I love Sundays and I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Recently my husband and I have rededicated ourselves to scripture study and prayer as a couple, even over the phone, if necessary, as he travels frequently for work. We are great at doing these things with our kids, but in an effort to grow closer to one another we felt it was most important to put the teachings of Jesus Christ first in our marriage. I have always known the the gospel teachings were correct and would bring us more in line with God, but my testimony has just exploded this last week. Our lives have been overcome with blessings from above and the closeness we desired in our marriage is returning and strengthening more than ever.
As a result of putting the gospel first in our lives we are blessed with an outpouring of the Spirit of God in our lives, in our minds, in our hearts. We want to live better, be better, and keep on this path that is bringing so much joy and peace...not the kind that comes from things of this world, but true peace of mind and heart that can only come from obedience to our Savior's commandments to follow Him.
Today was our Ward Conference. All the things that Jay and I have been studying in the Ensign and from past General Conference talks came together in that meeting. Our Stake Presidency and amazing Bishop talked of enduring to the end. They explained that at times "enduring" can sound daunting and as if it were drudgery. Then my personal favorite scripture was shared:
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." -2 Nephi 31:20
Truly "having a perfect brightness of hope, a love of God of all men" can not be drudgery, our Stake President shared.
In our lives there are so many challenges that we must face. There are times we feel alone and that one more day is just more than we can bear. I have felt that way and it was at this point in my life recently that I decided it was time to remember my favorite scripture; it was time to feast once again upon the words of Christ. I knew that it would not be easy, but I needed to change and repent of some habits in my life that were keeping me from being close to my sweetheart. I needed all the help I could get, and there was no help to be found here on this world. I needed more strength than I could muster alone to overcome the challenges and temptations in my daily life. I remembered feeling the Spirit and knew that I wanted it again in great abundance. It was time to get back to basics and keeping the commandments.
As soon as Jay and I started reading and praying more fervently as a couple with the same goal of closeness in mind, the Spirit began to return. I felt that the adversary did give one more big push at the beginning of it all, but as I held on and just pushed through calling on God for help and strength, the peace given through obedience was readily available.
We do not have a perfect life or marriage...no one does. That is part of life. The trials we face and the choices we make define who we are and refine us into the people we want to be. However, I testify that when we choose to obey the Lord's commandments, He will immediately bless us and our righteous desires will be fulfilled.
I think I am the luckiest girl in the world to be married to such a tender-hearted gentleman. He teaches me again and again how obeying the Lord brings blessings and relief to our trials.
Today when our Ward Conference was over, my sweetheart leaned over, kissed me on the cheek, and whispered, "Not only will we endure to the end, but we will prosper til the end."