Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Second Witness

This year has been a challenging one for me. Just recently I was thinking that I hadn't felt the Holy Ghost as much as I had previously. I wasn't sure what I was doing differently or incorrectly. But I missed His constant companionship and knew that I needed to do something. But what? I needed to know.

So, as I was praying during the first week of October(2007), I got the strong impression, again, that I should write my Tender Mercy stories. I had felt two years ago that I should, at the very least, write them for myself and my family. I know that when I am having a dry spell in my spirituality, I can reread my journals and often find my own testimony, experiences, or insights that help remind me of the things that are most important. I determined that I would do it and start again, now.

I knew it was the answer to my prayers. I felt the warm reassurance that writing my stories would help me not only feel the Spirit more in my life, but that what I had felt two years ago was still valid.

But Heavenly Father really wanted me to know this was His will for me. In the Sunday morning session of General Conference, President Eyring's talk "O Remember, Remember" was a second witness. The words of his talk, how they hit me! He said, "...it is not easy to be worthy of the Holy Ghost’s companionship in a wicked world.
That is why forgetting God has been such a persistent problem among His children since the world began. Think of the times of Moses, when God provided manna and in miraculous and visible ways led and protected His children. Still, the prophet warned the people who had been so blessed, as prophets always have warned and always will: 'Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life.'"

Was I like the children of Egypt who had been fed manna both spiritually and temporally and was forgetting? Yes. I had felt a whole two years ago that I should write my sweet spiritual experiences down and I had only written one. And it was on my computer for no one to read. Everyone that knows me very well has probably heard the one I've posted here on my blog, but I've now posted it! I have a couple more to follow.

So to continue, President Eyring told me (and you), "The key to the remembering that brings and maintains testimony is receiving the Holy Ghost as a companion. It is the Holy Ghost who helps us see what God has done for us."

After Elder Bednar's talk in the spring of 2005, I had been jotting down in my palm pilot notes of the small Tender Mercies that Heavenly Father had granted me. I have a list of twenty or more, in two or three word descriptions. I wanted to write them in greater detail. I knew it was important. I wanted to share with my family how blessed we were. I had a hectic summer that year, and a crazy fall. I quit writing my list. But I still shared my stories.

Then I quit sharing my stories. Life continued through it's normal ups and downs, with a few more downs than normal. But I felt the Holy Ghost with me through those trials, directing and comforting me.

But after finally landing with both feet on the ground back in Logan, things calmed down. I got busy setting up house, finishing our basement, learning a new job, and adjusting to being back "home".

But something has been missing. Not that I haven't had the Holy Ghost with me, but I haven't had His constant companionship like I had. I couldn't place what was different. Because of the answer to my prayers and the second witness of President Eyring's talk, I know what I was told to do, why, and that now I must do it!

President Eyring;
"Heavenly Father has given a simple pattern for us to receive the Holy Ghost not once but continually in the tumult of our daily lives. The pattern is repeated in the sacramental prayer: We promise that we will always remember the Savior. We promise to take His name upon us. We promise to keep His commandments. And we are promised that if we do that, we will have His Spirit to be with us.6 Those promises work together in a wonderful way to strengthen our testimonies and in time, through the Atonement, to change our natures as we keep our part of the promise.

It is the Holy Ghost who testifies that Jesus Christ is the Beloved Son of a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to have eternal life with Him in families. With even the beginning of that testimony, we feel a desire to serve Him and to keep His commandments. When we persist in doing that, we receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost to give us power in our service. We come to see the hand of God more clearly, so clearly that in time we not only remember Him, but we come to love Him and, through the power of the Atonement, become more like Him."

And this is my desire.

Again, President Eyring, "Tonight, and tomorrow night, you might pray and ponder, asking the questions: Did God send a message {in this General Conference} that was just for me?" (Boy, did He!) "Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my children?" I do, again and again. And I hope and pray that I always will acknowledge His Hand and His Tender Mercies in my life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

3 comments:

Rebecca said...

I didn't know you had a blog! I enjoyed reading your writings, keep it up! I love you

Deanna Payne said...

Terry, your writings are just the spiritual lift I have been needing. Thanks for listening to the spirit. You never know whose life you will bless through your blog. My sister has shared the gospel many times because of her blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, Terry. I am, also often overwhelmed with the tender mercies of the Lord.What a treasure for your family and friend.
sylvia