Monday, June 27, 2016

The Summer Soldier

We stand against what appears to be an unconquerable foe. 

I think that there is another war and allegiance to be recognized within Thomas Paine's famous quote:

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

We are combatants within a raging war against sin. In the crossfire between the gates of heaven and those of Hell we often find ourselves the recipients of wounds deeper than can be visually discerned. 

Despite these imperceptible pains, we must not forget that the war has already been won at the battle of Calvary. If we but endure to the end, we will at last know the gratitude of our peers and our God which we may not have recognized in our mortal service.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Miracles and Testimony

Yesterday, as we were touring Temple Square we came to the seagull monument. We told my nieces the story of how the farms of the early settlers of Utah were suddenly besieged by an enormous swarm of grasshoppers, which began to destroy the crops necessary for survival. Miraculously, a massive flock of seagulls descended and ate the grasshoppers and the crops were preserved. 

I have often felt a little uncomfortable when people ask when I discovered that the Church is true and that Christ truly lives, because I have to explain that the was never one singular conversion moment (unlike many people, who experience a miracle prior to conversion).

My conversion has been a lifelong process (and I assume it will continue to be such until the resurrection). However, I can say without shame that I have witnessed undeniable miracles, albeit after the trial of my faith. 

It struck me while we were pondering the miracle of the seagulls that I am grateful that my testimony isn't built on one particular event or miracle. To turn my back on the Gospel would be to pretend a lifetime of witnesses, great and small, were simply unreal. I'm grateful to know, then, that I have so much to lose. 

The path of discipleship is not the easy way; it is the ONLY way.