God’s Spirit

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At times it can be difficult to see all of the blessings in our lives. It can feel as though we are only facing challenge after challenge. Just remember, brighter days will find you.

Today is my one year baptism anniversary into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So here is a poem I wrote on the 16/04/16.  Click here to find out more.

A Spirit I am, a Spirit I was, a Spirit I’ll be
Wandering fruitfully across earthern plaines
In two legged bodies of speckled flesh
Journey through darkness, pushed on through sadness
Tumbled into tornadoes of utter despair
Growing and building, developing and learning
Making choices, breaking promises, falling from grace
Into abyss of nothingness before rising again
Bolder, brighter, bountifully exalted
Worthy of singing ‘come, follow me’
Chasing the light like trails of fireflies
Diving and leaping through lake, river and sea
Head first into peaceful purification
Where woes of mind’s past sink between crabs
I dissolve into weightlessness taking flight in the clouds
Past angels breathing stardust into my palms
All truth is revealed in God’s gracious smile
With soft words dancing upon cooing doves
A Spirit you are, a Spirit you were, a Spirit you’ll be

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How did I develop faith in the church?

My faith in the church has been built upon numerous small events and occurrences that I cannot deny participation of a Godly being.

I had always believed that everything happened for a reason, at the right time, every single person I met had significance, and every single word spoken had meaning. I knew there was life far beyond that which our human eyes could see. I had felt powerful energy, I had lived amongst the purity of nature, and I had stumbled through darkness shrouded by shadow beings of other worlds. I knew that there was more to life than a vicious cycle I was trapped in; there was something that wasn’t right, something missing. A hollowness in my being existed from a young age, as if my soul had been torn from me. It was a life-long search filling this hole with alcohol, substances, promiscuity, stealing, and uncontrollable rage. I had depression and severe anxiety so I would be afraid to leave my bedroom, afraid to walk down the street, and afraid of who I really was.

When I left England to travel I longed to find freedom. I wanted to run into the earth’s open arms and strip away all of the tarnished influences of this world so I would be left as I was when I came into the world; like a baby: pure, innocent, unknowing, impartial. In ridding myself of all worldly affairs and accepting and forgiving my troubled past I became open and prepared to hear God’s word that had long been forgotten.

On returning to England with no home, and no money, and no concept of what the future may hold, I was in a heightened state of peace interested only in creating and maintaining this peace, with a yearning to discover my purpose. I was still in a meditative state and continued journeying in my own mind in search of answers, in search of explanations for that which I could not comprehend. I moved on, I was lonely, I was betrayed, I was convinced I had a mental illness. But I continued still with a spring in my step and the hope that I was going somewhere great.

My meeting with the missionaries was a simple passing on the street while I was walking home from work with my head in the clouds. A kindly gesture that allowed me to pass them giving me a friendly “Hi, how are you?” I replied with a spritely “hello, I’m good, how are you?” I think both of us were equally pleasantly surprised to be spoken to with such courteous manners on those streets of Gillingham. They asked me if I ever thought about the meaning of life and I said ” yes, everyday, it keeps me awake at night.” I had pondered and pondered, and dived into my own thoughts, into experiences, into religions, into people and my only conclusion was that there was no purpose. Nothing around me had real meaning. I would tap things to find out if they truly existed, and what were these particles that held it together anyway, where did they come from? It could all be no more tangible than my disappearing thoughts. I was surrounded by objects, places, people, who were not living. It was a town invaded by spiritual poverty that was attempting to drag me down with it. As this elder spoke on the street corner stood opposite an old church, I felt this heightened peace returning to me. I wanted to meet with them again only because I had enjoyed the interesting, spiritual conversation and was curious to know more. Weeks passed where we exchanged messages. I attended Sunday services at a Church of England and felt power run through my body when my forehead was anointed with oil. I had never had a relationship with Jesus, I had never known if he was even real. I attended one Alpha course lesson which was to help people better understand Christianity and when we were presented with scholarly evidence of Jesus and His miracles I knew that he was true. There were friendly people at this church, they danced when they sang, the words touched my heart, and they were involved with community outreach projects. This was a place I felt far more comfortable than other places of worship.

