Sunday, April 27, 2008

Testimony Sunday

I went to King Soopers to print off 120 pictures last week. As I looked at most of the photos I thought, "Now that I have a blog that I plan to print into a book someday, I don't need to print pictures anymore!" It is difficult to explain how liberating that is. For some reason printing pictures and going to the post office with three children is beyond my mothering capabilities and so I've sworn them both off. Another liberation this blog has given me is the guilt of not enough journal writing on my part. I still plan to keep a journal of sacred experiences that I don't want plastered on the Internet (I don't want to say "casting pearls before swine" because I would never want to imply the readers of this blog to resemble pigs in any way!). Yet, I would like to record my feelings about Sundays here and call it "Testimony Sunday". To me, Sunday is a day of miracles. First, getting out the door with three kids in their "Sunday best" by 9:45 is a miracle. My calling as Young Women's leader brings many, many miracles. About a year ago I decided to get more serious about fasting. Up to that point in my life I always used the excuses of "hypoglycemia" or "pregnant" or "nursing" to explain why I never fasted. For a person who's greatest fear in life is starving to death, for whom even a hint of hunger sends me into genuine panic, fasting is a really big deal. But the bigger the sacrifice, the bigger the miracle. For example, one Sunday we had a true blue teenage girl nightmare. Two young women had been texting horrible, offensive, racist messages to another young woman. Parents and priesthood leaders sat these girls down and tried to talk to them about why this should never happen. I felt the Spirit so strong guiding me in what to say and do, far beyond any of my own abilities. I know that came to me because I was fasting that day.
Today I was the substitute teacher for the youth Sunday School class. Believe you me, they are a rough crowd. But I prayed to have the spirit with me and I think everyone in the room could feel it. They were rude and out-of-control at points (more often than not) but I was able to pull them back, make them laugh, and get my point across. The lesson was about prophets. I spent a lot of time on President Monson's message for April about treasures and in 2 Nephi. I had a home teacher once ask me what does 10 + 17 equal? Luckily I knew the answer, 27. He then showed me how in 2 Nephi chapter 5, verse 10 (which talks about Nephi and his people keeping the commandments) plus verse 17 (which talks about working hard and being industrious) equals verse 27 ("And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness"). Those teenagers actually had expressions on their faces of "oh, that makes sense!" It was a really, really good feeling. Then I taught the Young Womens class because poor Sister Law was out with Strep. Again, the Spirit was in the room and I could tell the girls were happy to be there. That they could feel their souls being nourished.
Then I was able to spend a little time reading before bed. Our book club book this month is by Chieko Okazaki. It's called "What A Friend We Have In Jesus". The title comes from a song which bears the same name:

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weary and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge!
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He'll take and shield thee;
Thou wilt find a solace there.

I have a testimony of prayer. The Lord has blessed me many times to know that He hears me and He is concerned about the details of my life. I know that if it be His will, He will grant my heart's desire and answer my prayers.