Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mormon Math

I feel like a person’s faith has its highs and lows like a flowing line chart.  Trickling up and down by small degrees throughout the day and by dramatic leaps throughout our lives based on our surrounding influences or seasons.  I’ve noticed an easy, predictable pattern where the chart goes high when I’m doing the consistent spiritually nourishing ingredients expected of me (reading my scriptures, saying my prayers, going to church, attending the temple, etc) and my faith drops lower when I’m distracted and maybe a bit spiritually lazy.  

It’s been convenient having a reliable church algebra equation that’s always been true for me. When I start to feel my faith dwindling, I can pop in a spiritual vitamin using the tools I’ve always known to perk me back up to where I need to be.  

But recently things have seemed much different.  There was a numbness that shadowed my testimony.  As much as I wanted to feel the spirit, I would leave my ward each Sunday more spiritually hungered than fed.  I longed for that constant companionship of the Holy Ghost that came so naturally in the past, but struggled to find it.

My testimony was still there and strong.  I still KNEW everything in my faith that made me who I was.  I knew the gospel was true, the scriptures were true, my Savior lived, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the works.  It was all cemented inside me, but I lacked the warmth that usually accompanied it. 

I compare it to a new moon.  When the midnight sky is completely dark I don’t logically feel the moon has disappeared.  I simply miss the light.  And this had been my spirit's similar struggle.

I had been thinking lately of a girl I knew who hit a dramatic low point on her testimony flow chart.  I didn't know her well, she was more of a friend of a friend, but I kept remembering the words she said when she looked back at the decisions she made and the loneliness she felt during that dark time in her life.  She said how she wanted God to fight for her.  

It's an interesting thought.  On one hand we think of how Christ will leave the 99 sheep to find the one that has gone missing.  I can understand a soul feeling lost, alone, and faithless and wishing, hoping, waiting for a miracle to swoop in and rescue them from all the confusion.  Yet we all know and have been taught that the Lord is always right there with His arms wide open waiting for us to fall into his embrace.

D&C 88:63
 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

 This scripture has brought comfort to me time and time again, yet during my "new moon" chapter I felt like my knocking was going unanswered.  Over and over again this girl entered my thoughts and I pondered her words.  "I want God to fight for me."

It finally hit me recently.  My influences around me and that "entitlement" attitude that so many people today struggle with was bleeding into my mind set.  I felt like this was some right I deserved that I was the one who could just sit and wait for heavenly miracles to fall into my lap.

I had lost sight of how fortunate I was and the spiritual blessings that I had access to to help my testimony to grow.  I lived in a setting where I have freedom of religion that I at times had taken for granted.  I grew up in a family and loving atmosphere where I was taught that my Heavenly Father loved me.  I had my beautiful religion, scriptures, temples, prophets and apostles to look to for guidance.  I was given the GIFT of the Holy Ghost and had forgotten how lucky I was to receive such a special gift.

It is absolutely the opposite.  I can't wait for God to fight for me.  I am the one who needs to fight for my testimony.  Not just read but FEAST on the scriptures.  Not just pray but CONNECT with my Heavenly Father.  Not just learn of Christ but FOLLOW His example and serve others.  Repent.  Fast.  Study the words of the prophets.  Go above and beyond the mark.  I had to claw out of the darkness and desperately reach for my Savior knowing I was the one responsible for my faith.

It's been amazing.  I've noticed a dramatic change.  Whenever my faith begins to shake and I'm missing that warmth and that light that I love, I tell myself that I need to give it my all and fight for that light.


Fight for your testimony.


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