I ALWAYS benefit spiritually, intellectually, socially, and emotionally when I attend church. For those who are skeptics, you should try it for yourselves. If you have tried it and don’t feel nourished in the above four areas, maybe you’re going to the wrong church, wrong meaning that it just isn’t the right “fit” for you.
Anyway, here are a couple of tidbits from today. Today was “Missionary Day” in that two young missionaries and the ward mission leader gave talks. The first missionary began his remarks by reminding his listeners that everyday was missionary day for his companion and him, and then he proceeded to sing a song that touched my soul. His talk was excellent, a great combination of scripture, illustrations, and personal applications. The second talk was superb as well. I couldn’t help but think of how I wished that their mothers could hear their sons talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Anyway, towards the end of his talk, the second speaker said that he wanted to make a few remarks to the youth in attendance but that the rest of us were welcome to listen too. I’m glad I did because I’ve been thinking about the story he told ever since. Basically, it was a story of a young man who struggled with all sorts of issues while in high school. Frequently depressed and confused, he went through a dark period in which he felt that he could never please his father and was moving further away from the teachings of his youth. School was a chore, and the young man was drifting along with no direction for his life.
One day after an athletic event and a fight with his father, this young man was feeling worse than ever. After everyone left the locker room and he was assured of his privacy, he dropped to his knees and asked God if he was really there. “I just want to know if You’re there and if You care about me. Please send me a sign. Speak to me.” (paraphrase) Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Although he stayed on his knees for six or seven minutes, there was nothing but silence. Thoroughly dejected, he got up and left the locker room. He stopped at the water fountain to get a sip of water, and when he looked up, there was a friend of his standing there looking at him, a girl he had known for a long time. They looked at each other for a moment, and she said something like (another paraphrase), “Tom, I can’t believe I’m actually standing here…and that I came back to the school to find you, but I felt like I needed to tell you something I’ve been thinking about for several days. I just want you to know that your Heavenly Father loves you and cares about your happiness. Well, I guess that’s about it. Bye.”
The speaker revealed that he was the young dejected, confused, directionless athlete who had turned his life around that very afternoon. His prayer had been answered, and he KNEW for certain that his Creator was indeed aware of his needs, doubts, and problems. Furthermore, the young elder told the congregation, it’s the same for all of us. We all have the same loving Heavenly Father who is aware of our needs and is always there waiting for us to communicate with him.
I already knew the above. Today was just a reminder, and going to church and hearing that story was just an affirmation. DH wants me to watch a movie with him so I’ll save the intellectual, social, and emotional lifts for another time. For now, suffice it to say that Valencia and I had a fabulous heart-to-heart talk, thus renewing my thankfulness for friends and relationships.