Sunday, March 29, 2015

Called To Serve

Hello hello!!

This weekend was especially amazing.

I was able to attend stake conference for the Cumberland stake because Catherine was speaking. I just wanted to share a bit about the things she said. She talked about how her parents raised her to know that she had a Savior and as life continued on, at a summer camp that she attended each year, she came to know Christ not only as her Savior but as her friend and her companion. She went on to describe how her friendships with a couple of her close friends, that happened to be Mormon, prompted more to learn more about the restored gospel. She began to search for truth and was reading the Book of Mormon. She felt peace and comfort as she read but she struggled to know if it was true. She met with sister missionaries to solidify her search, and as she brought up her concern the sisters read to her this scripture with her name inserted:

"He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of Catherine; for he loveth Catherine, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw Catherine unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation."

After reading this scripture, she knew the Book of Mormon was true.

Hearing Catherine's talk took me back to when I had a powerful experience in the beginning of my spiritual enlightenment. Throwing it back to the year 2009, I was a junior in high school. I had just been dumped by my long time boyfriend, and I was devastated. As a 15 year old girl my self-worth was majorly dependant upon what this boy thought of me. I was overcome with sadness and I had no idea what I could do to bring joy back into my life (dramatic right? hahaha). There was a seminary teacher at school Brother S'ua, and I felt like I should talk to him-- I didn't even know the guy! But I went to him and he didn't even hesitate to invite me into his office. We sat down and we began to flip through the pages of the Book of Mormon-- we read a few scriptures and one of them particularly stuck out to me because he inserted my name into it. He gave me a list of the scriptures that we had read over. That evening, I studied the scriptures on my own. I reread the following:

"He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of Andrea; for he loveth Andrea, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw Andrea unto him. Wherefore he commandeth non that they shall not partake of his salvation."

I knelt in prayer beside my bed and I prayed out loud personally for the first time in my life. As I prayed I poured out my feelings of pain and sadness to God. I felt the Saviors arms wrapped around me. I felt the Spirit tell me that I am a daughter of God of infinite worth. Through this scripture I came to know that Jesus Christ is not only the Savior of the world, but He is the Savior of MY world-- even my silly dramatic teenager first world-problem world. He is there to comfort me, strengthen me, encourage me and to help me over come sin. This is how I came to know the Book of Mormon is true.

The Book of Mormon is the word of God-- and that means that we can come to know God, His love for us, and how we can return that love to Him from within this book's pages. It's true, I know it. And this knowledge has led me to and through so many miraculous experiences, especially during my time as a missionary.

Catherine received her mission call this week to the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission-- Spanish speaking. 2 Nephi 26:24 is the scripture I chose to put on my mission plaque. I have a hunch that she'll choose it too.

Love y'all,

Sister Merrell

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