Saturday, April 19, 2008

When the Bright Flame Dies

There are times in the lives of every person when they feel the light of testimony flicker and even die. Things they once knew with perfect conviction become tenuous and distant. Knowledge gained through the Spirit departs with the Spirit. Those newly converted and baptized, whether eight years old or older, soon discover that the spiritual euphoria of covenant making can wear off if one does not work at keeping it.

I once had a learning experience with a truly great man and Apostle of Christ. I remember much of the feeling of what was said, though very little of the actual words. He spoke of how Christ taught people, addressing them at the level they could understand, and then lifting them higher. It was an exhilarating lesson, and one that truly illustrated what missionary work should be. It also answered many of my questions as to why the Church does things they way they do. He also spoke of Gethsemane and the time Jesus felt abandoned on the cross. The only phrase I remember word for word is this, "No matter what happens, no matter the times you feel abandoned, never give up. Never give up."

When I went to shake his hand afterwards, all I could say to him was "I won't." That promise has carried me through times in my life when I was deeper in feelings of abandonment than I could stand. "Never give up," and "I won't," echoed through my mind, cutting through the myriad voices which pummeled my testimony of God and of my relationship with Him. I knew it was a promise made before God and before the witness of His servant. It was a personal covenant with Him. It was the lifesaver thrown from the hand of a servant of God. I am certain I will be in need of it again.

Covenants are meant to be those lifesavers. Some will be completely personal, as the experience I have just related. Others are given by God to all His children who are willing to take them, as with baptism and the endowment and sealing in the temple. Every genuine seeker of truth will sooner or later find themselves making covenants. Not only is it inevitable, it is necessary. Part of genuinely seeking truth is being willing to act according to the truth. When we make covenants, we are promising the Lord to act according to the truth we know. Additionally, those promises can help us through times of spiritual darkness.

When you go through times when you feel alone, and everything seems to be on you, cling to the covenants you have made, whatever they may be. For me, the only thing that has kindled the flame of testimony again has been to remember the feelings I once had and the promises I once made. Inevitably, those have returned, though it has at times taken years. Be patient. The Lord will be there in His own time and way, which time and way is always for our eternal benefit.

Remember He loves you, even if you can't feel it right now.

8 comments :

  1. Wonderful post. Thank you.

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  2. This was so touching and really beautiful. And true. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

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  4. I miss you, Silver! And I loved what you said about personal covenants. I've been thinking about that alot lately. I hope you're doing well.

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  5. Thank you for the support everyone. I'm afraid I've been learning a lot in recent months. I was hesitant to share one of the most important moments of my life in this medium, but I felt that I should. I'm glad you all liked it.

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  6. I am here via a link from Mormon Momma.

    This is well-worded and full of wisdom. What a wonderful experience you had that has helped you throughout your life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on covenants as lifesavers. I find a lot to contemplate and consider concerning my own covenants and testimony.

    Michelle D

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  7. I found your post through MMW site.
    Thank you for discussing personal covenants and never giving up. I recently felt such a very personal covenant happen between myself and the Lord. Now I'm faced with the reality of it every day and must never give up. Thanks for helping me know I'm not fringe to have had a personal covenant experience.

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  8. Dear Silver, My heart was touched by your comments. I want you to know that I believe each of us can receive the gift of personal communion with our Saviour. I have received a visit from Him in spirit at the temple, several years ago, and since was introduced to the Father and have had personal communion with Them since, but I have never received a physical visitation, or the "second anointing". It is something I am not sure how I earned the privilege to receive, but I know if I can anyone can. I do know I hungered and thirsted after it for many years and was willing no matter what the sacrifice to obey the Holy Spirit in all things. I feel that humility and loving Them with all your heart are both very important. I am writing this not to brag but because I want to encourage you to never give up, as you received from elsewhere. It is true They do live and They do love each and every one of us. You will never feel alone again, it is worth it. Love, snowfire

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