Jan 19, 2003

Well, I'm going to the temple on Tuesday. And I'm almost done sewing my temple dress, which is cool. Ok so I don't look very good in white, but that isn't what matters, right? It is making these covenants that is so important.

It is amazing what has been happening to me in the past few days. I can't explain it. Nothing concrete or tangible, but since I spoke with my bishop on Monday and with the stake president on Thursday..my attitude seems to have changed. This is what I have been praying for. I have been wondering why I have so many blessings in my life but I am so depressed and rarely happy. It didn't make sense to me, considering that I had the gospel and I know the significance of the Atonement, yet it wasn't enough.

It's been my focus, I think. I have always considered myself a spiritual person, but in talking with my stake president I began to understand that there is still much more for me to do in that department. My problem is I go about life thinking I'm a human being who once in awhile has a spiritual experience. The truth is that I'm a spiritual being here having a human experience. And while I attend my meetings, pay my tithing, read my scriptures, pray, try my best to love and serve others, keep the commandments...well that isn't enough. These are all actions, but even I, a person who has always felt close to her Father in Heaven, always grateful for what she has...someone who is a good person and religious...even I still needed a mighty change of heart. My heart wasn't hardened in the likeliness of the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon - no. My testimony has always been strong and unwavering...but even that wasn't enough. It is truly experiencing the joy that comes from the simple realization of Christ, and meriting his love. It is understanding how we play roles as saviors to the people around us, when we love them and forgive them when they wrong us. That is what the Atonement is all about - forgiveness of our sins. Now it makes such perfect sense why God has told us again and again that it is REQUIRED of us to forgive all men. We are saviors as well by exercising and understanding the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Isn't that beautiful and amazing? I am so psyched that I am finally getting this.

My stake president knew I had been suffering for quite awhile, even though this was the first time he met me. But his words of encouragement and of wisdom really touched home...and since that night, since I've been a worthy temple recommend holder who will soon be endowed - a peace and a quite, gentle joy has finally settled inside of me. It is amazing. My heart still aches for what I have experienced over the past few weeks, and even the past several years, and I so wish I had more control than I do in these situations. It is painful to realize you can't do anything, you can't change anything...all you can do is accept and give it to the Lord, and move on...and not take it back from Him! Control is a major weakness of mine...I feel so helpless when I have no control over events or people in my life. But this is a tough lesson, yet vital lesson, to be learned. And perhaps I am finally getting it.

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