I'm wondering if you ever have a day when you say to yourself, "Oh, I'm so grateful to be alive!" Today is one of those days for me. Last Monday I began battling an internal infection that had me shaking so violently that my kids helped me to bed and stacked on the blankets. I made three trips to the doctor, got hi-powered drugs to kill my bugs, and I spent a lot of time in bed during the week. My son and a grandson gave me a blessing, and today I awakened feeling just wonderful! Believe me, I'm one grateful kid!!! I deeply appreciate the power of the priesthood and a wonderful posterity that honors their priesthood.
Today our church meetings seemed just heavenly to me. two new Dana couples were the main speakers. Converts to the Church, they bore such powerful testimonies. One mentioned that soon after he was baptized, he was called to be the ward mission leader. He had the desire to teach, but just did not know how to take the first step. Bery soon the opportunity came to him, when a not-to-distant neighbor came to him and said he had noticed something different about him and was curious. Here was the opening--probably after much sincere pleading for help in taking the first steps. The young convert may not have felt confident in many ways, but he could share his deep feelings, which helped prepare his neighbor for "planting of the seed"--and eventual baptism. Perhaps there were some listening ears today who have a better idea about how they can help someone find the truth.
Our Sunday School and priesthood discussions today both contained some eye-opening and stimulating discussions. The story was told of a man who was kicked by a horse so violently that friends and family feared for his life. The story reminded me of a similar incident in our adjoining town of Plain City, where a farmer lost his life from being kicked by a horse. Anyway, the story today had a happy ending. Friends who saw him sometime later saw a WHOLE and grateful and spiritually mature person.
Today I got a different outlook on the law of consecration. I guess I had thought that when I promise to live that law, it meant that I was WILLING to consecrate as needed for a special part of the Lords' work. However, today I understand that when I covenant to live that law, it means an actual daily consecration--and I'd challenge you to reflect back on the wording of the special covenant you made and study it out in your mind and ask yourself WHAT is required daily and HOW you can best live it. If you have any problem with this, pose the question to your presiding officer.
Finally, we studied today one of Elder Bednar's talks in which he made the statement, "Testimony is the beginning of and a prerequisite to continuing conversion." But then he stated, "Testimony alone is not and will not be enough to protect us in the latter-day storm of darkness and evil in which we are living." That really caught my attention, especially when he cited the incident of the conversion of the Lamanites by Ammon and his brethren. Just reading about their conversion had impressed me, but I guess I had never asked myself the question as to what was different about their conversion and my own testimony of the Gospel. What finally caught my attention today was having the point emphasized that those converted Lamanites buried their swords deep in the earth and would allow themselves to be slain rather than take up their weapons again. As I caught the new understanding of conversion, I determined to live better each day in some way (notice that I did not say "will try to") so the Lord will know that I am converted.
I hope these ideas will bring you the same wonderful feelings that have come into my heart today.