Launching my blog the day after conference was a decision I made 2 months ago, after prayerful consideration. I received this prompting nearly 9 months ago. First it came as a thought, then a feeling, then it deepened enough to know this was coming from the Lord. I’ve felt hesitant because there are so many mental health bloggers out there.
But when I asked Heavenly Father why he wanted me to start my own blog again, he had a different reason than I had first supposed. This blog isn’t a place to vent. It’s a place to be honest about how I feel and how the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ daily assists me in my journey home to Heavenly Father.
Trials are not meant to distance us from Heavenly Father. Our relationship with him is not meant to only be there when we’re happier than ever. Nor only when we’re desperately sick.
I firmly believe that trials are an essential part of the refiner’s Fire. Part of this testimony comes from my favorite LDS book series, The Work and the Glory. In one of these books, Thy Gold to Refine, The Prophet Joseph tells the fictional character Benjamin Steed that trials and tribulations were coming because the Lord needed a refined people, who were willing to have their gold refined and their dross consumed. A people who stand in obedience to His commandments no matter what. A people who would not walk away when things got tough. And Heavenly Father allowed trials I could not imagine to reach the Saints. Many were taken home from this world.
I’m thankful for Gerald Lund’s inspiration in how he wrote about the wrestles and strivings the Latter-day Saints endured. His books have transported me to a different place spiritually. I read half his series while not knowing what I was sick with, prior to my ITP diagnosis.
Each week, I will blog on Sunday. I will share highlights and lowlights, and Scripture verses that encouraged me, whether the week was primarily good or bad. Some posts will be longer than others.
This past week has been a blessing for me. I was sick enough earlier in the semester that I almost had to withdraw from my Biology class. I was failing from constant exhaustion and reduced ability to concentrate. This past week, I brought my grade back up to not only passing, but to the magna cum laude status I have been working for. I graduate on May 11, 2018, with my Associate of Arts degree and I did not want poor health to take that honor away from me. I pulled my grade up from failing to a C. That’s two grade levels.
I’ve also had a lot of questions this week. A lot of answers I’ve been searching for. And I’m not sure when those answers will come. But I found comfort reading the words of Alma, when he taught his son how steadfastly he prayed to learn just a portion of doctrine concerning the resurrection. After steadfast prayer and diligent searching, he received an answer to a portion of his questions. He accepted that he didn’t have the answer to all things. This gave me a lot of encouragement as I try to accept what I do not understand and move forward with faith that my Savior DOES, because he knows the meaning of all things.
I was also deeply edified this weekend. I had a pretty bad sensory meltdown and had to sleep through part of the Saturday afternoon session (click the 'About my illnesses' section to learn about a sensory meltdown on the autismspeaks.org website), but I didn't miss too much, and I still felt the Spirit so strongly. I've never participated in a solemn assembly before and I felt my heart and soul soar as we anointed our new Prophet, Seer, and Revelation.
Indeed, our President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The truth of active, ongoing revelation. SO many changes are taking place in the Church and I love the witness the Holy Ghost manifests to my heart as I prayerfully ponder the messages I hear. No one in the Church is perfect because the Lord's church is lead by the humans he chooses. But they are His chosen leaders and, together with everyone, we are changing the world and preparing for the second coming of our Savior. HOW MAGNIFICENT IS THIS?!
Being a convert to the Church and experiencing all these firsts--seeing how the Lord's Church works and how He guides and directs the work through His leaders, and then feeling that manifestation in my heart, seeing the blessings in my personal life, is electrifying. It sets my heart on fire to live steadfastly on the covenant path for the rest of my days and to love my Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, my companion, with all my heart.
The Church is true! I'm so thankful that I was healthier this week and I pray that this coming week I am also healthy. But I also pray for the strength to endure my challenges and trust my Savior through whatever lies ahead. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.