Abigail is giving a talk in church today. I am at home with Maximus feeling a little sad that I am missing it. Mothers should be able to be in more than one place at a time, gosh dangit! I will be there in spirit. [Even though I have taken Max everywhere it seems….I vowed to take one month off church when he was born and I aim to keep it.] Abigail asked me to look over her talk just a few minutes ago and we hurried and made a few minor changes as she walked out the door. I am so proud of her and the woman she is becoming. I am so happy that she has a testimony in the gospel that LeGrand and I have tried to teach. I thought you all might enjoy reading her talk.
After preparing this talk, I realized that this is a talk on repentance, Repentance is usually something you don’t think about when you hear “what are some blessings you have received from living the gospel” – which was my assigned topic. But after thinking about it, I realized that repentance is one of the greatest blessings we have as members of the church. This past summer, i gained a testimony about the blessing of repentance.
I was given a challenge for soccer that would help me to make the team. It was focused around three things: mind, character, and body. We were given things that we had to accomplish in order to complete the challenge. We had to exercise the given workouts every day, eat absolutely no sugar, candy, or soda, and do an act of service everyday. We were also given bigger tasks, like doing 200 ball push ups in one day or do something physically hard for us. We were to do the challenge for 35 days. At first, I started out great, I did every workout, made my own healthy treats, helped more around the house. I felt fantastic.
But, about 2 weeks into the challenge, i started having pains in my hip. At first they weren’t that bad and I thought it would go away, but like most things where you think that, it didn’t. It got to the point where I couldn’t run without pain and I had to go to a physical therapist to work out the injury. I had slipped up. Being injured, I then obviously couldn’t do the workouts, but that didn’t mean i couldn’t do the rest of it. However, i didn’t think that but I allowed my discouragement to justify further slip up.. For the two or three weeks that I was out of the workouts because of my injury, I occasionally had the can of soda, and ate the piece of candy that was in front of me. But that was no big deal, right? Wrong. I still did the big challenges. I did my 200 push ups and at the end when my injury was mostly healed, I ran up to the Y, but, I didn’t fully complete the challenge because I struggled with doing 100% of the small things every day. I did the best I could, kinda. When tryouts came, I felt unsure. I’m pretty sure if I had fully completed the challenge, i would have been confident of making the team.
This story can apply to the gospel because like in the T-Wolf challenge, we are given a list of requirements to get to the Celestial kingdom. We have to read our scriptures every day, say prayers, and keep the word of wisdom. We also have those big requirements like baptism and temple marriage. If we are unable to do one of those things, like for instance read the scriptures, we can still pray and keep the word of wisdom, but we won’t be fully confident when the time comes that we are ready for celestial glory. As a youth, it is hard to keep ALL the commandments. The big ones like no killing and stealing aren’t that hard. But the small ones we have to complete everyday are pretty difficult, like obeying my parents and daily personal prayer. In the T-Wolf challenge, I wasn’t really worthy to make the team, however with God’s help, I did. Just like in living the gospel, through the Atonement, we can still make the team.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “There are some who believe that because they have made mistakes, they can no longer fully partake of the blessings of the gospel. How little they understand the purposes of the Lord. One of the great blessings of living the gospel is that it refines us and helps us learn from our mistakes. We “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” yet the Atonement of Jesus Christ has the power to make us whole when we repent.”
I was supposed to talk about blessings you recieve from living the gospel, but it dawned on me. We have a lot of blessings from living it fully, duh. But most of the time, we don’t live it fully. We aren’t perfect. We physically can’t live the gospel perfectly. But because of the blessing of the Atonement we can achieve the ultimate goal of celestial glory and that is the greatest blessing of all.
D&C 76: 40-42
And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness; That through him all might be saved.