My alarm didn't go off and we almost missed church this morning. But we hustled our butts there and it's a good thing we did. Today was awesome, and full of so many testimony builders and lessons to be learned. The Savior is so amazing. One guy gave an incredible talk today about Him. He said that he went on splits with the missionaries once a few months after he was converted and baptized in the church, in a neighborhood that was really bad. They approached two gangsters who were smoking, drinking, and had terrible, vulgar music blaring. The guy giving the talk said he grew up in Miami so he knew this situation was dangerous and he was just praying to God that they wouldn't get shot for being in the wrong neighborhood. One of the missionaries approached them with his hand held out and said "We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. We'd like to share a message with you about Jesus Christ." He said as soon as the missionary said Jesus Christ, the gangsters countenances changed. They hid their beers, turned off their music and talked with the missionaries. They said they knew Christ because they had been taken to church by their mom's when they were little. Whichever church it was, he could tell that they had really come to know Christ, and he talked about what an eye opener that was for him.
The purpose of his talk was about how it's not enough just to proclaim to know Christ. We have to live our lives so that others know we're following Him. He gave us the chance to live here on Earth and it's our job to live like Him, not just say we know Him and do what we want. It was really awesome. The speaker also said that although he makes many mistakes, as all of us do, he's going to live his life so that not a single drop of Christ's blood shed at the Atonement will be his. He doesn't want anymore of what Christ suffered to be from his actions. What a powerful thought. He also talked about how having a relationship with the Savior helps us to know we've been forgiven. It was really powerful. The thing that really struck me was he talked about how when Jesus was dying on the cross, He pleaded with Heavenly Father for the forgiveness of those who had persecuted and killed him. I've heard that a million times before, but today it hit me. I've said on a couple occasions where someone has hurt and/or wronged me in some way and they get away with it that "Well, they'll get their reward in Heaven." I think we've all thought that about someone at some point - even if it was just a murderer on the news. Christ begged for the men who beat Him, whipped Him, spit on Him, and nailed Him to a cross, to be forgiven. All He cared about was their salvation and happiness. I should do that to those who hurt me as well. Instead of wishing they'd get their punishment, I need to hope they are forgiven so they can experience happiness as well. It was a powerful thought that I am going to work on.
I also had a strong impression about the spirit world today. I felt that my Aunt Kim, my mom's sister Marilee, our Grandparents and even Adrianne, are up there playing with our future children. It brought tears to my eyes to know that when those sweet spirits grace our family on this Earth, they will have just come from playing with those that we love and miss so much. What an awesome thing!! I miss them a lot. Thank Heavens for the sealing power of God so that depending on our righteousness, we can all be together forever.
I also wanted to thank those of you who care about us enough to want to be a part of our lives. I was expecting maybe 5 people to ask to be invited to be readers to this blog, 3 of those being family, and I was touched by the number of people who wanted to read. It wasn't TONS but, it was so comforting to know that we have so many friends and people who love us. Thanks for blessing our lives and being so great. We love you!