During my freshman year of college the change in missionary age for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was announced. I would be eligible for a LDS mission in that coming June yet, a mission in my mind was NOT for me. I was loving school and being a Chi Omega, I was having fun and dating. However, after my first semester I felt kind of stuck. I wasn’t improving and was in a way empty inside. When going to my singles ward I never made comments in sunday school and relief society. I missed being in primary where I knew the answers to all the questions! I was embarrassed to give any insight when it came time for comments in class. What did I have to offer spiritually? At the time I was an 18 year old girl who grew up in the suburbs of Holladay and had had a privileged life. I hadn’t experienced many hardships and didn’t have many spiritual experiences to draw from. At church I was envious of the women who had gone on missions and knew the scriptures so well. A mission was sounding more and more appealing and after much contemplation I talked to my Bishop and began my papers. While diligently preparing for what I thought was going to be a mission became preparing for meeting my future husband. I met Chris halfway through filling out my papers. GAME CHANGER.
My life took a different path and I got married. Before getting married to Chris I had never lived away from my home. I lived with my parents and at their house the gospel runs every aspect of their life. I was reminded constantly of the importance of reading the scriptures and attending church. Imagine yourself going from elementary school straight to college. I left a place where I had my hand held the whole way to YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN KID. Needless to say it’s been hard. Waking up on Sunday and not having any pressure to go to church for ALL three hours. Being a poor couple who could use every penny, I had no person saying “Did you pay your tithing?” No one is telling me to get out of bed and onto my knees. You get the picture.
As much as you’re twenties (I’m not even 20 yet ha, SOON) are a time of fun they should also be a period of self discovery, reflection and independence. NOW is the time to decide what you’re priorities are and what you believe. Alma 34:32 “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” Now is the time is to gain a testimony of the things that are so easy to blow off like, tithing, scripture study, prayer, church attendance, fasting, etc. We can’t expect for these habits to come easily, from experience I can tell you they don’t! AT ALL. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! I don’t anticipate that it will be any easier doing these things in my later years when I haven’t started now! Every time I do these things (As my mom would say) I put money in my spiritual bank account and I begin to know of the truth of the doctrine by practicing it.
It may seem strange that after being married in the Salt Lake Temple and having taken out my Endowment that I don’t have a strong and unwavering testimony of the Gospel. I doubt everyday and have worries and concerns like many others. The only thing I strongly know to be true is that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I have leaned on my parents testimony for nineteen years which is far too long. I decided that It is time to find my OWN testimony and knowledge of this Gospel. I didn’t go on a mission and I don’t want to regret that decision. I want to be able to share scriptures in church and have conversations with my husband on a spiritual level and feel equal. I want to help hasten the work here in downtown Salt Lake City where the need is great. Already as a wife I have grown to know my Savior more than ever before. I am reading my scriptures and praying for the will power to learn this gospel. I want to continually be pointed towards the Lord and his Temple.
This week my testimony builder was temple attendance.
It is all too common to get sealed in the Temple and to rarely return to that sacred place. Being that I live less than 5 minutes away from the beautiful Salt Lake Temple I have made it a goal to go two times a month. I haven’t been perfect but so far it has blessed my life tremendously. I try my best to prepare mentally before I go by taking my time and thinking positively. The temple is a testament of God’s love for his children. God bestows so many blessings when we follow the commandments and honor our covenants made there. As much as going to the temple with my husband is amazing, I had the opportunity to go with my family and my 92 year old Grandma Marcia. It is crazy that even someone like my Grandma who has been more times than she can count and worked there for many years still can learn something new from the experience. However, Marcia can’t remember the last time she had gone and participated. SO SO grateful she was ready when we called her! She still keeps her temple recommend current. I hope to not only live to be 92 but to also have a current temple recommend! As I helped her get her things ready and drove her to the Jordan River Temple I could tell she was excited. She knows that hearing God’s words and feeling the Spirit can rejuvenate the soul so tremendously. Being with her was one of the sweetest memories I will ever have with her. Please take the time to serve and go to the temple.
I hope to provide posts for my readers with uplifting messages of how to strengthen your testimony through the little things. I would love to hear of your journey of finding a testimony as well!