I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gospel Message Day 3

Faith - Part 2

Today I was looking through my diary from 9th grade, trying to find a written account for an experience I'm sharing in Sunday School tomorrow (the teacher asked). My first thought: I am so embarrassed by my self then. Actually, I'm embarrassed by my self up until I was probably 21. And I have had quite a few moments since that still make me cringe. But reading those entries? Wow. Forever Cringing. That's the subtitle to all my teen diaries. Mostly because I was on overly emotional, over-reactive, sentimental hopeless romantic. I still am in some ways, but I'm really trying to cure myself of some of that!

However, I'm still impressed at times with where my testimony was at the age of 14. And how I exercised Faith. The story I'm going to share may seem trivial to adults, but to a 14-year old, this was life. I ran track. I was the only 2-miler in 8th grade. Eventually others joined in 9th grade. They were much faster than me, but my coach always gave me 1 of the 2 slots in the races at our track meets. It was an honorary position because of all the efforts I made. I had proved myself to my coach by then, but it had taken over a year. At the beginning of 9th grade track season, we hadn't convinced enough girls to run the 2-mile. And one of our earliest meets, my coach needed me to run. We lost points if no one ran. So even if (and when) I placed last at each race, our school still got the points for participation.

But we had a conflict that day. Our choir was taking a trip to the state capital, where part of our itinerary included singing in the capitol building. Hearing the sound in the rotunda was going to be fabulous! The schedule had us returning between 4:30 and 5. But to run the 2-mile--which was always either the very first or very last event--I had to be at the meet at 4:30. I had to choose. Singing was and still is one of the biggest parts of my life. I did not want to give up this once in a lifetime opportunity. But my coach needed me and trusted me. I told her I would not go on the trip.

But I felt terrible after doing so.

The next evening, I decided that I would much rather go with the choir. There would be at least 7 more meets that season, but this trip would never happen again. It seemed an easy choice, but I had promised my coach! We'd had shaky ground when she first started coaching me the previous year. I didn't want to disappoint her or bring back the shaky ground. I prayed for help. I believe I have always had a strong faith that my Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, even my unspoken ones. He has answered because He knows the desires of my heart. So in faith, I turned this matter over to prayer, praying that all would work out with the decision I had made. I wrote a letter of apology and sent it with a track team member to deliver to the coach, and went on the trip.

I quote from my diary:
"Prayers are answered! (I knew that, but now, I have more faith.) I was so worried about Track the whole Char. trip. I felt bad and got scared she'd kick me off the team. 'El Grillo' in the Rotunda (and maybe shaking Gov. Underwood's hand) made the trip worthwhile. I felt good about my decision, but still upset about Track. Well, I got to Mutual & Summer & Nicole told me that the Meet... was cancelled! I was so happy. My prayer had been answered and all things taken care of. I felt He thought it was too unimportant a matter. But I decided to go and the Meet was cancelled (from cold). It works. My lesson--Patience, don't be doubtful, always have FAITH!" -April 9, 1997

I think faith, in its simplest form as we often see it in a child or teenager, is probably one of its strongest forms. Now, I'm not saying that because I prayed an entire Meet was cancelled. Perhaps that was the case, but likely not. The Lord does not ignore others' desires and hopes to participate in order to answer another's prayer. When I prayed, it was that things would be OK, and that my coach would understand. The feeling good about the decision, I believe, is because He knew what was to happen the next day. He knew that I need not fear about my choice. That things were going to come about in such a way that all would be well. If the Meet had still gone on, then I believe my prayer would have been answered in some way that the coach would understand and accept my decision.

But something else that I can see I gained from this experience? My faith grew immeasurably that nothing is too unimportant for our Heavenly Father. He cares about each of our desires, no matter how trivial they may seem. He knows what they mean to us. 

And all of that was re-affirmed for the umpteenth time tonight at our General Women's Meeting with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk. 

I needed to hear that reassurance of Heavenly Father's love right now. And have faith that He knew that.
Even though I have faith in His love for us and His desire for everyone's happiness, my faith was strengthened with yet another witness that He knows me personally, and He loves me now and always. No matter what.

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