Thursday, August 25, 2011

Divine Signatures

 I've been trying to read a lot of uplifting books and talks especially in the past couple weeks. I know hard times are ahead and I am trying to spiritually prepare myself for all the curve balls life throws at me. I've ultimately learned that the key is to always trust the Lord and in the end everything will work out for my good. Here are some quotes from some of the books/talks I have read.

 Adversity and trial have driven the roots of faith and testimony deep in order to tap the reservoir of spiritual strength that comes from such experiences. By nature they know how to stand and fight and hang on.
-Loren C. Dunn

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
  - How Firm a Foundations Hymn 85

here is a song that also illustrates these points

In one book it tells of a father who just lost his son. He was truly in pain and wondered how God could do this to him (like many of us do)
Q. Where was God when my son was killed? How can you say He is a God of love if he permitted this?
A. Where was God when His only begotten son was killed? Did he permit that because he didn’t love his son? – Gerald Lund

"Tribulation is often the paintbrush God uses to create a masterpiece on the canvas of our lives."

When speaking of how some people fail to find Joy in the Journey instead of waiting for destinations:
"Sometimes, the lure of something better tomorrow robs us of the joys offered today."

I just have really gained a testimony of the fact that the Lord is in control. He doesn't cause bad things to happen, he just doesn't interfere every time something bad DOES happen. That would be contradictory to the Plan of Salvation and the whole purpose of this earthly life. He loves us, and knows what trials we need to endure to become the person He intended us to be. And so, at times, he will reach into our lives as a sweet, loving, and gently reminder that we are His children and that he loves us.

Do you ever hear those stories that people call coincidences?
Well, here is a little secret. They aren't coincidences.
I believe they are instances where our loving Heavenly Father is reaching into out lives, granting us tender mercies.
I think he does it to enrich our lives and to remind us that he is always a part of it.
It is like he is engraving His divine signature in our lives.
Making sure we know He was there, and still is. And always will be. 
I read a book called Divine Signatures by Gerald Lund. {READ IT!}
He told multiple stories that illustrate this idea perfectly. They were all so cool.
Here are a couple I love. I wanted to write them down so i wouldn't forget them.

1. There was a young man who had a lot of life left in him. However, one day he got into a tragic accident. He was riding his bike (one of his very favorite things to do) when a semi truck hit him. He was entirely run over by the truck. There were tire marks left on his back and head. He was in urgent care and the doctors didn't think there was even a chance he would live. After he came out of a medically induced coma, the doctors did an xray on his brain. The tire marks went right over the part of his brain called the cerebellum which is the part of your brain that is vital to your motor control, cognitive functions, emotions etc. When the doctor looked at his xray he was shocked. This man had no cerebellum. He was obviously just born without it. Yet, all these years he had functioned perfectly. And since it already wasn't there, and he had already been normal in all his functions- it was a huge blessing. If it were there then it would've got crushed. He would never have a normal life again. Although, it is apparent that heavenly Father could have made it so he still would be fine even if it did get crushed. The fact that it never was there is just a blatant divine signature. Heavenly Father deliberately made this man's body different so that later on he would realize this and know that He has always been a part of His life and truly does know all things.

2. There was a young woman who had grown up a strong, devout baptist. Very spiritual and seemed to always be searching for more spiritual strength. She always heard horrible things about the mormons. She promised herself she would never associate with anyone mormon. They were evil! One day she saw some missionaries. She was scared and did everything she could to stay away from them. However, she couldnt shake the unique feeling she had when she was near them. She continued to run into them and turn them down if they talked to her. She did everything she could to prove them wrong. One day she was walking down the street, she was thinking about the missionaries and the mormons and how much she didn't want them to be good. She prayed and said "Heavenly Father, if these Mormons are not evil, send me some missionaries right now." She was certain that was impossible. Nobody was around. Until a bus stopped right next to her. The bus stopped even though there was no bus stop at that location. And out walked two missionaries. She listened to some of the words they said because of what happened that day but she was still adamant on proving them wrong. She prayed again a couple weeks later after a horrible accident. The doctors said she wouldn't be able to walk for months and would have to cancel her upcoming trips to different countries. She prayed and said "Heavenly Father, if what these missionaries say is true, then heal my foot so I can do all the things I've had planned for this month." Sure enough, the next morning she ran down the stairs as if there was never an injury. After that she began to worry that everything she heard about the mormons growing up was wrong. Her last attempt to prove them wrong was one night when she was all alone in her room. She asked Heavenly Father to "send some mormons to her right now if what they had been teaching her is true." She thought there was no way any mormons would waltz into her own bedroom. She felt safe and confident about that. She smiled to herself as nobody came into her room and turned on the TV. The TV was showing a choir. None other than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The choir sang and some apostles spoke in this particular program she happened to turn the TV on to. There were mormons in her bedroom! Finally, she was convinced. She felt the spirit and started crying. She knew it was true. She gave in to her stubbornness and told the missionaries she wanted to be baptized. She has been a faithful member for 30 years now.
Do you see how much the Lord did in order for one person to be baptized? That shows how much he loved that woman. But it also shows how much he loves each and every one of us. He would and does do that for all of us.

I'm so grateful for my testimony of the Savior and the endless joy and comfort it brings to me.

oh and you are welcome for the longest blog post known to man.

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