Saturday, July 19, 2008

The impact of the gospel of Christ.

In this month’s issue of the Ensign magazine, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the quorum of the 12 apostles challenged us to share how the gospel has had an impact on our lives. It got me thinking. So here’s my take:

The first thing I think of that the gospel has done is it has told me who I am – a precious daughter of God – and what I can become – a goddess.

This is more than any identity the world can give, better than being a celebrity, better than being royalty, better than being rich, better than being a genius.

It means that if I am faithful I can anticipate beauty, power, blazing glory, majesty, all things the Father hath, all knowledge and intelligence, an endless posterity, and an infinite variety of opportunities to do good. Isn’t that a payoff worth working toward? (Michaela bounces excitedly)

That’s the promise Heavenly Father makes to everyone who obeys Him.

But what has the gospel done for me now in this life?

It has given me someone to believe in who will never fail me – Jesus Christ.

The gospel has given me the explanation of where I came from, why I’m here, and where I am going after this life.

The gospel has given me the opportunity to repent and this makes it possible for me to become pure, through the Atonement of Christ. It’s given me a way to achieve a clean conscience and peace, even in a turbulent and wicked world. The gospel has given me the challenge of rising to a higher plane of conduct and reasons for doing so.

It’s given me clear guidance through prophets and apostles, guidance that has kept me safe, and through it I have learned true principles that help me govern myself. It is extremely practical. It assures me that Heavenly Father still speaks to us today and that His power is manifest through the priesthood.

The gospel has shown me the pattern of righteous leadership and holy authority and helped me develop some of that in myself.

The gospel has given me the assurance of having a family that remains together even after death. My mother taught me gospel principles that helped me be kinder to my siblings growing up. By following gospel principles I was able to make wise decisions when looking for a husband, and it helped me be patient when I felt like I would never find a good man who loved me. It has helped me have a better marriage.

The gospel has given me a way repay a portion of my debt of existence to my ancestors, by doing family history and vicarious ordinance work for them in temples.

The gospel has given me hope that physical weakness, disease, and disability are only temporary.

The gospel has given me sacred ordinances and participating in them worthily brings me the absolute assurance that I am coming closer to God.

The gospel has helped me develop my spiritual sensitivity and discernment. It has opened the way for me to acquire spiritual gifts to benefit me, my family, and those around me. It has encouraged me to seek for personal revelations, inspiration, and enlightenment from God, showing me that it is my right to receive it.

The gospel has given me knowledge and wisdom greater than I could have had otherwise, and it has given me the promise of more if I keep seeking. It teaches me to learn both by study and by faith.

The gospel has given me opportunities to help and serve people of all ages in many different ways. It has pushed me to develop talents that I never knew I had.

The gospel has helped me deal better with trials and afflictions than I would otherwise. It has helped me look for the lessons and trust that there is a reason for what I suffer.

As I’ve learned about science, the gospel has helped me see how all things testify of the reality of the creation and God’s wisdom.

The gospel has influenced me to respect my body and keep it clean, strong, and healthy.

It would take a long time to tell every single way the gospel has influenced me and benefited me, but I can easily see that I am 50 times better of a person right now than I would ever have been without the gospel as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am absolutely sure that I am 100 times happier than I would ever have been without it. I wish everyone could join so that they could have these great things and more.

Impact? The gospel has made more than an impact. It’s made a crater!