Sunday, July 26, 2015

Reader Report: Standing for Something

Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

Gordon B. Hinckley

Publishing Info:

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Honestly, I didn't love this book. It was written much likea General Conference talk, but nearly 300 pages. Long talk, right? President Hinckley said amazing inspirational things, it was just long for something with a short attention span like me.

Instead of doing a summary/thoughts/quotes report like I usually do, I'm going to talk about my life and how this book fit into it. 

To start off, the layout of this book is simple: our world is great but in trouble, here are individual virtues that can remedy our situation, and here are ways to safeguard and grow those virtues. The first nine virtues are: love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness and mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, and optimism. This book had some great sections and one-liners, but there are just too many to share with you guys (these reports have been pretty long and boring lately). 

Here's my experience with the book: I checked it out from my hometown library in May. I wanted to read books written by prophets and apostles, so I found the Religion/Christian section, then the Mormon shelf. This was the only written by a General Authority, and I'm glad it was Hinckley because he's my favorite (I can't wait for his Teachings of Presidents of the Church book to come out!) 

If you've read personal posts on here, you might know that I'm the only member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in my family, and that my parents aren't too happy with my decision. Well, since I've moved back home from my college town, I've been going to church happily, but alone. Last Sunday, my parents asked me to go to church with them. This was hard for me, because I really want to go to sacrament meeting (and I know that Heavenly Father wants me to, also), but I also wanted to strengthen my family relationships (because I know that families are important to Heavenly Father). I prayed about it a lot. A lot. 

On Thursday, I watched a video. I won't go into detail because it's not uplifting. Basically, it was an interview about faith. And though it was meant to strengthen faith, it made me question. I wondered if I'd made the right choice in being baptized. Then, I opened my journal. I saw the bright colors and bulletins from church. The Holy Ghost reminded me of what I'd learned in these meetings, what I'd taken notes on in my personal studies, and what I'd cried to God about in these pages. In my journals, I learn that God loves me. I know that He's here, I know that He's listening to us. 

That night, my missionary, Sister A called. I didn't answer so she left a message, telling me to call back because she had a favor to ask. Oh my, I thought. The next day, I called her back. She said she wanted me to skype in for a lesson with a girl in her area who wants to be baptized but is experiencing opposition from her family. She thought I could help. I was very hesitant, considering what I'd been thinking and feeling regarding my own faith, but I agreed. 

On Saturday, I asked my parents if we could talked about going to church on Sunday. We ended up talking for hours about my joining the church and how they thought I'd made a wrong choice. And it got to me. What if I had made a wrong choice? Do I even know what I believe? I had been so sure, but then I'm wasn't. What was I supposed to do? How do I know what's right? And Sister A wants me to help this young girl keep the faith. How can I help her when I can't even keep it myself?

Then I looked at my journal. "First and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe" (Elder Jeffery R. Holland). Keep going, I thought. And then, "Rescued by the Gospel." I remembered where I was before I found this. I remembered that this gospel had in fact, rescued me. I didn't want to go back to that life without this. I may not be able to explain that, but I know it. I thought, The Book of Mormon is true, and I need it in my life.

Then I picked up my book to read. The next chapter, the tenth virtue, was entitled: "Faith: Our Only Hope." I thought, how perfect to read about faith from a prophet of God, when I have so little of it. He said faith is real and strong and powerful. He said that we have no greater motivation than the knowledge that we are children of the Almighty and that He will help us achieve. He said, "Vibrant testimony comes of anxious seeking" (p 110). He said, "I know that He is intensely interested in our lives, that I can speak with Him in prayer, and that He will hear and listen" (p 110). I thought, I need to know that. That I am loved and heard.

Before bed that night, I sat writing in my journal.
I know the gospel is true. I know the Plan of Salvation is true. I know that the Savior walked the lonely path so I don't have to. I know that His love and mercy are stronger than my weaknesses. I know that I belong in this Church. I know that this is where God wants me. I know that this is where I will find peace, hope, and guidance, in the Book of Mormon and this Church, I know that Heavenly Father "doesn't intend to save just a few of His children" (movie, The Restoration, Intellectual Reserve, 2006), and that He didn't drop us here to grope in darkness. I know that we have a prophet today, who teaches the whole world about God and Jesus Christ. I know that he stands at the head of this, Christ's Church, which contains the fulness of ordinances, and all truth pertinent to salvation. 

This book renewed my faith exactly when I needed it. I encourage you to record your testimony periodically, so that when you are in times of doubt, you can go back and look at what you said. It's one things to have someone else tell you they believe, it's another thing entirely to have yourself tell you that you believe.

Keep the faith, and carry on.

"I believe that God will always make a way, even when there appears to be no way."

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