Over the past 20 years I've had countless prayers answered in the very place I'm suppose to be on Sunday's. Today was no different. I felt the spirit in each of my church meetings today. In Sacrament a young man talk about the importance of anchoring a boat on shore to prevent it from moving in a wind storm and compared this to anchoring our testimonies on Christ for when the wind storms come into our lives. Another talk was on service, especially when we are feeling down. And the last talk was on missionary work, specifically being member missionaries.
In Sunday School the lesson was on Hope and Faith, two of my most favorite topics. It seems over the past few months my faith has been tested more, given my circumstances. It is hard for me to understand why after 13 months of chemo I'm still not in remission. I hope (or expect) and have complete faith in Heavenly Father that I will be healed. I keep having to remind myself that Heavenly Father has a different time table than I do. I was reminded in Alma 32 that before I have hope and faith that I must first be humble. It was a concept that I think I've always overlooked in this favorite chapter of mine from the Book Of Mormon. As I sat in Sunday School I had to ask myself if I truly was humble. I hope that I am, but know that I still need to work on this characteristic. I love Alma 32:21, "And now I said concerning faith-faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." I have hope and faith that even though I can't see the chemo working in my body, that it really is working. Clearly on the scans and the blood work recently we haven't seen the change we are hoping for, but after 4 treatments of this new chemo, come August 24 I hope we see that change. But if the change that I'm hoping for doesn't come I still believe I will be healed, it just may mean it will be through some other treatment. In my prayers I am very specific that my doctors will be guided to the treatment that will shrink my tumors. It seems like a simple request, but one that I have great faith and hope in.
Alma 34:17-27 have always been some of my most favorite scriptures teaching us to pray or cry unto the Lord for every minor and major thing in our lives. Verse 17 states, "Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy on you...At the end of the chapter it say's, "I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions...But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all of your afflictions."
My take away from this: be humble, have hope, faith and practice being patient. I'm pretty sure I've been practicing characteristics for over the 3 years I've been dealing with OVC, but I must need more practice to master them. It seems at times the last 3 years have flown by and other times it seems to be creeping.
I had the great privilege of teaching all of the young women today. My lesson was on Taking upon ourselves the name Jesus Christ. I so much enjoyed the remarks and participation from these amazing girls. They are starting school tomorrow and it was the perfect lesson for them as they embark on a new school year.
I started out with a talk entitled "What Have You Done With My Name" by Melvyn Arnold. He says, "Each week as we partake of the sacrament, we covenant and promise that we are willing to take upon us the name of Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. If we are willing to do so, we are promised that most wonderful blessing-that His Spirit will always be with us...Someday each one of us will have to account to our Savior, Jesus Christ, for what we have done with His name."
Most of my lesson was from a talk entitled Being a More Christian Christian by Robert. D Hales. In this talk he asks the question, "What kind of Christians are we, in other words, how are we doing in our quest to follow Christ?" We talked about Christlike qualities and how we can strengthen them within ourselves. These included the following:
Christian Love, Christian Faith, Christian Sacrifice, Christian Caring, Christian Service, Christian Patience, Christian Peace, Christian Forgiveness, Christian Conversion and Christian Endurance to the End.
Looking at this list, I have come to realize there are definitely plenty of things I need to work on so that I am more Christ-like. I definitely have a long way to go.
I ended my lesson from the ending of the first talk, "Before you act, picture the Savior standing at your side and ask yourself, 'Would I think it, would I say it, or would I do it knowing He is there?' For surely He is there."
I sent the girls home with the following quote which I love