I wished to know what that warm burning in my chest was and why sometimes my body felt to be glowing with life. The elders told me it was The Holy Ghost, testifying of truth and righteousness and offering guidance. I had felt this goodness many times and had defined it as pure love. I needed more evidence, more confirmation. They suggested I pray to God and ask if The Book of Mormon was true. Sitting down in my bedroom holding this blue book in my hands, I pleaded to know if it was true. My heart glowed and a wave of peace fell upon me. Still this was not enough, I knew the mind’s capabilities that could be playing all manner of deceptions luring me into false hope and imagined emotions.

I was angry with the concept of forgiveness, that I was expected to ask God’s forgiveness for my transgressions when He had given me this life. I had already forgiven my parents for mistakes they made and accepted responsibility to change the damages. So I had to forgive God for leaving me, for putting me through darkness, for giving me a broken home, for sending me to live beside beings made of shadows, and for letting me live without His love.

I learned that it hurts him too when we suffer. And sometimes we suffer because we have done wrong, sometimes we suffer to grow, but in the end we will always grow and always come out the other side. I learned that God loves each of us and he wants to be close to us so that we can feel his love that is comparable to nothing else in this world. I learned that there is a before and after; that we are spirits given human bodies upon this earth in a mortal life that is microscopic in comparison to our eternal destinies. I learned that this is not it! That the spirit world really does exist beside us, and there are endless worlds, multiple universes, and angels, and we ourselves have the potential to become Gods.

It isn’t to say that I did not know these things before. But I have read, and prayed, and studied, and found stable, unchanging, solid facts written in the words of God concluding what I already believed. No matter where I go or what I do, God will speak to me in a multitude of methods and He always has done without me truly knowing it was Him. In nature I feel His presence envelope my spirit and warm my heart, away from the scriptures, away from any of the people who belong to the church, away from the pews, and away from all of the resources. Alone amongst the sunsets with birds singing, alone when I’m reaching to the lost souls, and alone when I fall to my knees. I speak to Jesus and I know He lives, as my brother, and as my healer of pains he understands; I feel Him carry me when I am too weak to carry myself. In opening pages of scriptures I feel His peace and I feel God’s peace. In the Gospel I know, who I am, why I am here, where I came from, and where I will go when I die. There had been many stories, many theories, many discussions, many thoughts in attempts to answer these questions that I had turned my cheek against in disbelief. None of them seemed quite right.

I was afraid to commit to one religion, I wished to explore religions and cultures and people across the earth and thought that by belonging to a religion I would segregate myself from others. I didn’t want to create division in a world that was losing its’ unity and needed bringing together. I left behind delving into other religions and spiritual theories to commit to this new life that I hoped would bring me stability, knowledge, purpose, direction, truth, and the opportunity to start over. In my heart I longed for adventure and travelling but I also desired a soulmate who would be with me forever and the best chance of raising and protecting a happy family with all of the love I could give. Within both these dreams I also wanted to fulfil my natural desire to serve others and to live only to benefit and assist those in need. Between battling with leaving everything behind again and fleeing to unknown lands, I stayed to learn and live this way God wanted.

It was a mistake to assume finding God’s church would alleviate my troubles. Days are still hard, at times I am lost, and occasionally I wonder whether anything has really changed. But I know my life is for the work of God and it will find me when the time is right, or maybe it already has and I’m too busy searching to see. Life’s mysteries continue to astound me and I have not enjoyed turning to books so much to find answers to some of this profound life’s ultimate questions. At the moment my focus is on reading and living these scriptures and I’ll occasionally read materials that are not of the Gospel but this is my foundation that I build upon; my roots that will grow deep into the earth, and when I have enough knowledge, then I’ll be ready to build some more, growing into a beautiful, full-bodied, fruitful tree of life. And in this I bare my testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

 

Discovering a God as a Father

In my first lesson at church of Gospel Principles we were asked ‘why are you at church today? What was the reason you got out of bed early on a Sunday morning and travelled to this chapel? Why are you here?’ My response was that I had finally discovered what that burning sensation in my chest was. To me, this warmth was pure love. It made me feel comforted, wholesome, and as though I was not alone in the world.

