Jul 12, 2015

Choose to Believe

Choose to Believe
by Elder L. Whitney Clayton

The conference quote graphics I have created are free for your own personal or Church use.  Just click on the graphic - it should enlarge.  Then right click and "save image as" onto your computer. 

"Belief and testimony and faith are not passive principles.  They do not just happen to us.  Belief is something we choose - we hope for it, we work for it, and we sacrifice for it.  We will not accidentally come to believe in the Savior and His gospel any more than we will accidentally pray or pay tithing.  We actively choose to believe, just like we choose to keep other commandments."

Elder Clayton begins his talk by retelling the story of 7 year of Sailor Gutzler. (Did you catch that she is only 7 years old!!! Just a little girl, practically a baby!) Her family was in a plane crash.  She was the only survivor.  After crying out for help from her mom and dad and getting no response, she- wearing only a t-shirt, shorts, and one sock in 38 degree weather, set off across the countryside for someone to help her.  In the darkness she noticed a light in the distance.  She fought her way through creeks, ditches, and blackberry briars toward that light in spite of her injuries.  She finally arrived at the light - the home of a kind man who sprang to her care.

This is one brave little girl.  I think of my 7 year old.  Would she have done the same thing?  I don't think so.  I probably wouldn't have either!  This girl is amazing.

"Few of us will ever endure an experience as harrowing as Sailor's.  But all of us will, at some time or another, have to traverse our own spiritual wilderness and undertake our own rugged emotional journeys.  In those moments, however dark or seemingly hopeless they may be, if we search for it, there will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving, us the hope of rescue and relief.  That light shines from the Savior of all mankind, who is the Light of the World."

Just like Sailor, it is up to us to follow and walk toward that Light.

"Every day each of us faces a test.  It is the test of our lifetimes:  will we choose to believe in Him and allow the light of His gospel to grow within us, or will we refuse to believe and insist on traveling alone in the dark? . . ."

". . .There may be times when we have been hurt, when we are tired, and when our lives seem dark and cold.  There may be times when we cannot see any light in the horizon, and we may feel like giving up,  If we are willing to believe, if we desire to believe, if we choose to believe, then the Savior's teachings and example will show us the pathway forward."

There have been many hard times in my life.  Times when I didn't possibly think I could go on.  Times I was tired, discouraged, and had given up - why bother?  But I held on and the Savior stepped in and helped me out until I was able to continue.

"We . . .must choose to open our hearts to the divine reality of the Savior - to His eternal light and His healing mercy" even when especially when it seems pointless.

"Sometimes progress in spiritual things can seem slow or intermittent.  Sometimes we may feel that we have lost ground, that we have made mistakes, or that our best efforts to find the Savior are not working.  If you feel this way, please do not give up - ever.  Go right on believing in Him and in His gospel and in His Church."

One of my favorite quotes is from President Gordon B. Hinckley.  He said:
"It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is.
It all works out. Don’t worry.
I say that to myself every morning.
It will all work out.
Put your trust in God,
and move forward with faith
and confidence in the future.
The Lord will not forsake us.
He will not forsake us.
If we will put our trust in Him,
if we will pray to Him,
if we will live worthy of His blessings,
He will hear our prayers."

During an extremely hard and challenging time a few years ago, my mom typed out that quote and hung it on my bathroom mirror .  I read it every da, and tried to do what President Hinckley recommended- to stop worrying and to put my trust in God.  He truly knows what is best for us and He will take care of the details.


Remember this talk HERE where Elder Cook said, 
"encouragement to LOOK UP is a metaphor for remembering Christ. As we remember Him and trust in His power, we receive strength through His Atonement. It is the means whereby we can be relieved of our anxieties, our burdens, and our suffering."