Monday, October 5, 2015

E-mail: Oct. 5, 2015 "2 baptisms! That's what I'm talking about!‏"

A few months ago a woman came to church who we didn't recognize. After talking to her, we learned that she was a less active member and that she'd been a member for almost 20 years. She told us about her family and she agreed to let us come and visit. When we went to her home we met her 4 children and found out that her two oldest children, Kyle and Trisha, were not yet baptized.

As we started teaching them they seemed less than interested in learning about the gospel and even though their mother continued to come to church, Trisha was hesitant to leave her friends in her Baptist church and went there on Sunday instead. We learned later that the family was experiencing some significant hardships and they all seemed drained of life happiness. Despite all the trials they were experiencing and the initial lack of interest, shortly after we started visiting them the entire atmosphere of the home changed. Sadness and emptiness was replaced with light and joy. They all started to laugh again and we looked forward to visiting them.

Saturday was Trisha and Kyle's baptism and the spirit at the service was incredibly strong. What was it that changed everything about this family? What was it that allowed them to experience joy again even in the middle of their trials? I think you already know the answer. This experience was a powerful testimony to me that when someone, anyone, lets the gospel into their life, keeps the commandments, and makes necessary sacrifices in order to follow the Savior, they'll experience the incredible changing and cleansing power of the atonement. One thing I've learned a lot about recently is that as we desire and try to change and become better people we really are helpless on our own. I used to believe that reliance on the Savior and His atonement provided a sort of boost to the change process as we try to overcome our weaknesses, but I realize now that it's the only way we can truly change. Although overcoming weaknesses and trying to become more Christlike still requires our constant effort, it's essential to realize and admit that alone we simply can't do it. As we humble ourselves and put our complete faith in the Savior and His promises, a power beyond our own flows into our lives that brings with it the necessary strength to change and become who our Heavenly Father wants us to be. I testify of that.

Mahal Kita everyone. :)
-Elder Cloward

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