[This is part of a continuing series in which I take old emails I once sent out preclass as part of a calling I once held. This particular email was sent 10/20/09. Certain identifying details have been redacted or changed.]
Teachings for our times this week, brethren --- "The Way of the Disciple" from President Uchtdorf ( http://lds.org/conference/
talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1032- 23,00.html ).
Given some of the people I've been spending a great deal of time with lately, this part of Pr U's talk stuck out to me:
A friend of mine recently wrote to me, confiding that he was having a difficult time keeping his testimony strong and vibrant. He asked for counsel.I wrote back to him and lovingly suggested a few specific things he could do that would align his life more closely with the teachings of the restored gospel. To my surprise, I heard back from him only a week later. The essence of his letter was this: “I tried what you suggested. It didn’t work. What else have you got?”Brothers and sisters, we have to stay with it. We don’t acquire eternal life in a sprint—this is a race of endurance. We have to apply and reapply the divine gospel principles. Day after day we need to make them part of our normal life.
I'm reminded of the old chestnut President Lee originated: "Testimony isn't something you have today, and you are going to have always. A testimony is fragile. It is as hard to hold as a moonbeam. It is something you have to recapture every day of your life."
I think of Peter who knew as much as any mortal could reasonably hope to know, and how he blew it, falling into sleep then violence then denial that last night.
I think of the Brother of Jared who forgot to pray.
I think of Moses who, in his impatience, forgot to give glory and honor to Jehovah.
How can any of us, struggling to hold onto the iron rod, hope to attain great faith without a lifetime of uninterrupted effort?
Life is a struggle. Faith sustains us, but God doesn't hand it out like credit cards to college freshmen. Faith also requires work.
Discipleship is hard.
How can be be worthy of the challenge?
A woman in our ward recently bore her testimony that she doesn't have a very strong testimony--that she struggles with certain things and just can't think about others because then she'd quit the church completely--but she is trying. It was one of the most honest things I've ever heard someone say over the pulpit and I loved her for it. I think she'd appreciate this.ReplyDelete
I think if we were more honest about the waxing-and-waning nature of testimonies, everyone would feel more at home. I hope you said something to her like what you said here.