Wednesday, March 14, 2018

New Missionaries/Finding Peace through Christ

On Friday, March 2, 2018 we had a wonderful meeting with the new missionaries and their companions.  
We met at the Scarsdale chapel.

Shoutout to Elder Nybo, one of our current office elders who is talented in photography!!
He has done a great job with these photos.

In our calling we have opportunity to speak at ten Stake Conferences a year.  Five in the Spring and five in the Fall.  If I had been told I would be doing this just a few years ago it would have caused me great stress!!  However, it is miraculous to me how the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ gives us the strength to do things far beyond our own abilities.  It has come to be a great blessing in my life to bear testimony and strive to build the faith of members and investigators we have grown to love so much.  Rarely do we write talks as we often have just a few minutes to share a some thoughts and our testimony.  I have worked hard to study and be prepared at all times so the Spirit can direct what I say.  I have grown so much as I've been forced to step out of my comfort zone.  

This past weekend we spoke in the New York Stake Conference. We were asked to prepare talks ahead of time to allow for easier translation in Spanish and Mandarin.  I know many of you are experiencing trials in your family right now.  Perhaps something in the message below will speak peace to your heart.

New York Stake Conference
Sunday, March 4, 2018

"I feel to speak about the peace and hope that comes into our lives as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have come to know this through my own experience. The world is loud. The spirit of the Lord is quiet, it is often more of a feeling than a voice.

A few weeks ago I had lunch with one of my neighbors, a wonderful Jewish woman who has become a dear friend.  Recently she lost a friend in a plane crash along with the friends husband and 3 sons. Through this experience she has felt a loss of hope and has many unanswered questions, wondering why God would allow such a tragedy to occur.  I was so grateful to be able to share with her the simple truths taught in the Book of Mormon about the Plan of Salvation and my testimony that we will be with loved ones again. This life is not the end.  I pondered later on the indescribable peace I have felt in my own life at times of loss that the world would look at as a tragedy. But from a gospel perspective I knew and understood there is a plan and purpose to all things.  By trusting in God I knew all would one day be made right. The spirit of the Holy Ghost brought me comfort just as the Lord promised it would.

Every person at some time or another longs for peace, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7)

The Savior has promised
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:26

Recently our family has become friends with another family that is being taught the gospel by the missionaries.  They are wonderful people filled with a great desire to follow the Savior. Learning of the Book of Mormon and the truths taught in it has been life changing, particularly for the wife and mother in the family.  This past week she shared with me a beautiful poem she wrote about The Book of Mormon

The Poem
You came to my life
like a fairytale.
You wipe away the tears
of my emptiness.

Your words stitch the holes
of my broken heart.
You warm up my soul
with the kindest words.

With you;
I learn the truth.
There is no more pain,
I have no tears.

With you I have shelter.
There is no more fear.
Your love has saved me.
My wounds are healed.

(By Josie Cardona
My Testimony of the Book of Mormon)

In his conference talk last Fall President Nelson said:
"When I think of the Book of Mormon, I think of the word power. The truths of the Book of Mormon have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls."
President Nelson teaches about staying on the covenant path which leads to eternal life and holding to the Iron Rod.  We read in the Book of Mormon that the “Iron Rod is the Word of God” (1 Nephi 11:25)

As we study the scriptures every day it gives us strength to hold onto the rod and stay on the path.

But sometimes we stumble and we need to get back on.  One night several years ago my husband was teaching our son about this.  He would have been about 7 years old. In his youthful innocence he said “dad what if I let go of the iron rod?”  My husband responded “son, I will help you hold on. If I have to I will put my hand on yours and help you along.”  

It is not a race. We need to help each other. And the beautiful part is if we fall off there are ladders to help us get back on the path.  These ladders are called Repentance.  

The Lord’s desire that we come unto Him and be wrapped in His arms is often an invitation to repent.
“Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you” (Alma 5:33).
When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back towards Him.
Repentance is change.  It is being better today than we were yesterday.
I testify that we can find peace in this world.  It is by turning to the Savior Jesus Christ
We can come to know the Savior better as we sincerely study from the Book of Mormon.  
“In a world ever more dangerous...The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ has the nourishing power to heal starving spirits of the world.”
-Boyd K. Packer
I invite you to read and study from it everyday.  As you do this you will have a spiritual power come into your life.  You will have more hope and peace in your heart. I testify that this is true.  

In the name of Jesus Christ..."

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