my mind, and felt such a strong spirit as I read verse 17.
"And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest."
Brothers and Sisters, God asks us to be baptized, to go to the temple, because He knows that our souls need rest, they need the assurance that comes from knowing we have entered into a promise with Him who could never go back on a promise, for He would then cease to be God. 

Jerrel, Madison & Oscar were so sweet to come and hear us speak and sing in Church even though it was at 7:30 in the morning! We love them and are so grateful to see the peace of God working in their lives.  

I want each of you to know that we really can rest in God.  We can trust Him.  He is our Father and He loves us with such a perfect love.  Experiment on His word.  Try doing as He has asked, and I promise you will see His promised blessings flow.  Recognize also, that as we keep our promises to Him, we can be His children that He finds rest in.  Brothers and Sisters, what joy would it be to picture our Father and Savior in Heaven above and to see one of their children struggling, yet to say, "We have little need to worry, (insert your name) will help." We can be those people for them! After everything they have done for us, after every moment of peace, after every breath of life, how could we turn such an opportunity away? 
I testify that I have found rest in my Savior and in my Father in Heaven, and I have seen countless sisters, guests and friends this past week find rest in Him as well. Remember, we are divine children of God, we were created in His image, not we created Him in ours.  Do not put limits on Him of the answers He can bring and the assurance He longs to offer.
I love each of you and hope that this week finds you well and that you can feel God's rest.
Sister Briggs
SHOUTOUTS: Mom & Dad, Bry & Case, Robert Donakey, The Donakey family, Jacque Sweeney, Amber, Caroline Slater, The Thomas family, Jess Helms, Mom Pickerell, Sister Siegle

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