Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Where is Truth?

I remember sitting in a meeting one Sunday.  It happened to be a Fast and Testimony meeting. Sometimes those are my favorite, and sometimes they are not.  But this specific day has stuck with me.  Not because what this person said was profound, but it was because it was, in my opinion, wrong.  This person was speaking of a time where they had traveled somewhere.  As they were on vacation they visited many sights, as people do while on vacation.  On one particular day they visited an old church.  He talked about the architecture and it's beauty.  He talked about the services that he witnessed while there.  I was enjoying his story, until he said something that struck me and deeply bothered me.  He said, "This church was beautiful, but that didn't matter because God wasn't there."  I remember having the urge to stand up and verbally disagree with him, because how could he say that!?  God not there?  How could he really believe that?  Why did this hit me so deeply you may ask?  I will tell you.

  When I was 15 I received my patriarchal blessing.  It is an experience that is different and sacred to each individual.  And only something one shares at certain times when the individual feels they should share.  At least that is how it has been for me.  In my blessing there was something that was said, that has helped me in many instances in my life.  It said, "All truth comes from God, regardless of where you learn it."  So to me that meant, that God is everywhere if we let him in.  So when this person said that God was not there. I knew, I knew that God was indeed there.  Though they may not have the entire truth, they have truth. Truth comes from God, so God was there.  Of that I have no doubt.

  I tell you this story because today, I had another moment where I learned of truth from a movie.  The movie is called Confessions of a Prodigal Son.  It is not an LDS produced film.  In fact it had no mention of the LDS faith.  But it spoke of God and it spoke of love.  And it touched my heart so deeply.  Something that the father in the movie said, who also was a Pastor, was this, 

 "Today I am sad, I am sad because of my son. Who some of you know, left 2 years ago.  And I am sad, not because I am angry at his choices or disappointed in who he is, as he most likely thinks. I'm sad because I miss him, and I love him.  And I am sad because I cannot love him enough.  I cannot love him back to me.  You know that's all I really want.  So the message I have for you today, is that God loves you.  But not the way you think. See if you think that God is vengeful or angry, then you do not know God's love, which is infinite and supernatural.  We can't possibly understand the depth of God's love for us because we can't fit an all powerful, an all knowing glorious God into our minds. So no matter where you are in your life today, no matter what road you've taken or path you have wandered or you feel you know is the wrong path.  Don't ever think that God is angry or he is disappointed in you.  Know today, the he just, very simply LOVES YOU.  Just loves you profoundly. And he wants you to come home."

  I found this touching because it made me think of my own past and put it into a perspective I had not thought of before.  It taught me a truth about God and about myself. 

  I remember when I left home.  I remember pulling away with my car full as my parents stood in the doorway and watched me go.  I can't imagine how hard that must have been for them.  Did my mother cry?  Did my father fear for me?  The answer is probably yes to both of those questions.  I remember driving into a new city and suddenly I felt sick.  I put the feeling aside and just claimed I was homesick.  Was I?  Yes, but that was not why I was feeling the way I felt.  I knew deep inside, that I had made the wrong choice.  But I was not going to let my parents or God be right.  I was going to prove them all wrong.  The problem with that is, you cannot prove God wrong.  And when you try, all you find is unhappiness.

  There was one day when a woman stopped at a yard sale I was having where I was living, she claimed to be a Born Again Christian.  She was nice and she asked me if I knew who Jesus was.  I told her yes, I in fact did know who he was.  She asked what religion I was, I told her I was a Mormon.  She proceeded to tell me about things she found wrong with my religion.  I let her speak, and chose not to argue.  She told me of an event her church was having and invited me to attend.  I thanked her for the invitation and told her I would think about it.  We talked a little more and she asked me a few questions about myself.  As she was leaving she said something that I just today realized changed me. She said, "You claim to know Christ, yet you choose to live in Sin."  I had no response to that......because she was right.  Watching this movie today, and recalling what was said in my blessing has made me realize the God put her in my path, to help me.  She may not believe the same way I do, but she changed me.  She helped me. She had truth.  I will always be thankful for her because of that. 

  I remember the day I made the choice to come home.  My mother jumped on the next plane to get to me, and to help me.  She never expressed anger or disappointment.  When she saw me she just hugged me and I cried.  Being in her embrace was so much more than I knew I needed.  I was sorry for what I had done, and I knew I had to be better.  But the thing that helped me was knowing that I was LOVED.  And I knew I was loved by a glorious and merciful Heavenly Father and Savior.  I knew that they had been waiting for me anxiously and had nothing but love for me.  I had come home.

  Admitting we are wrong and need repentance is not an easy thing to admit.  I think we make it harder on ourselves, which causes us to fear the reaction of our loved ones, and our Heavenly Father and Savior.  But we need not fear!  They love us.  They want us to come unto them.  

Jeffrey R Holland said, 
  "No one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another.  He loves each of us - Insecurities, Anxieties, Self Image and All."

God is all around you, if you just open your eyes, you will see his miracles.  You will feel his love for you.  So if you are feeling lost, scared or whatever you may be feeling, seek after him.  He LOVES you.  You can find truth in many places, you just have to be willing to look.  

  I know that my Savior loves me.  I know that my Heavenly Father has a marvelous plan for each of us.  He knows it will be very challenging and so hard at times.  But if we have faith and turn to him, he will buoy us up, and help us stand when we feel to weak.  Remember all truth comes from God, regardless of where you learn it.  But we must be willing to accept his truth so that we are not deceived.  Trust in God. 
Proverbs 3:5-6  5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine                                 own understanding.
                      6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.