Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Rise above the pond
One of the things that you can do to help achieve that balance is to plant real plants in the pond. Lilies and other plants help to control the algae and provide an environment that keeps the fish alive. They also hide the sent of algae and fish. That makes it much nicer to sit on the patio and enjoy the pond. The leaves of the water lily floated on the water’s surface, and a long, winding stalk anchored its position in the pond. The stalk continued to grow and the lilies would float around the pond, even when the summer rains caused the water to rise over the edge of the pond, the lilies would still be floating on the top of the much deeper water.
An anchor is defined as: “a reliable or principal support; and something that serves to hold an object firmly". Your testimony can be your anchor and will provide you with the principal support you need in order to return home to your Heavenly Father. It will also help to hold you firmly on the straight and narrow way as you strive to keep the commandments and live the gospel in an uncertain and changing world.
Your faith will help your testimony to grow and keep it strong, even when you face challenges and temptations. Faith is a gift from God, but you must nurture your faith to keep it strong. You can nurture it through prayer, keeping the commandments, reading the scriptures, and also reading and listening to the words of our living latter day prophets.
Our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, has said: “Sometimes the best answers that people can [get] to the questions of life are found there upon their knees calling upon our Heavenly Father.
if they will remember that the Lord is mindful of them and will answer their prayers, they will be able to meet every challenge that comes to them.”
Notice that he did not say some challenges, or even most challenges. He said every challenge. So, the first part in rising above the pond is in remembering the the Lord is mindful of you. He KNOWS who you are. He KNOWS your name. He loves you. You are HIS! The lord has given us great guidance through the scriptures. Alma is one of my favorite places to go when I need to study about faith.
Alma 32:27 states, “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”
Are you willing to try Alma’s experiment to increase your faith? Can you exercise even a particle of faith? Do you have a desire to believe? Most important of all, can you trust your Heavenly Father to answer your prayers?
When I was seeking to know if the gospel was true, I had a very strong impression that I needed to live "as if" it were true, and that the answer would come after I had made that choice. So, I looked in my closet and found that I had one dress that fit the standards of the church. It was a bright yellow skirt and a white blouse. That was it! All the rest of my dresses were thrown out or given away. I had three pairs of pants and four shirts that qualified for those same standards. I was 14 years old and I had no cute clothes! Do you know how big of a decision this was for me? But, I did it. Back then, I had to buy every piece of clothing in my closet. I could not ask my parents. They did not buy my clothes, so this was a very big sacrifice for me. I remember that the next school year I took a sewing class so that I could learn to make my own clothes so that I would have something different to wear! It was a challenge, but it was also a joy. As I exercised beginnings of my faith, I was strengthened and supported by the Lord. My testimony grew and increased and I felt the influence of the spirit in my life. I came to know that the gospel was true, that the Lord answers prayers, and that He loved me. I learned of the importance of modesty before I ever went into the temple.
One of the most important things that I have learned is that you express your faith through action; by the way you live and by the things that you do. In short, you express your faith through your own decisions.
Like the water lily, you too can rise above the pond.