September 2014 ~ Dear Miss Mormon

Saturday, September 27, 2014

To my friends still waiting for answers

Dear friend,

A lifetime spent waiting can quickly become a lifetime wasted (you can just call me Confucius for that one)

But really, who's to say He isn't answering?

To those waiting for a lightning bolt, a voice that shakes the earth, or writing on the wall, you may find yourself waiting a very.... long.... time....

If you're waiting to act till you receive a sign, if you're sitting in a worn-out, faded blue recliner saying "As soon as all my questions are answered and I don't have any doubts, then I'll go and do"
You will sit in that recliner all day and eventually fall asleep.

DON'T DO THAT!

God speaks in the midst of activity. Noah didn't start building the ark when he saw the first raindrop, he acted in faith when the summer heat was still felt and there wasn't a cloud to be seen in the sky.

If you've been asking and there seems to be silence coming from the other end,

ACT

God won't let you wander too far before pulling you back to where you need to be. Sometimes He wants to grow our faith a little before making things clear, trust Him and know that answers will come as you go.

Don't merely sit in your recliner waiting, act in faith and God's light will be revealed.

With much love,
Miss Mormon


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where do we go when we die?

Dear friend,

My parents use to take me on road trips from California to Oregon every year to visit family. It was usually only a 5-6 hour drive but I'm sure it felt longer for my poor parents as one of us five kids would always intermittently ask: "are we almost there??" Finally, in a desperate attempt to end the madness, my parents came up with a system of telling time that we kids could understand. Instead of saying: "We have two hours left" they would say "we have four episodes of batman left" or "we have two episodes of sesame street" making much more sense to our young minds, we would settle down and enjoy the trip.
But as we would near the state border my parents would get us all excited in anticiptation for the moment we would  cross over from one state to the next. As we would come around a bend there it was, with two signs marking the transition--one sign reading "Goodbye, we hope you come again soon!" and the other "Welcome to Oregon!" It was always exciting to reach that checkpoint in our trip as it showed our progress on what sometimes seemed to be a neverending journey.
As we would continue driving I would almost always turn around and look out the back window till the first sign was out of sight. I couldn't help feel a little sad to see it go, with it my friends, my home and my life seemed to get further and further as well. Eventually I would turn back around and think about all the people I would see soon; with that thought California quickly faded into the background and I would get all excited again for what was ahead.
As I've learned about God's plan I've come to notice a lot of parallels between those roadtrips to Oregon and the roadtrip of life. Sometimes we're impatient to get from Point A to Point C in life causing us to miss out on the adventures of Point B. We seem to ask with annoyance and impatience in our voice "are we almost there??" and miss the actual fun of the whole ride.
But as soon as we round the bend and see those signs coming quickly we start to put on the brakes and wonder: what happens when I leave this state and go on to the next? We start to look back and fear that we are leaving everything behind for a baren wasteland in our future.

 Lucky us, God's plan---the route drawn on the road map of life, isn't headed toward Nevada ;)

This life was always meant to be temporary, eventually we will move on. But death is not the end. Just as I travelled from California to Oregon and didn't stop at the border, we won't stop existing at death either. Death is not the end, but a doorway to the rest of the journey.
As we pass on, (yes we will pass ON not OFF) on the other side there will be people to greet us, those who have anxiously awaited a grand reunion. A lot of christians believe this is where we immediately get on the elevator and go up or down, but that's not quite the case--they forget about Point B. For a time we will wait. Imagine a waiting room, a very large, busy waiting room. Its here that we will continue to learn about God's plan and how to become like Him. Mormon's know this to be a place referred to as "the spirit world". Its also here that we will help our friends and family learn these things too. What a blessing it is that our learning won't end in just this phase of the road trip, but will continue on the same as we will.
For now, enjoy where you're at in your trip, enjoy the mountains or the fields, do what you need to do to make it safely to your destination, and don't forget to check your GPS every once and a while because none of us want to end up in Nevada when we meant to get to Florida ;)

With much love,
Miss Mormon


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Does God know me?

 
Dear friend,
He knows you better than you know yourself.
 
