Monday, July 16, 2012

Final Essay

I am very pleased with all that I have learned during the course of this class. I feel that I have not only gained a lot from the scriptures, but also from my classmates. I love the insight that they were able to share with me, likewise me with them. We all have different life experiences that help us grow, understand and rely more on the gospel; thus, we each bring a lot to the table. With that being said, as much as I loved meeting weekly with my group, I think my favorite area of learning was in my own personal study finding principles each week in the readings.

During this time of reading the assigned scriptures, I felt a sense of humbleness and a sense of growth. It was hard at first to get into the habit of reading each day, but once I achieved that I began to look forward to it each day. I only hope that now as the class comes to an end, my study habits will not. As I delved into the scriptures, marking verses that spoke to me and highlighting verses that my classmates pointed out, I now have a great list of principles that help me understand and relate to those verses more fully. Some of my favorite principles are:

Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit each day. Acts 16:14
Fear not, for the Lord is always with me. Acts 18:9-11
Endure all things for Christ's sake patiently. 1 Corinthians 4:12
Respecting my body shows my respect and love for my Savior. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
Nothing can separate me from God's love. Romans 8:38-39
Live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18   
Show love and hospitality towards all men. (A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief) Hebrews 13:2
Cherish and virtue; God will bless the pure in heart. 1 John 4:7-21
If I love God, then I will love my neighbor. 1 John 4:20
(You can visit my blog and read more on each of these principles from Lesson One: Finding Principles to Lesson Seven: Finding Principles.)
These principles are among my favorites because they each teach a profound message that really touch my heart personally. They either are great reminders to me--like being sensitive to the Holy Spirit each day--bring me great comfort--like knowing God is always with me and of the infinite love He has for me--or teach me eternal truths--like being a peacemaker, loving and serving my neighbors, brothers and sisters...for we truly never know when we are in the midst of angels (Hebrews 13:2). As I discovered these principles, recorded them, pondered them and expounded upon them, I can't but help feel my whole self grow. I feel like I am more aware of who I am, what I stand for, and what my purpose is here on Earth. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. And I know that I can show my endearing love for Him by the way in which I choose to live my life. I love 2 Nephi 31:20 because it helps me remember to press forward in Christ with faith, hope and charity; and then to endure and enjoy life to the end. I know from applying the above principles to my life more fully coupled with this verse here in 2 Nephi, that the way forward every time in every case is faith...hope...and charity. I know that it is in my future to Be a Leader; to Be an Answer to Another's Prayer. As it says in 3 Nephi 18, I will always strive to hold up my light and come unto the Lord. I know in order to progress in life, we must continually be on a steady forward and upward climb. I love what President Hinckley said when he stated that yes, these are perilous times. But we can have peace in our hearts and in our homes. How comforting and true that is. President Monson adds to that when he said that our promised blessings are unmeasured. We must continue to walk uprightly, keeping the commandments and knowing that nothing in this world can defeat us. He then so beautifully tells us that "Your future is as bright as your faith." I absolutely love that.

Overall, I am so thankful that this course inspired me to begin a blog recording my spiritual progress and thoughts. I love seeing what I learned each week. I also like the aspect that others who follow my blog can view it also. I am not sure if anyone is reading it, but even the thought that just one person might be is enough for me.

Lesson Seven: Personal Journal

I loved finding principles in the reading this week. The ones I found were very powerful to me. Also, I loved reading some of the principles my classmates had found. I went back and marked them and took notes in my scriptures so that I can refer back and remember the insight I gained this week. Perhaps the one principle that has been on my mind the most is my princple I found in 1 John 4:20 "If I love God, then I will love my neighbor. " I love how it asks in this verse that if we don't love our neighbors, then how can we love God? I know of some people in my extended family that are so strong in the gospel, yet can't seem to forgive each other. (And the sad thing is in this case it was because of stupid money. The scriptures are yet again true when they say that money is the root of all evil.) Even though we read (and we hear all the time from modern day prophets and apostles of the importance of forgiveness) right here of how we NEED to love our neighbor just as we love God! For if we don't love our brothers and sisters, how then can we love God? It is so hard and frustrating, but it is not my place to judge or try to correct them; for I know I myself have many faults and areas of improvement, too (It is the carnal state of man that we are all in). I just hope that some day they will see the light and that their hearts will be softened towards one another. Until that day, I will continue to try and be a positive example and a loving family member towards them. And of course, I will continue to pray for them...always.

Lesson Seven: Student Choice Assignment 2