Karen’s Beliefs: Witness of Jesus Christ
I lost the keys of the universe. My world was imploding with no purpose to life. I still remember standing at the top of the stairs in my home as a child, wondering who I was and why I was here. I craved that knowledge but felt spiritually starved. Questions about life’s purpose continued to spring up whenever I’d give them the least chance, like crocuses poking through a late spring snow, only to be buried again. I had no clear answers. As I attended college, the questions came back in force. I was studying theories with no rod to evaluate them, viewing life and trying to set goals for a future without a frame. What was the big picture? How could I determine my life’s course without seeing it in context? I observed others’ lives and wondered what made them tick. Vacations, cars, money, what I imagined it might be, didn’t seem enough.
Eventually, my desire to live waned and I decided to take my life. I had pills by my bed, intending to overdose. I was stopped in my tracks, by undeniable impressions that appeared on the screen of my soul. I was told by what I later recognized as the Spirit of truth, that all I’d invested in my life–every moment of love and discovery–was not wasted; that I must have the courage to live on and that I would find the purpose of life. I trusted that voice, though I didn’t comprehend its Source. The Savior had spoken to me, through the light of His Spirit.
A few months later, under the light of a full August moon, and after searching, pondering, reading, and wondering about life, I found myself jogging the neighborhood. While doing so, I had an experience that changed my life. I saw my life in a panoramic fashion through spiritual eyes, and then, in a moment, I was overcome with an infusion of knowledge that God lived–as if someone spiritually injected me with the truth in a way that defies description but that was as tangible as anything I’ve ever seen, felt or experienced. I only knew that I knew, nothing doubting, that God and Jesus lived, and that I belonged, and that I was loved. Tears flowed unbidden; I actually sat down and sobbed on the curb. I was changed from that moment. Then, I sought to know more about Jesus Christ, what expected of me, what the truth about Him really was.
Borrowing a Bible, I laid in a field reading the New Testament for the first time. I took notes in a small silver notebook which I kept for years. I learned much through the Spirit then–but as I read about the atonement of the Savior, I stopped. I pondered. I was overcome. The Savior had just interceded to save my life physically. Now I read and understood that He literally died to save me spiritually. I came to know that for myself in that field in that moment. I also understood from that moment that He was, therefore, my Advocate–I knew I had someone in whom I could totally trust my every thought, action, circumstance. That was amazing to me. Later, I found, as He promised (though through an unlikely source initially–an Ex-Mormon brochure!) writings on the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (friends know us as the “Mormon” Church). The teachings of the Church listed (though mockingly) in that brochure struck me with great force and the negatives seemed superfluous. I tracked down The Book of Mormon–Another Testament of Jesus Christ in a library in Philadelphia, and read it through the nite. I knew it was a true record of Christ Electrified by what I then learned through that reading and as I discovered a leaflet on the purpose of life in that same library, I contacted the Church, was taught further and was baptized.
As I continued my education, worked, and married, I continued to “let go and let God”, to know Christ in ways that I treasure more than anything in this life besides my own family and friends. I’ve come to know His grace–His enabling power–that applies to all I do. I feel as close to Him as I do the best friend I could ever have. He converses with me through His word and as I pray and listen, repent, and grow. He marks my path. He has a million ways of delighting me. He goes before me. He opens my eyes to things I’d never see on my own. He colors my world; He changes me. He tutors me, He sends angels to minister. He finds things I’ve lost. He embraces me and reveals Himself to me continually. He challenges me; He encourages me; He corrects me. He provides me with wisdom and hope. He beckons me. He intercedes for me. He continually extends His reach towards me, and extends my reaching of Him, my understanding of His atonement. He has poured out healing and balm in times when I may otherwise have been crushed by betrayal. When I stood alone in my marriage covenants, He filled and fills the void. Through and with Him, I don’t have to go it alone. As my children have been, in a sense, spiritually fatherless, He has been their Father; He has compensated. I know He lives and knows me. He knows when I pull in the driveway, when I’m sitting on my bed, when I’m trying to sort out the best of the best to do in His kingdom, when I struggle to overcome, when I long to be better, as I strive for excellence, when I plead for my children, when I seek Him. I testify He lives. I testify He wants to be found. I testify that all things testify of Him.I submit to you my love of Jesus Christ and my joy in my relationship with Him. His gospel has been restored in our day, and His priesthood power is on earth, which means that you and I have access to His presence again–in this life or the next. He will come again. I know that’s true and bear witness of these truths in the name of Jesus Christ.