I am sitting here at my kitchen table and I wanted to include you this morning in my personal study. Coming home, has been more eye-opening than I ever thought. I feel so blessed that the Lord called me to serve somewhere that separated me from the chaos of the world. A place where I didn't hear things on the news or read others on a social media website. I think returning back to such a world was what I was most worried about as I prepared to return home. And now being back I understand why. I can't help but see our society and think of the Book of Mormon. Oh, how I love that book! In the Book of Mormon we see a cycle of pride among the people. At one moment they are righteous and grateful to the blessings which the Lord bestows upon them, but they too quickly become consumed by those blessings and gratitude turns to selfishness. They turn to pride (which President Ezra Taft Benson states as the "universal sin"). Wickedness over runs the lands, and God who once was the center of their lives is put on the outskirts. Due to this, destruction unfolds and suffering occurs to the point that the people are brought to repentance and are forcibly humbled to God's power to deliver them out of their undesired state. Then it repeats, and repeats.
We read in the scriptures that God is the same yesterday, today and forever but, aren't we as well? Don't we see that same cycle of pride around us today? At least we were promised that we will never fall into another apostasy. :) Thank goodness for that!
I share this because I feel as though during the last 18 months of my life I have been humbled, my faith has grown, I am grateful. Whereas during those same 18 months the world has been shifting more deeply into the category of pride and wickedness, putting God on the outskirts. Its challenging to literally be flown and dropped amidst it. To remain reverent, to live amongst it when just previously I was living a life that brought pure joy, yes it may have been hard at times and exhausting but, it brought a glimpse of eternal happiness. I now understand how Nephi must have felt being amongst his brothers. Or Samuel the Lamanite standing on that wall. Or Moroni as he hid the golden plates, to protect them as those around him sought his life. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel. I know that it is more important that we look at this pride cycle with a personal perspective, that we strive to remain righteous. A few months ago, during the elections in Bolivia I wrote this home to my family:
"Our Salvation is personal, it will not matter who is presiding over our country. More important is the type of government we have within our own homes, who we choose to preside over our families. The power of the priesthood will be stronger than any power any worldly government can hold. And unlike worldly government, the one within our homes won't crumble, won't fall into temptation. It will carry us through the most trying times, because we choose it through repentance, obedience and love."
I look forward to living this statement, to marrying a worthy Priesthood holder. We will serve the Lord however we can, we will love Him and put Him at the center of our lives. Not matter what we may face.
I have been home only a short time, I am adjusting slowly but, it is so much fun to be home with my family and to to share with them experiences that have changed my life forever. I am blessed!