Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday Inspirations March 14, 2010

Okay, okay, so yes this is technically being written on Monday the 15th, but yesterday found me utterly sick and I could barely find the energy to sit on the couch, let alone post on the blog.

Yesterday our family had the opporunity to attend a special meeting held only twice a year. Think of it as a gathering of local congregations of the same church to listen to messages of importance from their local leaders and selected church members. To those of us in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a, the Mormons), we refer to this as Stake Conference.

The meeting lasts two hours. It can be difficult to get anything out of the meeting when trying to keep little children content for the entire time. This was the case for me yesterday. However, at the point our last speaker came to the stand my children all happened to quiet down for the moment, for which I am grateful. The leader over our local congregations, known as the Stake President, spoke first on conversion. This is what I'd like to touch on today.

Even those who have been members of any particular church will find a time when their testimonies, or witnesses of their faith, will be tested and tried. It is in these moments we discover what it is we are converted to.

Our stake president spoke of those who are "converted" in our own church. "Some people are converted to the missionaries, to the spirit they bring with them. Others are converted to a bishop, or a teacher, or a friend who makes them feel super loved and cared for." But what happens when the missionary, or the bishop, or the friend moves, or is released from the position? Too often we become lost and often stop coming. They are too unsure of the next step to take.

It is not enough in our churches to see someone come into the fold. We need to work hard to make certain what they are converted to is the gospel of Christ, not the people who worship Him. We need to help them, and ourselves, to build testimonies of Him and His gospel that are so strong they can withstand the buffetings of Satan, even when those upon whom we leaned on are no longer there.

I have had friends come and go in my congregation. There have been times I've felt so alone and out of place, have been hurt by the words and actions of others, and could easily have stopped coming to church. Over the years I've seen individuals stop attending church because they have been offended, or their best friend has moved, or they were released from a position before they thought they were ready. Being a bishop's wife is harder than I thought it would be often leaving me on the outskirts, or having a lot of expectations placed on my shoulders.

The difference between those who leave their churches and those who don't all comes down to testimonies - witnesses of the Holy Spirit that testify of the truthfulness of the things we are taught about Christ and His church.

I don't know if much in this post has made sense. Things clicked with me as I listened to our Stake President speak. I don't go to church because of the bishop, or the leaders I work with, or the friends I have there. I go to church because a long time ago the Holy Spirit witnessed to me the truthfulness of Christ's gospel. And even though there are days I don't get a lot out of going to these various meetings because of health or kids or whatever, and sometimes the imperfect people who make up this world make my heart hurt with their words and actions, I know I am not going to church for them. I know even when it's hardest to go my Savior sees me trying to do as He would have me do because I love Him so much.

Take some time to ask yourself over the next week, "To whom am I converted?"

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