Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bearing Testimony (Everything can be fit into one testimony meeting)

I know that the Spirit communicates to me and it has taught me many truths of the gospel. I have been able to, in many circumstances from doctrinal questions, to personal conversion to life's trials and decisions, find answers to my prayers and knowledge that I could not get from any other source. Having grown up not knowing that the Spirit could lead me, I have such an appreciation for some of the ambiguity of life to be taken away from me and the existential despair that sometimes accompanied it.
A list of testimonies that I've received through personal revelation in the last 10 years since my conversion:
That God exists. This one was huge for me and I cannot deny the spiritual confirmation I received the first time I sincerely asked with faith.
That peoples' spirits live on after death.
That Christ knows my pain, suffering and sadness.
That Christ has carried me through hardship.
That the Book of Mormon fulfills prophecy of another record testifying of Christ, it teaches true doctrine.
That Joseph Smith was a prophet.
That the First Vision actually happened.
That there is a prophet on the earth today.
That my Father in Heaven hears my prayers.
That God is my Father. When I felt like I was fatherless, he reminded me that I have a perfect Father who will teach me and love me better than any earthly father could.
That I lived with God before I was born. There is something eternal about my spirit and it will continue to exist after my physical body dies. This is the reality of life. Its been obscured by the veil, by tradition and culture but it is the truest thing in the world and it is what this world is founded on.
That my little brother (stillborn at 38 weeks) lives and will be part of our family in the afterlife even though official church doctrine does not say one way or the other.
That people who have died can and do accept vicarious temple work that has been performed for them and I have felt that confirmation for family members personally.
That I will meet my ancestors one day.
That music is a form of communication with the divine.
That dance is another form.
That knowledge and truth can be found in a great diversity of places and God glories in it all.
That there is good to be found in people everywhere and that to a great degree their religion doesn't matter. He loves them and has a plan for them and it is not my duty to interfere with that plan. In my mother's case, it is not right for me to push her in the direction of baptism and its been hinted to me that it will be years before it occurs and that is the way Heavenly Father needs it to be for some reason.
That the church was established by God to carry out his work on the earth.
That one day all pain, suffering, sadness, sickness, poverty and injustice will end.
That Heavenly Father wanted me to marry my husband. He even told me the time and the place through the Spirit.
That Heavenly Father revealed to me when we were supposed to try to conceive our first child.
That years before I even knew I wanted to go to graduate school (and before I was baptized), I had a strong spiritual impression that I would go to school in Hawaii and when I was accepted into grad school there, I had it confirmed again. And then again and again throughout my program that I was supposed to be doing it even though it was the exception to the rule of Mormon culture.
That Heavenly Father intends me to be an exception to the rule when it comes to women's roles in the Church. I am supposed to continue my education, supposed to be involved in professional pursuits and that at some point, when it is revealed to me that the time is right, I will be expected to work outside the home.
That Heavenly Father is concerned about women's roles and duties in the church and that he supports and sustains the efforts of individual members to seek change in current policies and practices.
That I have the capability to become a creator of worlds like Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. (Therefore I know the Heavenly Mother is real too).
That someday all that is unclear, confusing, ambiguous, not revealed, lost or hidden will be made available to the understanding of Heavenly Father's spirits. There will be great learning that goes on in the afterlife.
That it doesn't matter so much who you are sealed to as long as you are sealed. And it doesn't so much matter if that sealing can't happen in this life because it can be worked out in the next.
That all will fall into place. All be will clear and known. There are going to be visions of history as it really was and the full weight of accountability will rest upon the shoulders of those who have hurt, damaged or dammed our progress.
That our bodies and minds will be made whole, complete and healthy after we die.
That we are given great treasures of knowledge on this earth to assist us in being healthy.
That science can teach and inspire us and when science is silent, God can reveal where to turn next. Science and the spirit work together in ways that are wonderful and only barely understood.
That God can tell a person what will happen in their future when asked what the outcome will be of a certain decision and in doing so can either confirm the rightness of that decision or lead you to the right decision.
That God can be near when He is needed.
That God will give space for people to learn and grow and decide for themselves and he will sometimes remain silent to "see what little squirt can do." As we become more spiritually mature, he expects us be more independent and take the initiative to figure things out for ourselves using the correct principles we've learned to guide us.
That he expects us to treat our bodies according to how our biology is designed, with few exceptions.
That God wants us to be empathetic, understanding, respectful and loving to all people and to help them according to their wants and needs in ways that will actually help them and in order to determine what that is, he expects us to be sensitive to the Spirit in being led to figure out what those wants and needs are.
That he wants us to find the balance between relying on ourselves, on external forces, influences, people and on him to be functioning, capable and competent souls.
That there is an oppositional force in this world that fights against all that is good and right and true and for whatever reason that force is necessary and the lessons we learn in thwarting that evil influence makes us stronger.
That the world is in a fallen state, separate from God and therefore not free from natural, random, chaotic failures in nature's processes. It is not God's will but natural laws that he is also subject to.

I know that's alot and some of it may appear cookie cutter, but please believe me that what I have learned have come through sacred spiritual experiences. It goes beyond "I know because I've been taught" but to "I know because I've felt in my body and spirit that its true" and "Because Heavenly Father clearly told me though the Spirit that it is true." I love the gospel. I love its richness, depth, universality. I love that we are not overwhelmed at one time with all the information/truth/knowledge about this world and I accept that the world has not been given as much information as some are ready and are yearning for. I am trying to patient to have my further questions answered knowing that in some cases the world and perhaps many in the church are not ready to know the truth. I have tremendous respect for our Father in Heaven who knows what we as individual and we as a collective spiritual family need and how he weighs that all out is amazing. I know I can trust him and that someday everything will be made right, and until then he wants us, in the ways we are able, work to make everything right for ourselves, our families and for others.

1 comment:

Tricia Groe said...

Amen! Thank you for taking the time to put these words down for others, such as myself, to read.