I realized I feel like I have gotten complacent. I'm doing the right things, going to church, reading my scriptures and praying with my spouse, but I'm not growing. I'm just standing still. So I prayed about what I could do to fix that. I realized that my testimony received the most strength and growth when I was working on my Personal Progress. So I picked up a Young Women's Personal Progress book and decided it was time to start again.
This past week I started working on Personal Progress Book for the last 15 minutes before I leave for school in the morning. It gives me something interesting to think about, and gives me all day to ponder on the things I learn.
For this value experience, we get to read different scriptures about faith. My favorite scripture section from this experience was Ether 12:6-22. It gives SO many examples from the scriptures of REAL people who's faith changed everything. So I challenge YOU to go read those 16 verses and ponder on them.
It also asks you to read two general conference talks on faith. I went to LDS.org and googled faith. Here are two talks I found that I loved!
The Transforming Power of Faith And Character
"Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is . Be aware that is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose . Choose over doubt, choose over fear, choose over the unknown and the unseen, and choose over pessimism."
Faith-The Choice is Yours
"I have personally verified that concepts like , prayer, love, and humility hold no great significance and produce no miracles until they become a living part of us through our own experience, aided by the sweet prompting of the Holy Spirit. In early life I found that I could learn gospel teachings intellectually and, through the power of reason and analysis, recognize that they were of significant value. But their enormous power and ability to stretch me beyond the limits of my imagination and capacity did not become reality until patient, consistent practice allowed the Holy Spirit to distill and expand their meaning in my heart. I found that while I was sincerely serving others, God forged my personal character. He engendered a growing capacity to recognize the direction of the Spirit. The genius of the gospel plan is that by doing those things the Lord counsels us to do, we are given every understanding and every capacity necessary to provide peace and rich fulfillment in this life. Likewise, we gain the preparation necessary for eternal happiness in the presence of the Lord."
The rest of the experience is to "exercise your own faith by establishing a habit of prayer in your life." So every morning before my personal study, I say a quick but sincere prayer. And every evening, I pray with my sweet husband. And for now, that's enough.
I've learned that prayer changes things. And sometimes it doesn't change outside influences, but it does change me. When I am sad or scared, I pray. Prayer gives me a chance to express gratitude and helps me see all of the many blessings I have. Praying personally gives me private time with my Father, time where our relationship is strengthened. There have been many times in my life, when I have told my Heavenly Father, "I just can't do it, I need you to hold me." And he always does. He ALWAYS does. <3