I decided to put the "World Traveller" chapter of my digital dream board on hold for a few days. Chapter 2 is entitled Lindsey The Mormon.
As you saw in the Chapter 1 below, I recently discovered the Collage thingy in Picasa (I'm a late bloomer, I know) and it's been delightful to stroll through memory lane and piece together my favorite pictures under different themes. I think the pictures that best exemplify my commitment to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are those pictures that have the temple, BYU (the church-sponsored school) or the MTC in them (where my brothers and many of my friends went to learn scriptures, languages, and how to be a missionary).
There are eleven different temples featured above- who can name them all???
In last week's Relief Society lesson, we were talking about the priesthood of God, and the teacher asked us to think about how priesthood holders have bettered our lives. I realized that, without our organized and dedicated lay priesthood holders, there would be no Sacrament service... no ward... no ward friends... there would be no temples to attend! There would be no General Conference. There would be no missionaries called, and thus there would be no church growth. In short, without the priesthood, every way I learn about the gospel would be gone. For all intents and purposes, the gospel would be gone from my life. It made me so grateful for the hundreds of thousands of hours of planning, organizing, praying, counseling, leading, and working that so many priesthood holders have kindly put forth in order to successfully maintain the wards I've belonged to throughout my life.
Because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have unique ways of achieving peace and understanding as I make my way through the world, which I find more and more confusing every year that I live. I have a testimony that it is only through obedience to the principles of the gospel, and through thoughtful, prayerful action, that I can find the strength and resolve to move forward and try to achieve my goals. Having attended this church all my life, I know how to pray to my loving Heavenly Father when I want guidance, and I know I have a wonderful set of scriptures and priesthood blessings to read and ponder when I am seeking extra guidance, or just upliftment. Because of the gospel, I have met hundreds and probably thousands of people with whom I can share the joy of service, faith, and love. I have made about 80% of my friends through the church, and I can definitely say that ALL of my friendships, Mormon or not, are better because of what I believe, because of my participation in this gospel. I am incredibly grateful for the gift of sweet and hilarious friendships.
Even on my days when I feel very much on my own, I am grateful to have the gospel because through it I have learned about my Father in Heaven and the plan he has for me, his daughter, to return to him and be made more like Him through the atonement of His son, Jesus Christ, my favorite example. I am content with who I am, because I know Heavenly Father made me, and He will help me to be my best.
All my heroes are such because they loved God and followed His suggestions to leave a positive mark on this crazy world. All of my finest hopes hinge upon me joining my wonderful family (present and future) in following the sweet, fascinating, and good commandments of God, and finding a lot of joy in that journey.
Funny side note: on our way home from the temple this week, my friends were discussing how we, as little girls, planned to get married at such-and-such a temple, and I just had to laugh and relate the fact that from a very young age my mom firmly and resoundingly told me I was never getting married anywhere but the Las Vegas Temple. I think I had casually expressed a hope that we could hop on down to the crystalline San Diego temple whenever I got married, and my mother just looked at me with an unusual degree of temerity and firmness and said, "NOPE. You're not getting married anywhere but Las Vegas- way too much family to ship anywhere else." So there you go. I accepted it. I love my Las Vegas temple, right up there on the East hills overlooking the valley. I am excited to one day soon go through the temple on my own and learn how to better follow my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ and belong to an eternal family.