Lesson Learned And The Wheel Keeps Turning ♫

Sometimes I feel like life is like a huge Ferris wheel.
This Ferris wheel is always turning; we are in a continual cycle of ups and downs. The interesting thing about this ride is that the pace is never the same– sometimes we seem to slow down at the top and we have times in our life that are wonderful and seem to last forever, but then we are inevitably faced with downs, hard times or trials, which may be short or may take longer than we’d like for the wheel to start slowly moving up again.
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Have you ever felt this before? And if you have, have you ever stepped back and wondered….what is the point?  I mean really, who wants to ride around on an endless Ferris wheel?  If we are in this continual cycle going nowhere, then why even get on?
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Two things.  
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The first: JOY!  Joy in the journey!  I don’t know about you,  but some of the most magnificent scenes I have ever beheld have been the grandeur of looking down on God’s remarkable creations–whether that’s
  • at the top of a Ferris wheel
  • the breathtaking view at the summit of a mountain peak
  • out the window of an airplane
  • from the top of the Eiffel Tower (or any other skyscraper!)
  • etc.
Pretty darn beautiful.  So the next time you are at the lowest of low, just remember that you will once again be at the magnificent top somewhere in the future!  And in the meanwhile–enjoy the ride.  Every single spot you are at on this wheel brings you a different perspective on what is around you, and it can be just as beautiful.
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The second: Here’s where the the difference comes in.  Unlike a Ferris wheel, our ups and downs DO have a point, and they DO get us somewhere.  They shape our hearts, they build our character, they give us experience, they bring us joy, and they fit us for the celestial life to come.  We need to experience the lows in life, otherwise we would never fully appreciate and understand the highs.  We need to face challenges, otherwise we would never truly be shaped into the divine beings that we were designed to become.
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I am personally so grateful for both of these experiences–through the darker times, I have come to learn so much about my Savior and so much about myself.  I can honestly say that I am building an unshakable foundation in Jesus Christ and His Gospel that cannot be rooted up by anything. I still struggle, I am still weak, but truly through Christ I am divinely capable and SO ARE YOU and so is EVERYONE ELSE!  If we have faith, even as a grain of mustard seed, then we can overcome all things, because God can work through us. And does He not have all power? “Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:31)
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So, enjoy EVERY MOMENT life has to offer you.  Embrace the ups and downs.  Keep having faith and trust in God’s promises! They are REAL and I know He will fulfill His promises to each and every one of us. Look forward with light in your eyes and love in your hearts and know He will bless you with the joy and strength to rise to whatever challenges you are facing!
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And remember, “Count it all joy.” (James 1:2)
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(p.s. ^^ “If there were no ups and downs in life, we would be dead.” 😉 )

All You Need Is Love

Lately my mind has been called up to reflection as to what my life would be like without the Gospel.  I have often sat and wondered what would be worth living for or how I would find lasting happiness.  As I reflected upon these things, I thought about the relationships in my life–those I care about deeply and the love that we have shared.  In my reflecting I came to the conclusion that without the Gospel, the only thing that would come close to bringing the same purpose and joy into my life is love–that deep and abiding love that is shared between people.  Mothers, fathers, children, spouses, best friends, boyfriends; no matter where it comes from, to share a mutual feeling of pure love from someone who values you is a precious gift.  Nothing else in the world, whether it be careers, money, traveling, school, music, etc., could be fulfilling enough for me to find true happiness.

Today, however, I have come to at last truly understand that the two divinely connect: the Gospel IS love!  God is love.  The reason that love exists and can be felt in its intimacies and extremities is because God has given it to us.  That is what this life is all about.  That is what God’s plan is all about.  Pure and abiding love is the greatest joy we could ever experience.

Think of the purest love you have felt in your own life.  Can you describe it?

The love of God “sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men, wherefore it is the most desirable above all things …Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.” 1 Nephi 11:22

I recently heard someone say that God does not love us because He is God, He is God because He loves us.

He loves us to an inexpressible extent.  He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Unconditional love is the foundation of the world.  It is the foundation of the Gospel.  It is the pure essence of Christ!  It is His matchless gift to us.

Are you using it?  Are you letting it fill your life?  What is your foundation?

I want it to be absolutely clear that I love the Savior with my whole heart.  His love has healed me.  It has guided me, it has uplifted me, it has strengthened me, it has kept me safe, and it has filled me with an unspeakable fullness of joy.  His unconditional love is the foundation that I have built my life upon, and because of that, I know I will never fall into hopelessness, loneliness, or despair.

