Tuesday, August 31, 2010
You Can't Take That Away
While serving a mission in Ireland for the LDS (mormon church) we spent a lot of time, as missionaries, going from door to door or speaking to people in the streets. Our message was always the same - it taught of Jesus Christ, His Atonement and our Heavenly Father's plan for us to return to live with Him again someday. Sometimes we would have people who would want to argue with us or "Bible bash" in hopes to prove us wrong or confuse us of the message we were sharing. We were taught by our leaders to never argue with them. Sometimes it was hard because we wanted to "prove" to them that what we were saying was true. We wanted them to feel the joy and peace that the gospel would bring into their lives. But we were taught not to so we didn't. We were taught to instead, bear testimony. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are encouraged to pray about the things we hear and learn so that we can know for ourselves that it is true. They don't want us to blindly follow. They want us to truly believe and be full of knowledge. As we pray, the Holy Spirit will testify to us of the truth and our testimonies will grow. When a person bears their testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, the spirit is always present. A testimony is something that can never be taken from you. That's why it was so important, standing on those doorsteps, to bear heartfelt testimony instead of arguing. The spirit would be with us to testify too. No one can argue with a testimony. They may not believe you, but they can't argue with things you know to be true through prayer. As I walked the streets of Ireland for 16 months teaching, my testimony became stronger. No matter how many times I was spit on, had rocks, snowballs and footballs thrown at me, had obscenities yelled at me, and doors slammed in my face, they could not take my testimony from me. Today I am faced with different challenges. Ones maybe not so apparent as a door being slammed in my face. Still, no matter what is thrown at me, no matter what is taken away from me, my testimony can not be taken away. It is who I am. It is a part of me, woven deep in my heart and soul. It gets me through the challenges just as it did in Ireland so many years ago. Jesus lives! He loves us. He has set the example for us and prepared the way for our return to our Father in Heaven. Through His Atonement we have hope, joy and the ability to repent of our mistakes and try again. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ I can find the strength to endure to the end, the guidance to raise my children and bring them safely home, and the knowledge that I am a child of God.