Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sunday's Miracles

On Sunday, we went by our children's neighborhood buddies' homes to see if they still wanted to come to church with us.  We were a little discouraged when nobody answered the door.  We knew they had been excited to go to church all week.  They had expressed their excitement about having bought official church clothes for Sunday's services.

In the middle of Sacrament meeting, I got up to take my little chatty Jayden out of the chapel.  I looked over at the sister missionaries as they excitedly pointed to the row in front of them.  My heart leaped with joy!!!  They came!!  Three young neighborhood friends sat on the bench, dressed in their Sunday best… with their mother sitting by their side!!  I immediately crouched down and hugged them.  I can't express in words how happy it made me to see them there with their mother- all choosing to attend church because it's where their heart told them they needed to be.

In the third hour of church, Jackson was supposed to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  In our church, a young man at the age of 12 has the opportunity to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  In order to receive this priesthood you have to have been baptized and have to be living a worthy life trying to be like Jesus.

I entered the priesthood meeting to find Jackson and to invite the neighbor boys to Jackson's ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood.  As I walked back up the aisle, I saw yet another beautiful sight which made my heart jump.   Two more young men, who are also our neighbors, sat at the back of the chapel.  I approached them and asked them if they would like to join us while Jackson received the priesthood.  They were sitting by the Elders (missionaries), and they asked me what the priesthood was.

I quickly explained how the priesthood authority had been restored to Joseph Smith by angels and that Jackson would receive the priesthood by the laying on of hands from his father.  Abe had received his priesthood from his father who also received this special power from God by the laying on of hands by those who held the authority to do so.  The missionary smiled on as I also explained some of the duties of the priesthood.  (As a deacon, Jackson will have the opportunity to pass the sacrament to the congregation on Sundays.)

We entered the room where Jackson would receive the priesthood.  What a beautiful sight it was!  Five neighborhood friends were in attendance learning about the priesthood for the first time from a very worthy young man… our little Jackson.

Jackson later approached me on his own to tell me about his experience of receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and becoming a deacon:

"Mom, I felt the Spirit really strong.  I could feel the priesthood entering my body," he said.

Never having held the priesthood, I asked him what that felt like.

He answered, "A warm feeling started at my head and went down to my shoulders and all the way through my body."

Jordan, who was baptized just last month, overheard Jackson's description and excitedly said, "I felt that feeling before too!  I felt it when I received the Holy Ghost after my baptism!  That same warm feeling went from my head all the way down my body too."

My testimony quadrupled in that very moment.  That was not a planned dialogue.  That was merely two brothers sharing their honest testimonies from their own, very real experiences.

After church I found my friend, the mother of the football buddies, and asked her how church was.  She told me she recognized the picture on the wall of the church as the same picture inside her Book of Mormon by her door at her home!!

The sister missionaries and I teared up immediately.  My friend told us she had taken the missionary discussions 12 years ago!  I had no idea!  She said her husband at the time wouldn't let her continue learning about the gospel.  Now that they are divorced, she expressed her gratitude to be learning about the gospel once again.  Please pray for her and her family!  Their first missionary discussion is tomorrow!!

What- a- day!!  To see my son receive the priesthood was special in and of itself… but to have so many of his friends share in that joy was even better.

My favorite part of the day was discovering that my oldest son's testimony was his own.  His very own!!  It was not a borrowed light!!  Through his own life experiences, he is discovering Heaven's truths.

Over the past couple of days, I had been worried about our children.  I hoped I was teaching them in a way that they would continue to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and HIS gospel.

My eyes were opened.  I have every confidence now that I can place this worry directly into God's hands.  I only have to do my best to provide teaching opportunities.  I only have to take the time to teach my children the truths I feel in my heart…

I can definitely do that!!

The Holy Ghost will confirm and imprint those truths into my children's hearts and minds in ways that I could never do on my own.

So… I do the best I know how and let God work HIS mighty miracles… it's a perfect plan.

These are pictures of a few of the neighborhood friends on our last outing a couple of weeks ago. :-)  What a great group of kids!