These are the blessings that lie in store for those who come unto Him!  If we truly understood that, would we let anything stop us from following Him?

CHOOSE NOW.  Make the decision to follow Him and never turn back!  For “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Filling the Emptiness

      There are people all around us every single day who wake up in total emptiness.  There are people who wake up consumed in heartache.  There are people who wake up in fear, in pain, in worry, in apathy, in sadness.  These people are everywhere—they may be your friends, your next-door neighbors, your co-workers, the woman walking her dog, the man driving the bus.  Perhaps you may even be one of them.

       When things are going well in life, it is easy to forget that these people exist.  However, I will tell you that there have been times in my life where I have been one of these people.  I know what it feels like to wake up in the morning with that pit of emptiness and heartache which makes you dread facing any form of reality.  I understand what it means to wake up and ask the question, When am I ever going to feel truly happy?  If there is anything I hate in this world, it is that feeling: emptiness.  No one should have to wake up feeling empty.  No one should have to live their life weighed down by the cruel thought of, what is the point?

      And that, my friends, is why I am here!  I don’t want anyone to have to wake up that way.  That is why I have left everything behind to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people in New York.  You see, people notice us on the street—two young girls with black name tags bearing the name of Jesus Christ—and a majority of them automatically discount us.  Oh, another religion, they say.  I don’t want to be bothered, they say.  On a day to day basis, it is not uncommon for me to face ridicule or rejection.  But despite all this, I keep spreading my message.  Because what they don’t understand is I have what they need!

      I know the cure to those feelings.  I know the truth about who I am, why I am here, and who I can become through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I know that life is worth living, that there is a way to find lasting peace and happiness, and that I do have a loving Savior who walks by my side every single day.  So do you! There is nothing that can separate us from the magnificent love and support of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  And because of these things I have come to know, I now wake up every day with purpose and gladness.

      I still have challenges.  I still struggle.  But now, every trial suddenly has meaning.  Every adversity is worth overcoming.  My soul has been filled with the light and love of Christ, and for that reason I will never give up!  I can relate to the prophet Alma of old, who when his own soul was once racked with torment, he: “remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.  Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.  And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.  And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!  Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.” (Alma 36:17-21)

       And so I leave with you my invitation: Come to the Savior.  Let Him fill you.  Let Him heal you.  My comrades, come and join the ranks as a partaker of the divine light!

Our Purpose. Our Adventure.

Everyone has a plan for their life.  Everyone has a dream.  Everyone wants a happy ending.  Yes, it sounds cliché, but it is true!  I believe that deep down, each one of us wants an adventure.  We want a life worth living, a goal worth achieving—a grand destiny that makes everything we go through in life worth enduring.  Some of us may be avidly working toward that dream.  Some of us may still be searching for what that dream is.  Some of us may have given up—may have buried those hopes deep within us because we have resigned ourselves to the daily grind of mundane life.

Well, I am here to tell you that all of us, every single human being on the face of this earth, have a divine destiny.  We are all part of a marvelous plan—a grand, eternal journey with incomprehensible joy as our reward.  However, like any worthwhile journey, we will face opposition.  After all, can we fully appreciate joy and peace unless we experience, at least for a while, despair and turmoil?  Every good adventure includes darkness and light, failure and triumph, good and evil, strength and weakness.  A hero is not made through enjoying a life of ease, but through learning to overcome obstacles and come off conqueror.

We are children of God.  He created us, and we lived with Him before we came to Earth.  He is our loving Heavenly Father, and He has sent us here for a reason.  He wants us to enjoy all His blessings.  In order to do that, we needed to progress and become more like Him.  And so, here we are!  We are in the middle of our mortal adventures, herein to learn, grow, progress, and gain experiences that will enable us to reach our divine potential.

My fellow seekers of light, let us not be weary in our journey.  Although at some times it may not feel like it, this life is full of wonder and purpose.  In a world that is increasingly full of darkness, let us keep the light of hope.  In the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a living Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ,

What kind of existence can we hope for? Those who come unto Christ, repent of their sins, and live in faith will reside forever in peace. Think of the worth of this eternal gift. Surrounded by those we love, we will know the meaning of ultimate joy as we progress in knowledge and in happiness. No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

What will true followers of Christ do if we love Him?  We will keep His commandments.  We will enter in by the gate which He has laid before us—namely: faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is the only path that leads to eternal happiness.  This is our divine destiny.

I HAVE SET MY PATH.  Have you?