Does he have millions of billions of children?
totally
Is His schedule always full of things to do?
probably
Does this mean He doesn't have time to know you?
not at all
 
I think there are times in our lives when it is very clear God is aware of us, and then there are others when our music is cranking, our blindfolds are on and we can't feel a thing. When we're like this its no wonder we start to second guess if God knows us. As soon as we wonder if God knows us a terrible awful cycle begins and it goes something like this: (I call it our Identity Crisis Cycle)
 
See? Things go downhill pretty fast unless we can figure these things out quickly.
 
There's a story I've always loved about the son of King Louis XVI of France. As a young man he was kidnapped by evil men who had dethroned his father, the king. These men then proceeded to do all they could to make the young man forget who he was and what he was destined to inherit. For 6 months they subjected him to every vile thing life had to offer and yet he never gave in. Finally, after doing all they could think of and still not seeing any progress with their plot, his captors asked him why he had resisted. His reply has been somewhat of a motto for me, something I've remembered and tried to apply to myself. He said: "I cannot do what you ask, for I was born to be a king."
Remember that! God is your Father and you are of royal birth. If we think that God doesn't know us, then we definitely can't know ourselves. The noble birthright of being children of God allows us distinct and powerful rights that we could obtain through no other lineage.
 
In one of my brother's favorite movies growing up, "The Lion King", Simba cries up to the heavens: "You said you would always be there for me!" Sound familiar? In essence, Simba says: "Where are you? Are you real? Were you ever real? Do you know me anymore?" Its then that the deceased king visits him and says to his very lost, very alone son: "You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become....remember who you are...remember who you are."
 
My friend, God knows you, He loves you, and he will do just about anything to show you. He hasn't forgotten you or left you high and dry to deal with evil captors or nasty hyena's; He is with you, on your right and on your left. Don't be like Simba, don't forget who your Father is and that He loves you. Remember who you are, and that God will never forget you.
 
With much love,
Miss Mormon

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What is a Mormon church service like?

Dear friend,

I can tell you right now, this letter isn't going to do it justice. Period.

By now you've probably been to multiple churches I'm guessing. You're use to rock bands, practiced sermons, coffee bars, and hallelujah good times. Its the kind of service that gets your blood pumping and heart racing enough to propel you forward, raise your hands up high and be saved in front of hundreds of witnesses.
I would guess that after this kind of a thrill and all of the excitement, walking into a Mormon church would at first appear to you to be a bust.
But I want you to imagine for a moment yourself sitting on a hill far far away in a distant place listening carefully to the humble man in front of you. He's a carpenter by trade, or so you've heard, and lacks any sort of formal training. You can tell the things He's saying aren't rehearsed, you can see no pretense in His face, He's simply teaching profound truth. Your blood isn't pumping and your heart isn't racing, but whatever is stirring up inside you makes you want to change more than anything ever has before.
Now switch settings, you're in an upper room with the Teacher and His students. You can tell an important lesson is about to be taught so you sit and listen. No band strikes up and no feast is laid out, just a little cup of wine and a morsel of bread--so insignificant it seems but never have you wanted anything more. You watch as the Son of God, Himself, reverently breaks the bread in His hands and passes it to those sitting next to Him as He explains "this do in remembrance of me". Again the feeling is there, so quiet but so loud, so simple and yet profound you can't help but think "I will".

You remember those words as you follow the crowd to His tomb. You saw what He did, you watched as He suffered and you felt the power of God shake the earth in agony as His Only Begotten Son drank from the bitter cup. Tears stream down your face, not just in grief, but gratitude for the sacrifice made and the price paid so you could change, so you could be more than who you were yesterday or who you are today. His body is laid, the stone is rolled and you solemnly promise to do just what He asked the night before His death, that is: remember Him.

A Mormon church service has no rock band, there isn't a paid and practiced preacher, and we don't have so much as donuts afterwards. Now, if I've lost you by now, then you've missed the point. Ultimately, if you want to understand our church services, you have to attend. Don't be disappointed when the band is missing, there are babies crying and you have to bring your own snack to appease your growling stomach. As you find a seat in one of the pews, and as you listen to the sacrament being blessed; think instead of your Savior. Think of what is possible because of Him. Our services may be different than what you're use to, but you'll find the reason may be because the focus of the service is not on you, its on ChristRemember Him.

With much love,
Miss Mormon

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