I have a testimony of Jesus. I wish He had one of me. Perhaps I am too cowardly, too self-centered, too vile. But I still have hope.
My hope is in Christ. He is my best friend. I have seen Him in several dreams, and in one meditation. I have yet to have what I consider a genuine vision of Him (one of those experiences wherein one is not sure if one is in the body or out of it - and it is so real that even 40 or 80 years later, it is as if it happened yesterday).
I am cowardly. I have spent most of my life in fear. Fear of other people. Fear of the devil. Fear of the pain they could cause. Experience is a great teacher. When one has been reviled and persecuted as a child simply because one exists, one learns to take one's aura and draw it inward, emotionally curling into a ball and becoming quite invisible for one who has a physical body.
Things began to change. I began to connect with Christ. I began to have courage, bit by bit. I still consider myself cowardly. But there are some things I am no longer afraid of.
Where is my testimony of Christ?
It is found when He rescues me. When I see followers of Christ coming to my aid through prayers and in concrete ways. When I see that I am more patient, less vile than I used to be, more prone to let people be whatever they are, even if they are unkind to me.
It is found when I finally begin to see what the tokens and the signs in the temple mean, and begin to realize that we should not be taught how to correctly pray only to be forbidden to pray in that manner. What spirit is it that forbids a man or woman to pray?
It is found when I realize that I have nothing of value to say on my blog because it is all my own opinion and most likely not even true. It is found when I am humble enough to admit I was wrong, that the information I shared wasn't exactly right.
It is found when a true messenger from God gives a call to repentance and, instead of being offended because he does not preach the current "safe" doctrine, I am led to fall on my knees - as I realize that not only am I a sinner, but that the Lord's arms are open wide to receive me.
It is found when Christ heals me of wounds that have festered for years, some of them most of my life.
It is a difficult path to follow the Savior.
The religious may persecute you. They will warn you to stay away from the true messengers of God because they honestly believe that those messengers will lead you to hell.
You may lose your spouse, your family, your children, your parents, your friends, and your church affiliation.
You will begin to disconnect from your old thinking until you no longer have common ground with those who still live and believe the way you used to.
I can say that I used to be a Pharisee of the highest order. Tats, multiple rings in one's body, drinking, smoking - any who did them was bound for hell. I was prideful and arrogant but did not know it. Like Amulek, I knew but I did not know.
Now, I see myself as a sinner. I see myself as darkness in comparison to Christ's Light.
I wish I had a testimony to give you - a testimony that I have seen Christ and that I know, actually know, that He lives. But I can't. I don't consider dreams to fall under the category of knowledge. Or daydreams. Or meditations. I am very strict in my interpretation of what consists of an actual knowledge of Jesus Christ.
But, you know what I CAN do? I can pray for you. And for me. I can pray that our hearts are softened. I can pray that God helps us with our trials and fears. I can pray that the devils and darkness have absolutely no power over us if we have even one tiny speck of willingness to escape. I can pray that we see Christ and are redeemed from the fall. In this life.
So many people on the Internet have such awesome posts. Occasionally, I think I am one of them. However, I am under no illusion that this post and the last one are some of them. I see myself lacking in understanding. I see myself still far too fearful. I see that I do not have the knowledge, the real hands-on experience, that one needs to be able to adequately preach and teach and testify.
But I love Christ. And I recognize His words. And I know the Book of Mormon is extremely valuable in our earthly journey, and that it is a more complex piece of work than most of us have ever imagined. And I know that if Joseph translated the book, it means he had the gift of translation. It does not mean he was a prophet (though I believe he was). It does not mean he was perfect. It does not mean those from Brigham on down were prophets. It does not mean "the church is true." Those are all logical fallacies.
I love Christ. I love my heavenly Father and Mother. Somewhere in my soul I know that. Somewhere in my soul is the person I was before - the valiant and courageous daughter of God who came down here for a reason, and who chose to stay here for a reason after I had been invited home about 2008.
God lives. And I hope somewhere in this scattered rambling, this nattering, there has been something of value to someone - and that these two posts I made today were not made just to satisfy my own vanity (or insanity). If I deem them useless in the future, I will probably delete them. But for now, I will allow my ramblings to stand.