By Faith All Things are Fulfilled Ether 12-15
One of my favorite parts of this lesson was learned in a quote that I found in my Book of Mormon Study Guide. The quote is too long to add to this blog post because it filled an entire page in the book, but it is part of one of the talks that I included on this week's challenge cards. And it is a story that truly shows how, by faith, all things are fulfilled.
Having faith through difficulties
This quote is a story about Joseph and Hyrum Smith and the verses in Ether that he read shortly before they were taken to Carthage Jail. Hyrum read the verses, and then turned down the corner of the page. The verses that he read were Ether 12: 36-38:
And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity.
And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou has seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.
And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood.
The quote that I am referencing can be found in the talk Safety for the Soul by Jeffrey R. Holland, in case you'd like to read it. He talks of the complete sealing of their testimonies by these two brothers that gave their life for their faith.
But the message that jumped out at me, both in the quote and in the chapters in Ether this week, was about weaknesses and how they can become our strengths.
What are my weaknesses?
I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time thinking about, complaining about, and pointing out my weaknesses to others. I think it's human nature to always look in the mirror and see the flaws, but is that really a bad thing?
One of the weaknesses that I have dealt with over the past year or so is my own feelings of inadequacy as I write my weekly emails and blog posts. As a part of my regular scripture study, I spend a lot of time watching videos, reading lessons, and studying words of other people. Then when it's time to create my own blog post, I sit down and start comparing myself to them and it usually leaves me feeling less than stellar every weekend.
What could I possibly have to offer that someone else hasn't already said, and most likely, said better? I'm certainly not any kind of expert in the interpretation of scripture. I struggle sometimes finding the lessons I need to learn for myself, so how can I find anything that might benefit others?
Making them strengths
These are the questions that plague me every week. I go through at least an hour or so of self doubt and tell myself maybe I should give up. And I've been thinking a lot about that this week.
Like Moroni, I feel great weakness about what I am doing.
But this week as I was reading this lesson, I realized that what I am doing with the scripture study, creating the Challenge Cards, creating the printable journals, and writing these blog posts and emails is strengthening my testimony.
Maybe because I'm just not as good at it as some people, I have to push a little harder. And that has been really good for me. I have seen my own testimony grow by leaps and bounds over the last year, and I have seen the fruits of living a more faith-filled life because of what I am doing.
I hope that there are people that benefit from what I am doing, and even if there is only one, I will continue. Maybe the one is me, and I guess that's a good thing too.
The "You are perfect just as you are" fallacy
I love to listen to Christian radio, and this week I heard a message on there that has stuck with me all week. He said, in a nutshell, that society telling us that we should love and accept ourselves because we are "perfect just as we are" is wrong. I have been thinking about all week.
Should we love and accept ourselves? Yes. Just because we aren't perfect doesn't mean we need to beat ourselves up about our flaws.
But to decide that we're perfect leaves no room for growth. Being willing to let a loving Heavenly Father point out our weaknesses is a gift. Growing, learning and changing are what this life is all about.
This week's challenge cards
There were so many fun and cute activities for this week's challenge cards! Especially for the kid's page. So I hope you enjoy them! Below is a list of the links to activities!
Principles of Peace: Gratitude
Faith Crisis: What Do We Do When We Feel Nothing?
The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing
A Mother’s Hope: Overcoming Fear Through Faith and Hope in God
I Have Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
The Destruction of the Jaredites