Sunday, March 15, 2009

What I know is true...

This post was inspired by a recent activity I had with the girls that I work with at my church. My calling is to be an advisor to the 12-13 year old girls. This means I teach them every other Sunday and I help plan and carry out weekday evening activities. I love being able to serve these amazing girls and work with some amazing women.
So a couple of weeks ago we had our "New Beginnings". This evening happens once a year where we introduce the new girls that have just turned twelve and we focus on the theme for the year. Our theme this year is the scripture found in 1Timothy 4:12
My church has a program for the young women that gives them the opportunity to make goals and do projects. If they pass off all of the requirements they can earn their Young Womanhood medallion which is the equivalent to earning the Eagle Scout award.
The goals they work on are centered around eight values. Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity and Virtue.
Virtue is a new value that was just introduced this year. Each value has a color. Virtue is gold. So why am I telling you all this?
Well, I was in charge of decorating the main table for New Beginnings. The girls wanted to use the color gold and somehow incorporate "treasure" into our decor.
So this is what I came up with:
It was very simple. But as I sat and waited for all the girls to show up with their parents I looked more deeply at the table that I had created and I realized that my testimony was on display.
First, my testimony of Jesus Christ as my Redeemer and Savior of the world is by far what I treasure most.
Second, my testimony of eternal families.
Though my marriage is definitely not perfect, it is one of my greatest treasures. Knowing that the covenants we made in the temple will allow us to be together forever, motivates me to be a good wife and a good friend to Aric. I love thinking that this life that we are building together can bring us eternal happiness with our family.
Third, my testimony of the divine nature of women.
Before we were ever born we had a gender. Women were created with a divine purpose, to bring God's children into this world. My children are my sweetest treasure. I cannot think of anything that has brought me more joy or more satisfaction than being a mom to Maya, Eden and Camden. There is nothing I could do that would be of greater worth than being a full time mom to them. My days are long and my patience usually checks out at around 7pm but I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING in this world.
Fourth, my testimony of the scriptures.
They are true. They are the words of God through his prophets. I love reading the Old Testament. It's so crazy to wrap your mind around how old this record is. In the New Testament I love reading about Christ's ministry. I like to imagine myself there listening to him preach his gospel and watching him perform miracles. I'd like to think I would have been one who believed and walked along side him. I love to read the Book of Mormon which is a history of Christ and his ministry in Central and South America. I love to read about when he finally came and how those people had waited so long for him to come, I like to think that some of my ancestors were there.
The scriptures are a record of people who really lived and the lessons we can learn from them are invaluable. We read the scriptures everyday as a family, the sweet spirit that reading them brings into our home is worth every effort we make.
Each of us has our own testimony. Some parts are stronger than others. When life is going smooth it's easy to take our testimonies for granted. It's easy to get caught up in superficial things. It's when things get hard, and life's storms roll in, that our testimonies are really tested.
My faith has been tested many times. Each trial that I have had, has brought me closer to God and given me a greater appreciation for Christ and what he suffered for me. He didn't just atone for our sins, he suffered every pain of every kind so that we could turn to him for peace and comfort. If we truly believe in Christ and that he actually suffered for us, then we can completely trust that he will heal our hearts and comfort even our deepest pains.
That night I decorated the table, I was feeling pretty down. I had been feeling down for awhile. As I sat there seeing my testimony displayed for everyone to see, I realized that it didn't matter if anyone actually acknowledged or even looked at the table. I thought I was decorating for the girls and their parents but I was really only decorating that table for me and my Heavenly Father.
The tears began to well up as I felt the spirit whisper to me that Heavenly Father was aware of me and that he loves me. That he was pleased with my efforts and I felt his acceptance of my small simple table. He has not forgotten me and the trial that we are facing with the adoption. He is perfectly aware of our situation and will continue to support us as we turn to him for help and guidance.
Well, I really didn't mean for this post to turn into its own testimony meeting, I just felt like sharing. Mainly because this blog is my journal and I want this documented for my children. I want them to know how I was able to get through my life's challenges so that someday when they are faced with their own storms they will know how to get through them.


Becky said...

Beautiful post and testimony. Isn't it amazing how Heavely Father is personally aware of each of us and our every need. That is so comforting to me. Sometimes I forget it but in tough times he seems to find a way to remind us.

Becky said...

Beautiful Jess, thank you!

Ilene said...

It's already New Beginnings again?

You are a wonderful advisor to those girls. Anyone who knows you feels your testimony whether or not a lovely table display is involved or not.

Keep the faith, my friend!

Melissa-Mc said...

Thanks for sharing. I am glad you were able to have that experience as you felt the spirit tell you that Heavenly Father is so aware of you and all of your struggles.

calibosmom said...

AMEN Sista! Thanks for sharing your testimony.

Mrs Ana said...

All I can say is Beautiful!!!

Natalie said...

I had a 'Heavenly Father does love me and is aware' experience on my birthday. It was beyond needed. I'm glad that you shared yours, so that i could remember mine. You're amazing. Keep uplifting the masses, through your blog, your testimony and your tables. You have a way of injecting your testimony in EVERY THING You say and do. It is truly who you are. I love it! Thank you for sharing something so personal with all of us.

Jean McKendrick said...

Your young women are lucky to have you. I am sure you do a wonderful job and they most certainly benefit from your testimony. Thanks for that link (recipe) on my blog. If you ever come across killer recipes feel free to share. I am all about good food. :)

Lauren in GA said...

Oh, Jessica that was so beautiful. I love the things you said. Your display was beautiful, too.

I work in Young Women, humbles me when I think of the responsibility I have to help them build their testimonies.

The music with this post is so lovely.

I know you are a fabulous leader!

Bridget said...

Great post. I love YW! I bet you are rocking that calling.

AMY said...

I've really been thinking about my testimony as well... I don't know if it's because such sacred practices are being shared on cable TV... but I've been wondering what I would say as a missionary if the moment arose... hopefully to someone who was ready to hear.