Growing in Faith

I fell asleep with the lights on. Around midnight I woke up, turned the lights off, and decided to go back to bed. I had received a message from a dear friend while I was sleeping, and it made me incredibly happy to hear from this person.

Something about the message reminded me that God is in my life. He is guiding my every step. Sometimes I want to speed up the learning process. I am so incredibly excited with this journey that I am on. I know that for a while I was making some huge progress within my secular life. However, it seems like ever since I went back to working things for me spiritually have just drastically taken off.

I just spent what seemed like an hour sending voice messages to a few friends. I don’t know why I chose these friends in particular. Maybe they needed to hear my testimony of God and how He leads and guides me. At times I was brought to tears as I was sharing some very personal examples with these friends as I have seen God guide me step by step throughout my life, in particular over the past month or so.

Sometimes life can be overwhelming for me. God is constantly keeping me busy. Sometimes I wish I had more downtime to focus on some other things. However, He has never steered me in the wrong direction. Every time I follow those promptings amazing things happen for me and those around me.

My ability to love others is overwhelming at times. It’s kind of funny because it all started with serving the missionaries not long after I was baptized. I didn’t know why. I just felt this need to give back and pay it forward to whoever I could find that was serving here in the area. I have spent hours sharing my testimony in person with missionaries that I meet with the hopes of inspiring them and giving them hope that the work they do is real. I’ve given away thousands of my Temple photos to missionaries and also other people that I meet. I don’t say this to brag in any way. I just can’t contain my happiness inside of me, and I want others to feel what I feel.

It’s crazy how by doing these acts of kindness for missionaries how I have learned to love them. This Christ-like love is now something that I’ve learned to have for others that I meet. I have learned to see people the way God sees them. Sadly, this is not always the case as I am human and imperfect. However, more often than not I have the blessing and gift of being able to see the potential in others. I’m able to see their spiritual gifts. Sometimes I am instantly able to recognize those gifts that they are currently using, but I can also recognize those gifts inside of them that they are not yet aware of and can teach them how to use these gifts. I can certainly see the Light of Christ shining inside of people, and I can even see when there is a small ember inside waiting to grow into a raging fire.

When I first heard about the Church I had so many doubts. I had heard so many weird stories from others. However, I decided to try it out on my own. Everything in my life changed for the better. Pains from my past have been healed. My greatest trials have turned into my greatest life lessons. Once I committed myself to being baptized and decided to take the action that would qualify me for baptism, my connection with God drastically increased.

There is absolutely no way to put this all into words. I just know that the more I dedicate myself to God the more that I am blessed.

What I experience is nothing that I can just give you and help you feel immediately. It all comes from you taking steps in faith. I’ve done some really crazy things over the past six years. The Jimmy from the past would have thought that who I have become today was crazy. I have taken so many actions purely upon the faith that I have built up and being led merely by promptings of the Holy Ghost. As I’ve learned to recognize those promptings and know that they are coming from God, I’ve learned to become extremely obedient to honor those promptings, regardless of what I have to do or sacrifice to follow them.

Because of my willingness to follow those promptings God has put me in so many countless positions where I have been able to be a blessing in the lives of others. They’re just no way that I could deny that there is a God and that He is real. I cannot deny that He is with me. Always. He gives me that the words that I need to say to those who need to hear from Him. He guides me to where I should go and what I should do.

As a person I have grown immensely over the past six years. I wish you could see exactly who I was back then and compare it in a real time who I am today. I know that I radiate with happiness. I know that I have an incredibly bright future in front of me.

Turn to God. He is waiting to hear from you. He loves you and wants you to feel immense joy and happiness. He wants you to feel His love. He wants you to know that every trial you go through is just His way of loving you, helping you grow, and putting you into a position to take action so you can move forward into becoming the person He wants you to be!

Turn to Him! Always! Walk in faith that He will lead you on a path to happiness!

I seal this testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost and how they have blessed my life in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Empathy

Every single thing that I do is part of my master plan of spreading positivity and happiness throughout the world. There might be times when it might sound like I am being self-centered or trying to toot my own horn. When I’m talking about the amazing things happening in my life I am simply publicity sharing my gratitude. I’m trying to show others that good things do come, even when we are facing struggles. I want to give others hope that we all can have amazing things happen in our lives. This quote from the Alma in The Book of Mormon really resonates how I feel:

“I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.”

I’m driven with an energy I’ve never felt before. This is not only relatively new, but the intensity of this energy keeps increasing as I grow in the Gospel. I give up sleep. I put off things for myself when others need me. I sometimes even skip meals because I’m so busy. Why do I do these things?

Empathy.

I’ve been there. I’ve struggled. I grew up being shy and quiet. I was picked on and even bullied when I was younger. My Mom passed. I failed out of my university program during my final semester after nine years of time and effort. My Dad passed. I began feeling like I was never going to amount to anything. I went through a mentally and verbally abusive relationship. I was let go from a job that I loved.

A few years ago I decided to commit the rest of my life towards helping others not have to go through the struggles that I have gone through. Through overcoming my trials I had to again find happiness. God has blessed me with an intelligence that I never thought I would possess that I can use to remember many things with precision. I remember the steps needed to overcome my trials and again find happiness, and I dedicate as much of my free time towards helping others do the same in their own lives.

Also, I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to go through those trials. I remember what it felt like. I remember the things I did. I remember the things I said.

When I’m helping others I am able to recognize when they start to slip into an unhealthy / self-defeating mindset, and I know how to snap them out of it. I know where they are going, and I know that I need to keep them from slipping into dangerous territory.

I know that God has put me here on this Earth to help others. Yeah, I could have gone to school and earned degrees showing that I know this stuff. However, I instead enrolled in the school of life. God has been my personal trainer. Every trial I have gone through was part of His design. He knew that I needed these experiences. He knew what I would gain from them, and He knew how they would prepare me to help others. My education has come from living out my life, facing struggles, making decisions that would cause me to not progress, and ultimately having an awakening.

I have found joy. I still have my struggles. I still have a ton to learn. I will NEVER claim that I know everything. However, there are certain things that I know with an unquestionable certainty. I feel it so strongly in my heart. I know that this wisdom is a gift from God.

God has blessed me with many gifts. It is my job to magnify these talents so that I may bless the lives of others. It’s not about self-glorification. I really do not care about public recognition. It’s all about self-fulfillment. “Have I done any good in the world today?” The hymn continues, “Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, A blessing of duty and love.”

Thank you for reading this. I love you all.