Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Articles of Faith #1
[I] believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

I don't remember the first time I felt God. I remember coming home from Sunbeams class (the first LDS class of religious studies, entered at 5 years old), and telling my parents what I learned at Church that day. "God loves me."

My father asked me how I knew that. The answer to my five-year-old mind was clear, "Because my teacher told me so." My dad, always pushing his children to develop their faith further, even when we were so young, said something to the effect of "That's good that you listened to your teacher, but how do you know?" He then told me I should pray to feel it myself. This I did and gained knowledge for myself that God is there and loves me, personally.

Many years and experiences later, I had to learn that lesson again. I sat across from my mission president while he asked me the question: "Sister R, do you know that God loves you? Really know it?" Even now, a lump comes to my throat thinking of that moment. At the time, I had forgotten the lesson my father had me learn when I was five. I no longer knew that God loved me, though I still knew He was there. I was fighting my way through my mission, thinking I had something to prove, that somehow I had to earn His love and approbation. It was several days before I could bring myself again to kneel and ask Him to show me how He felt about me. He did. I have never been the same since.

These experiences taught me that I had Father in Heaven and who He is as the Father of my spirit. A relationship with Christ, in a way, is and was both easier and more difficult to build. Christ follows our Father in all things. He is the Father of this earth, and the Father of salvation. He, in essence, is the Father of our third life, that life where spirit and body become inseparably connected. He has become so by obeying and following our Heavenly Father in all things. After my experiences with God the Father, knowing I could ask Him all things, I could pray about them and ask for a confirmation of their veracity in my heart.

These facts about Christ, and even a conviction of them, have not been enough to develop a personal relationship with Him. For that, I have had to pore over accounts of His dealings with past people in the Bible and other scripture. I have read accounts of His life and teachings. I have had to listen to others' accounts of His dealings. In the end, I have had to live. It is only through life—through experiencing the pain and evil of this life Eve chose for us—that I am coming to know and understand my Savior. In raising a daughter, I have learned what it means to love someone enough to do anything for them, even give life. In learning compassion for and unity with my husband, I have learned what He feels that has led Him to forgive all the pain I have inflicted on Him by my imperfection. And, in learning to forgive myself, I have learned to forgive others in humility, gratitude and deep caring for them, rather than just out of indifference.

The Spirit is an even more intimate relationship in many ways. He hears the thoughts of my heart—both ugly and beautiful. He is the one who ties me together with my spiritual siblings. All my convictions rest in his incorporeal hands. I been trained as a horse is trained, with love and firmness, to rely increasingly on His guidance. His presence is like a cozy down comforter on a cold winter day. I am deeply grateful for His guidance.

I am also grateful for the witness of Joseph Smith, who saw God the Father and Jesus Christ standing side by side. I am convinced in heart and mind that his account is honest and true. I'm glad for the surety and solidity of our doctrine on this matter. One in purpose, though separate in being, my LDS view of the Godhead is a model for how I should strive to unite with my fellow man. Like a family, each member fills its purpose to contribute to one great whole. May we, mortal children of God, and heirs to His glory, also achieve such unity. Together in God, our power is limitless.


  1. Wow, nice testimony SR, very nice.

  2. Thanks for this SilverRain. It strengthens me.

  3. Thank you for telling about how you have felt Heavenly Father's love for you, and sharing your insights on how you relate to the three members of the Godhead. Great food for thought.

  4. I think this is one of my favorite posts you have ever written, my friend. Thank you.

  5. Wonderful thoughts and experiences. Thank you.

    I have found a closeness like I have not known previously this year as I explicitly and intentionally have tried to identify His characteristics and emulate Him by acquiring or strengthening those characteristics one-by-one. It has been an incredible experience.

  6. Thank you, everyone, for your comments here. I truly enjoyed writing this and exploring my feelings on the first article of our faith. It has a way of painting the basics back into the grey tapestry of day-to-day life.

  7. I enjoyed read this post. Your experiences were touching and your thoughts thought provoking. Thanks!


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