Sunday, March 23, 2014

Personal Progress

In our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the girls ages 12- 18 have a theme that they repeat together every Sunday.  It goes:

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places”  as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
 We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Along with this theme they have a program that they go through called Personal Progress.  In this they have certain projects for each value that they complete.  It includes things like reading scriptures on the value topic, applying gospel principals into their lives, sharing their testimony with others, writing their experiences in their journals, serving others, etc.  When it is complete they get a medallion as a symbol of all they have learned and accomplished. 

Maddi and Makenna are both working on theirs. I did mine when I was their age and still have my medallion.  Now I get to do it again.  As a mother to young women, I am encouraged to do the personal progress program with them.  So I have started along with them.

The value I am working on now is faith.  I have read scriptures about faith.  I have tried, while taking the sacrament each week, to focus on the Savior and the promises I have made to Him to follow Him and be obedient.  I have tried to read my scriptures daily and pray daily so I can have that strength throughout my days.  One of the projects that I could choose from was to write a poem or a song or do an art piece depicting my faith.  I like to write so I chose to do a poem.  Here is what I wrote:

Kneeling down on bended knee
Hands clasped in desperation
Heartfelt pleadings sent above
Stillness calming the inner soul
Quiet whisperings amidst loud opinions
Silent strength under a heavy load
Pressing on against the mainstream
A step towards an unseen road
A leap off the tallest mountain
A turn off the path well trod
A hand outstretched in the darkness
Clinging tightly to faith and hope
A sense of peace hushing the confusion
Light is coming from the distance
Answers now becoming clear
God is there just as He promised
Trust in Him has proven true

This depicts my experiences with faith.  So often, when I have a choice to make or a mountain to climb, it starts out on my knees with pleading to my Heavenly Father.  He sends peace and calmness as I take the first steps into the darkness hoping that He will be there as promised. It takes faith to take that first step, especially when those around me seem to be going the other way.  But as I walk down that sometimes lonely path, the light begins to come, my sight is increased and I can see that He is there leading the way.  My faith grows stronger and I feel His love even more.

I am very grateful for the chance I have to do this again with my daughters.  It is good for me to sit down and study these things and be reminded of who I am and what I have the potential to become. 

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