"Just because I am down, doesn’t mean I am out"   Leave a comment

It is always worth careful notice how the lives of the individual members of the church are going. I’d like to share with you a conversation that was had between myself, and another individual today, as well as some things that have been said in the past few days.

I never take joy in missing any Sundays, nor do I take joy in missing my meetings, but an account should be given for those times and places when one was expected to arrive, but did not. It is with this beginning that I wish to explain some great details to all followers of the blog, and even the regular members of the branch whom I have not had the pleasure in talking with for some weeks.

3 weeks ago, we faced some changes in the branch that were anything but expected. We faced a shake up in the Branch Presidency that caused me to leave with some form of muddled thought, wondering the specifics, and if not that, then at least trying to determine how I may have played a part in that. I of myself felt responsible for the change, even though the voices of many church officials discounted that particular notion. I know that I was not responsible, but boy, did the adversary wish me to think so.

Being gone two Sundays in a row is not something I’d recommend, even for a seasoned member of the church. Your perspective can and will become tainted. Your understanding of things become lax and diluted. In short, you are everything short of prepared for the Spiritual Warfare that Satan has waged on mankind since the creation of Father Adam. It was well said, when the person who coined the phrase, “Misery Loves Company” came to pass. Not going two Sundays in a row, is like asking a SWAT officer to charge into a house without his body armor, knowing the individuals inside are intent to take someone with them – and this when we don’t go to church.

Certainly, our testimony of the Gospel, once truly established, can never fully be evicted from our hearts and soul; But when we don’t go, and do as the Lord has commanded (Which, by the way does include going to church when we can) we are doing the thing Nephi vowed he would never do, and that was “I will give place no more to the enemy of my soul.” I speak of the ability of truthful conviction never being torn from our hearts, because we know well as members of the church, the resolve that the Three Witnesses had in their continual (even on their deathbeds) declaration of the divinity and truth of the Book of Mormon. Less known are the stories of members of the church, who have made mistakes and either been excommunicated or dis-fellowshipped yet still hold fast to that which only the Holy Ghost can bear witness of…the Truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a member of the church, who did take an eleven year vacancy from living the Gospel, I can tell you that one of the favorite tools Satan uses against us, is the very thing that drives us to repent. Guilt and pain, suffering and sorrow are the indicators that serve as the prime drive that cause us all to recognize (even if we already knew) that what we did was wrong. More worth mentioning, is that these feelings are described in the scriptures by some, as “Godly sorrow” or TRUE GUILT. This is the force that is created when our tabernacles are vacated by the Holy Ghost. It was a living Apostle who said, ” light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. More importantly, darkness cannot conquer light unless the light is diminished or departs.” (Out of Darkness Into His Marvelous Light- Robert D. Hales)

Important to clarify, is when he said “darkness cannot conquer light” afterwhich he states the underlying cause if such is the case, “UNLESS the light is diminished” – This can be the case when our attendance at regular Sunday services is questioned, or when we fail to study our scriptures, say our prayers, magnify our callings…etc; To continue, the last thing he said was (as mentioned above) “Unless the light is diminished OR DEPARTS.” That last issue, of the light departing, is something we have more control over than we realize. We are given Moral Agency, the choice, the free will do make the decision for ourselves.

Stated in the Book of Mormon is, We are “free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator … , or to choose captivity and death.” (See 2nd Nephi 2:27)

I make my solemn pledge, this day forth to echo the wise declaration of Joshua, “choose you this day whom ye will serve; …. but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

 Our lives will be laden with burdens and tasks that seem ever built for our demise, but I find the promise of Nephi, that we all well know… very comforting, Said the Prophet,

“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

We shall be tested, and tried, but never beyond our capacity. The Lord has the right to test and prove us all. Said Moses to the Israelites,

“Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not” (Exodus 20:20)

If you do fall down, or if you are thought out, remember the Lord has a way for all His children to do that which He has commanded them. You may be down, but that doesn’t mean you are out!

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