Sunday, June 7, 2009

Just what I needed to hear

As many of you know, I have the privilege of teaching Sunday School to the 14-18 yr olds in my ward. The great thing is that the lessons are the same as adult Sunday School so I never feel like I'm missing out!

Today's lesson really touched me, and the subject matter is very close to my after death. I remember vividly talking with a guy in my Intro to Fiction class in college and how sad I felt when he said that all you have is the here and now. One of my LDS friends had the class with me, so we proceeded to talk with him about how we believe that there is life after death, and we will be able to see our loved ones again.

While we were discussing what we can do NOW to prepare, the lesson had a beautiful (although very long) quote about the importance of having a strong testimony of Christ, and I want to share with you, by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“What does it mean to be valiant in the testimony of Jesus?

“It is to be courageous and bold; to use all our strength, energy, and ability in the warfare with the world; to fight the good fight of faith. . . . The great cornerstone of valiance in the cause of righteousness is obedience to the whole law of the whole gospel.

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to ‘come unto Christ, and be perfected in him’; it is to deny ourselves ‘of all ungodliness,’ and ‘love God’ with all our ‘might, mind and strength.’ (Moro. 10:32.)

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to believe in Christ and his gospel with unshakable conviction. It is to know of the verity and divinity of the Lord’s work on earth.

“But this is not all. It is more than believing and knowing. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only. It is more than lip service; it is not simply confessing with the mouth the divine Sonship of the Savior. It is obedience and conformity and personal righteousness. . . .

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.’ It is to ‘endure to the end.’ (2 Ne. 31:20.) It is to live our religion, to practice what we preach, to keep the commandments. It is the manifestation of ‘pure religion’ in the lives of men; it is visiting ‘the fatherless and widows in their affliction’ and keeping ourselves ‘unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27.)

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to bridle our passions, control our appetites, and rise above carnal and evil things. It is to overcome the world as did he who is our prototype and who himself was the most valiant of all our Father’s children. It is to be morally clean, to pay our tithes and offerings, to honor the Sabbath day, to pray with full purpose of heart, to lay our all upon the altar if called upon to do so.

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to take the Lord’s side on every issue. It is to vote as he would vote. It is to think what he thinks, to believe what he believes, to say what he would say and do what he would do in the same situation. It is to have the mind of Christ and be one with him as he is one with his Father” (in
Conference Report, Oct. 1974, 45–46; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, 35).

I also went to Relief Society today, and last week, and we talked about the importance of recognizing the blessings in your life, related to President Monson's talk "Be of Good Cheer." The person conducting went around the room and we all had to say what we were thankful for, and I am so thankful that my husband is my best friend! He is someone that I can confide in and that I enjoy just sitting in silence with. In less than a month we will have been married 8 years, and I don't think we would have ever survived all of the deployments & time apart if it wasn't for our friendship.

I know this isn't a normal post for me, but I felt compelled to share :o)


Kristina P. said...

This is a great post, and a great reminder, Mary.

Wendyburd1 said...

Great post!!

Jessica G. said...

Thanks for sharing!

Missy said...

This is a great post!