This week we had the opportunity to go to zone conference and it was awesome hearing from our mission President. He talked a lot about repentance and sacrifice. It was a powerful meeting and I can definitely say how freeing repentance is. Sacrifice is also powerful. One quote that President taylor said has stuck with me. "A sacrifice that doesn't cost you anything is useless." I have really struggled with sacrifice but I've come to realize that as we love the savior and want to serve him more, when we have offered our will to obedience, we can increase our faith through sacrifice. It's an interesting doctrine but something to look into.
So this week was battling chiggers. I swear if Satan's host did get bodies, they'd inhabit these evil bugs. Because they are basically human fleas. They are microscopic bugs from the fiery pits of Mordor and they bite you and then leave and the bite stays for like 3 weeks and itches worse than anything ever. Nothing prevents these little jerks either. Stuff helps but they're sly little demons. So one of my bites had been worse than usual and I've had to take epsom salt baths 3 times a day and they're helping, but seriously this is something made to pester humanity. Texas is amazing but opposition in all things right? Such good barbecue comes with a price.
This week I want to reiterate my testimony on repentance and just how liberating it is. When we have something we aren't sure we need to repent of or we know we need to and we sit and stew forever, it's like setting a weight on our chest. If anyone describes feeling the spirit as any sort of "Weight" feeling or using that word at all, I'd invite you to look into your life and admit things you need to repent of. Satan will try to deceive us anyway he can and tell us that weight is the spirit, or that if we repent we will lose everything, he plants fear in us and tries to get us to justify our actions or not face them. This leads us to be lack luster in our conviction of the gospel, our words carry no power through testimony, and we do not have the guiding peace of the spirit. I know this because I've experienced it. It is said, "36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man."
The good news of the gospel is that we do not need to cover our sins. Throwing a sheet over them and refusing to pick up the sheet due to guilt is nothing. Guilt is to our spirits as pain is to our bodies. For pain we take medicine, ointment, rest, etc. so what are the corresponding outlets of relief from guilt? Sure there are things that can wrap around the wound we see the world turn to a lot. We see any opportunity to avoid responsibility, shrug off blame, and not think about consequences. But this is simply wrapping it up, there's no healing properties there, when you unwrap it you'll still deal with that wound, that guilt. This will not go away!
The healing ointment, the medicine, the balm of Gilead, is found in the great physician. Our Savior Jesus Christ. He came to heal that and make it anew. Nobody remembers a cold they had 3 years ago, same it is when we repent, you won't remember it. You won't remember the scrape you had, the savior won't remember that which has been healed. I have fought this so much and given into the temptations of fear and doubt so many times. The doctors office sometimes is scary, sometimes we need a little shot, sometimes the cleanliness of the rooms and tools are scary, unnatural it seems when the outside world seems so filthy. But we all know without modern medicine, many would fall to things otherwise fatal. Without our savior, we would fall to the smallest sin we can make, that scrape would start small but get infected and spread and without proper care, consume us. So my invitation is stop covering it up, it isn't getting any better. Stop doubting, fearing, check in to the doctors and get the help you need. Sometimes our wounds can be healed by one doctor, the Great Physician himself, and sometimes we need a larger surgery, surgeries often have the surgeon and his helpers, these helpers are bishop, stake Presidents, the judges in Israel. They're there to help you. Please go to them, be healed, don't cover the wounds any longer.
Be free, I can testify just how liberating it is, life is a drag when we are covered in so many bandages and casts to cover our sin, let it be healed through the One who gave everything he had and continues to give that we may be healed. The church was restored for that, so we can be healed. Because if this wasn't the true church, what doctors office has the great physician in it? He's one Being, he came and established his hospital. For a time other practices opened and tried to practice his healing and can heal some wounds, but there's only one who can heal all wounds and that is our savior Jesus Christ. He has re established his church, his hospital, let him work and be healed.
Of Him I testify, in His name, Jesus Christ, amen.
Ps, if you get challenged in the CatchThePowerChallenge, DO IT. If you wanna start one, DO IT. This is how to hasten the work.
Also, here are some pics of awesome fish tacos I made.
And me on a mini sidewalk in a mini park.