Monday, October 19, 2015

how I gained my testimony, piece-by-piece

Because I'm Addicted

I am so thankful for change. And for testimonies. And for the Sabbath Day and the spiritual refresher it is. I'm thankful for my family and the Gospel in my life. The Gospel brings me such happiness, I honestly can say I have no idea where I would be without it. I feel like climbing to a mountaintop and just exclaiming my happiness for all to hear. Honestly, I'm feeling on cloud nine after this weekend. I finally understand the idea that Sunday is a day of spiritual preparation for the week to come. It's like the Sacrament allowing you to be washed clean and taking away the burdens of the week as long as you continue to partake of the sacrament every Sunday. I feel like what you do on Sunday totally prepares you for how you'll be able to handle the week ahead of you. For example, usually Monday's stink for me. I wake up groggy after a weekend of getting accustomed to sleeping in, and then my alarm for seminary wakes me up at 5am, bright dark and early. And trust me, I do love seminary. It totally starts my day off right. But by the end of the week, the lack of sleep and piling homework tends to take a toll.

This past Saturday was the long-anticipated, long-awaited SIX-stake barn dance. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. That dance was crazy fun, and it just reminded me of all the amazing, fun, fabulously awesome people in the church. I was able to see so many friends I hadn't seen in so long, whether I had met them in previous Youth Conference families, Girl's Camps, or other dances. It made me so happy talking and reuniting with people I missed, but 10x sadder when the dance neared its closing! But seriously, I can't wait for when I turn 16, because then I'll be able to hang out with all those friends on fun group dates! And I'll be able to drive and therefore be able to see them more. Oh, and buy myself food...that's a big plus!!

Sunday was maybe even better in my opinion. Actually, scratch that, it definitely was! I just feel like I was able to get so much more out of church in general, and maybe I was even more in-tune with the Spirit, because a lot more things jumped out to me during the various talks. Two really big topics in church were the two Christ-like attributes of OBEDIENCE & CHARITY. Forgiveness was touched on a lot as well.

My home teacher, who just so happens to be my stake's patriarch and an amazingly spiritual, kind person, shared a story about obedience and it really resonated with me. He shared with me a story of when he was younger and in a temple recommend interview. Now a bit of background; apparently when he was younger he would drink around 16 cans of Pepsi a day because his family owned a convenience store. Anyways, in the interview, as he answered all the questions, his bishop was about to sign the recommend when my home teacher asked, "Now Bishop, I know it isn't technically against the Word of Wisdom, but what is your viewpoint on drinking caffeine?" His bishop laughed and replied, "Well its not going to stop me from signing your recommend, but I wouldn't drink it." At that time, my home teacher brushed this response off and continued to drink 8-16 cans of Pepsi a day, like usual.

Fast foward about twenty years, and my home teacher is in an airport for a flight with one of his business friends, who he described as, "very accepting of the gospel and very likely to join." As they waited for their flight, his friend asked what he would like to drink, and to not worry because drinks were on him. My home teacher replied, "a Pepsi." His friend left to get the drinks and ordered an orange juice, because he was also an athlete and did not drink much soda, if any. When he returned, he sat down by my home teacher and said, "I'm really disappointed in you. You tell me your church doesn't allow you to drink things like coffee and tea that are harmful to your body, but they let you drink soda with caffeine? I don't think I can be a part of a church that allows that." My home teacher was crushed. He picked up his soda and threw it away.

He hasn't had one in over 30 years.

However, it took this experience to get him to stop. He lost a possible contact in the process, but in the end, he finally obeyed his bishop from all those years ago.

Now, I'm not saying not to drink caffeine. For me, that is the amazing part of the Word of Wisdom, a lot of it is open to the person based on what they think is right for them, whether that be through prayer or whatever else. I personally don't drink it because that is what my parents put down as a rule for me growing up, and it has gotten to the point where I don't really care about having it!

I am extremely grateful for the leaders and teachers in my church who care about me and provide these lessons for me to learn from. I was feeling so spiritually renewed last night after all that.

Then, as I was sitting down for my personal scripture study, one of my closest friends sent me a text telling me they were leaving the church for good. I was crushed inside. They started bashing my religion and sending me numerous screenshots of anti-Mormon sites with various reasons on why the church was "wrong" and "flawed." And yet, I was not phased. I felt enormous strength as I responded to my friend with my testimony, and no doubts entered my mind despite the "proof of the flawed gospel." I hadn't even REALIZED I had a testimony of some of these things, but it seemed unwavering in those moments. All along I had expected my testimony to be gained in one, single, awe-filled moment between me and God, and yet, it seemed the opposite. I gained parts of my testimony piece-by-piece. As I read the scriptures. As I faithfully attended church every week. As I prayed to my Heavenly Father. It was just like adding another brick to a wall, brick-by-brick, until a strong wall stood in front of me. That was how I felt. Despite feeling sadness for my friend, I was glad I was able to stand firm in my faith and not doubt what I believed in.

That night after the conversation with my friend, I continued my scripture study as I read the Book of Mormon. And guess what?

I am only two chapters away from finishing it. For the first time ever reading it ALL the way through. And I am EXCITED!! I am soooo excited. I don't think I've ever felt so excited towards finishing a book. Not even Harry Potter!! This moment has been on the horizon for a while now, and it is sooo close.

I have felt the blessings of reading the scriptures daily, and it has increased my testimony immensely. I'm so excited to be able to put Moroni's promise that the Spirit will manifest truth to us into action. Like, so flipping excited. Wow.

Thanks everyone for reading this long post, and sorry if it is a bit all over the place! I just have so many thoughts running through my head of things I've wanted to write but haven't found the time to write till now. Also, look for my step-sister's wedding post soon!! Super excited for that :)

I love ya'll <3 Feel free to follow the blog on Bloglovin'


  1. This is so great we are having a barn dance this Friday but ours is going to be tri stake I am so excited! :)

    1. Thank you! And that is so exciting! I'm sure it will be just as fun as a bigger dance, if not more fun, because you'll be more likely to interact with everyone there! I just love barn dances :) I'm on the planning committeee for ANOTHER barn dance next month, but this time it will be just my stake and maybe another.


I love hearing from you, so comment!

And if you have a blog, feel free to leave me a link to it. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...