Question Box: Is There Hope For Me?

Question: I was baptized, confirmed, into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints about 2 years ago.  I was even received into the Aaronic Priesthood.  However, soon after I resigned my church membership, and asked that my name be removed from the roles of the church.  I did this in response to internal pressures from my family who is fiercely anti-LDS.  I am still quite young, and not totally financially independent from my parents, and I risked being virtually cut off from my family.  I KNOW that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the ONE true church on the face of the earth, and possesses the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ!  I am in an awkward place, but I desire to come back…is there hope for me?

Answer: Of course there is! With Christ all things are possible! While membership in the church is technically a requirement, if you find yourself unable to attend for a time you can still be faithful. You can continue to live the standards, read the scriptures, gain knowledge and live as Christ would have you. Live your life worthily so that you can be rebaptized promptly (since you had your records removed). In the future, when you find yourself independent and able to return to church, do it! Everyone is welcome in Christ’s Church!

Service and Spiritual Eyes

I recently gave birth to my second child, a girl. I was and am feeling extremely blessed. Not only for her presence in my life, but because I was the recipient of so much service from others. I am getting gifts and free babysitting from neighbors and friends and family  and starting to feel a little to spoiled. I prayed for opportunities to serve others, but with a newborn and a two year old, I knew I couldn’t go out and clean someone’s house or bring them dinner or anything. I felt that all I could do was sit and wait for the Lord to send me people to help or tasks to fulfill for others.

Then a few weeks ago, sitting in Sunday School, feeling selfish again, the spirit was strong in the meeting and it gave me a deeper insight into my prayer: I had been serving people for the past 2 weeks. I thought of at least 3 instances where I had helped people, (even getting someone a job!), and the important service that I was giving my own children. Without even thinking about serving, or making sacrifices, I had helped plenty of people. It felt so good to have the spirit open my eyes to that realization, I can’t explain it, but it solidified my testimony that the Lord will answer prayers and that He is aware of us in our circumstances. It wasn’t answered the way I thought it would be, but when are they?

My Favorite Book of Mormon Story

My favorite Book of Mormon Story begins in Helaman, chapter 7. I just started reading it again tonight, it is the story of a lone prophet among an influx of unrighteous, proud, and dangerous people. Nephi (the son of Helaman) was praying aloud in his garden about the deplorable state of the people when a crowd noticed and gathered around him. He called them to repentance, warning them that they will be destroyed unless they heed the word of the Lord.

At the end of his preaching, he told the people to go to the judgment seat and there they would find the Chief Judge dead by the hand of his brother. He reveals that these brothers were both members of the infamous Gadianton Robbers.

Immediately, 5 men run from where Nephi is preaching to the judgment seat to verify Nephi’s words, they agreed that if it were true, they would then believe in Nephi as a prophet. Sure enough, when they arrived, they found the Chief Judge lying in a pool of blood.

Meanwhile, the servants who discovered the murdered Chief Judge had gone out and told others about the murder. When a crowd of onlookers arrived, they found these 5 men and assumed they were the ones who had killed him and they were thrown into prison.

Later, at the burial of the Chief Judge, those who had been gathered at Nephi’s garden wondered what happened to the 5 who went to check – when it was discovered that they were the same 5, they were set free. But the people were now suspicious of Nephi, claiming that he was in league with the murderers and Nephi was a false prophet trying to gain power. So they brought him in for questioning. But Nephi was firm, and testified to his accusers that the Lord will destroy this people if they will not repent. Then Nephi gives them further proof, he tells them that if they go to the brother of the Chief Judge and accuse him, they will find blood on his cloak and he would confess.

And they did.

And he did.

And many believed that Nephi was a prophet of God.

I love how dramatic this story is, it reads just as shocking as any blockbuster movie or thriller novel. It shows how powerful prophets can be, when the situation demands it and the trust God gives his prophets. It shows how fickle groups of people can be and warns against governments run by evil and corrupt men/women.