Do I believe?
me of what I’ve been writing about in my blog for over two years and talking about on my radio program since the start of this year.
And as always with Conference addresses, there’s lots of good application for LDS singles.
Knowing and believing
Sister Oscarson begins with the story of a boy who needed to be airlifted from American Fork, Utah, to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. The mother was allowed to ride in the helicopter. As she surveyed the ground below, she could see temples here and there. Then came into her mind this thought: Do you believe it or not?
She thought about her experiences growing up in the Church and serving a mission and marrying in the temple and teaching her children in FHE lessons that families are forever, so clearly she knew it. But did she believe it?
She responded that, yes, she did believe it, and then immediately she began thanking God in her heart and surrendering her will to His regarding the life of her son. Months later, the boy recovered.
Notice the emphasis in this amazing story on knowing and believing. The boy’s mother knew that families are forever, but believing that families are forever prompted her to act, in this case to offer thanks in prayer and submit her will to God’s.
We all know the gospel, especially if we’ve been to church all our lives and have served missions and have continuously studied the scriptures. But do we believe the gospel?
For many years I knew the gospel was true but didn’t really believe it. I doubted the Lord’s promises to me. I wondered why others who seemed to be less dedicated were rewarded with the blessings I sought but couldn’t obtain. The longer I was single, the more desperate and cynical I became.
Then one day I hit what seemed like rock bottom. I thought all was lost when a romantic interest who I thought was my last opportunity to secure my blessings cruelly rejected me. As hard as it was to endure that experience, I still didn’t get it. Instead, I went the other way, wondering why nothing ever worked out for me. I won’t detail the even greater hardships and frustrations I later endured, but suffice it to say my life just kept getting worse and worse.
Through all those years, one aspect of my life remained constant. I didn’t really believe. I didn’t really believe I’d ever have my promised blessings. I grew embittered from my failed expectations of what my life was supposed to be but wasn’t. And all the while, I never received the blessings I most wanted.
I didn’t believe. And I didn’t receive.
True belief prompts action
That’s why I really love what Sister Oscarson presents. I knew the gospel was true, but I never really believed it. And it wasn’t until I truly believed it that I began to know real peace.
The mother’s action in Sister Oscarson’s story reveals a key aspect. True belief always prompts action. True belief isn’t static; it’s dynamic and active. It helps us to live because it itself is living. And it changes our lives when we embrace it.
Too many of us live the gospel and life on autopilot. And living on autopilot robs us of the joy we otherwise might have. Sister Oscarson was right in line with that thought when she shared,
To believe, we need to get the gospel from our heads into our hearts! It is possible for us to merely go through the motions of living the gospel because it is expected or because it is the culture in which we have grown up or because it is a habit.
Habits can lead to unfulfilled lives. Life lived by conscious choice is so much sweeter than life on autopilot. We get that sweeter life when we make conscious choices and then act on them. True belief motivates us to act, so when we make a conscious choice to act on a true belief, then the real joy of living is ours to savor.
I still don’t have my blessings, but my life turned around when I began to ask myself, “What do I really believe?” and then act accordingly. You can turn your life around, too. Don’t just know the gospel; believe it! As Sister Oscarson testified, “the blessings and peace the Lord has in store for those who are obedient and faithful exceed anything the human mind can comprehend.”
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Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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