Recently our church made changes to it's main website. I love it. I love how easy they have made it to share the gospel, share our beliefs and have so many wonderful resources at our fingertips to help us live the gospel and teach it to our families.
I especially love this page which shares our beliefs. It's so well done. Videos, pictures, members sharing their personal experiences and thoughts, options to ask questions and chat with someone. It is done in such a non threatening wonderful way. It let's anyone get answers to their questions, find out the correct things that we believe, and learn for themselves about our faith.
My cousin has been serving his two year mission in the MTC referral mission. He has had amazing wonderful experiences about how people are searching for answers and finding the gospel online. They are able to chat with missionaries like my cousin and get specific questions answers. He has had baptisms all over the world. What an incredible blessing technology is! The Lord knew the power and blessing that it would bring, and how much it would be needed to take the gospel to all the earth. My cousin returned home last Friday and I loved being able hear about the experiences he has had using technology to spread the gospel.
Recently I've been thinking a lot about my faith. Wondering why it is that I don't feel suppressed or limited in who I can or want to become, when we have so many commandments from the Lord, or doctrines like the Word of Wisdom or the Law of Chastity. Many people of the world feel that Mormons have no freedom. No freedom to do or be what they want.
In fact my first year of college my family took in a foreign exchange student from Norway, Silje. She was a long lost sister. We loved her. She had previously been assigned to another family somewhere else in the US. They decided they just couldn't do it and so we were asked if we would take her. We agreed.
The people and friends she was around before coming to our house, told her that it would be awful. That she wouldn't be able to do anything because of all our Mormon commandments. She came completely worried. She later told me that she came expecting to have no freedom to do as she wished, instead she found more freedom than she had ever felt before in her life. She was expected to live the same way the rest of us did in the family and abide by the same rules. But what she found was not the lack of freedom but an abundance of it. A freedom that comes when we live the commandments God has given us. A freedom we can find no where else.
Many of you may get sick of me talking about my faith. But in reality it is everything to me. It makes me so incredibly happy. It gives me incredible freedom to become a Shalae that is far better than anything I could have ever made her to be. I know it's true with every part of me. And when you know something like this to be true without any doubt, it is impossible to never share it.
At this Christmas season, one of the greatest gifts I could ever give to you dear friends, would be the FULLNESS of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Christ's original church he set up on the earth during his mortal ministry has been restored. Through Him. Every aspect of it. People wonder, ask and are sometimes appalled that we declare that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's only true and living church on the earth. That it is the same as the one he set up during his mortal ministry.
Does this mean that everyone else is wrong? No. Not at all. They all have truths, they have his word in the bible. But is there anything that is missing? Anything that has gotten lost in the many divisions of religion? Living Prophets? Modern Revelation? Priesthood power and authority to act in the name of God? Saving Ordinances? The Gift of the Holy Ghost? Is there more? Yes there is.
At this Christmas season. The time of giving gifts to those we love, I often contemplate and think of how my heart desires to share what I know to be true with others. The greatest of all gifts I could give is the restored gospel. The hard part... it has to be taken, looked at, thought about, prayed about, and acted upon by those I'd like to give it to. There has a to be a desire to even want to have the gift. There are not so many that are willing to to take it. Until that time comes, all I can do is keep sharing, keep testifying and keep offering.
I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful Christmas season. I hope you have had some time to ponder the Christ child. Who He is. Why He came. And what it means to you and me. I know he lives. I know he'll return one day, and what a glorious, happy day it will be.
Merry Christmas to you and your families! May this upcoming year be an amazing one for each of you.