I believed in doing good deeds, the law of attraction, and the power of the human mind in its’ capabilities of controlling our own worlds or lives. I knew there was a oneness that connected all human beings and thought of this as a united consciousness. I recognised it as the power of the universe and gave thanks to the universe or spoke with the universe concerning my worries. There were always trails of events, people, places, that happened in such perfect timing not to be coincidental as if I was on a pathway already mapped out but not knowing the direction. Never did I think that this universe, this consciousness, was overlooked by a man. By a man who I would learn to be my Father, who I would grow to love more than anything else in this world. A man who created me, and who created the earth, and who created a divine plan so that I could live for eternity in his heavenly kingdom nestled beside parallel universes and multiple dimensions of no boundaries where my potential would explode into greatness beyond comprehension so that one day I would be the mother and creator of my own world. I chose this life, I chose my experiences and I create all that I am. But I am not in absolute control. I am in control of my choices, which lead to consequences. And now I have learned truthfully that by using all of my might and willpower to choose the positive, the safe, the pure, the meaningful, and the resistance towards mainstream culture, there will be rewards. And that burning in my chest is one of them. Rewards beyond this material dimension that allow your character to develop and your spirit to rejoice. Rewards that push you onwards, that remind you that you are strong enough to carry on through the struggles, and that in all of the suffering on the earth, there is hope that we are more than flesh, blood and death.

I felt the darkness, and I felt it alone. But it was all so that I would know the magnificent light that was waiting for me at the other end.

A meeting with Missionaries

A couple of months ago I passed two Mormon missionaries in the street. As they allowed me to pass they greeted me and a conversation followed about the meaning of life, this eternal searching, journey for truth and the warm feeling we feel in our hearts. I gave them my phone number intrigued to investigate their beliefs, that in a brief encounter resonated with my own. Weeks passed by entwined with long text messages between us before we met, between trees huddling around a stretching river bed holding rusted fishing boats we sat upon an old wall as one of the missionaries told me his stories of revelation and God’s beautiful plan. Sitting with them, my heart glowed and my mind ceased to think so that I could barely interact with conversation. I was on a natural high lifted by the words these young men spoke. We met again on a few occasions as they taught me the views and ideals of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and every word they said I questioned and analysed and tore apart to prove wrong yet they answered all interrogations immediately from the heart because this book they lived by was their only truth.

These two missionaries had left their homes behind for two years to share their gospel, to spread this feeling that they had felt, to welcome those who were mis-guided and had lost their way on this earth that is surrounded by suffering and cruelty. In all of the darkness they lived to spread light and they lived to help others find the light. Some people wonder why we are here; why we are alive; what we are all doing on this planet. We question and we search for truth to find us because we know there is more to life than just living, through our thoughts that take us to other places, other worlds that only we know exist.

If we believe something with our entire being it will be true. I met the two Mormon missionaries at their church one Sunday morning and was greeted by kind women and men who later shared testimonies on how they knew that their beliefs were true. Week after week I grew to understand each procedure, how to read the bible, and why these people were here. On that Sunday every week was a place of peace, a place of reflection on how they acted during the week and how to better themselves, a place where there was always a friend, a place where everyone listened and everyone accepted, a place to ask for help for those in need, a place to thank God that they were alive and a place to learn all the small self improvements to make the world a positive place. The Mormons were not perfect and they admitted this; but what really mattered was that they were trying their utmost best to live sacredly and lovingly for God, for Jesus Christ and for their children. Each of them had hurdles and each of them were tested and tested and struggled through their challenges but God always showed up.

I could not commit myself to have faith in their ways, to study the bible and the Book of Mormon and cut off all other external inspiration. For a short duration I delved into their books and I prayed and sang and spoke to God like a friend. Our relationship seemed too forced, I became too reliant on God rather than looking to myself for answers as if I was allowing God to take control over my own direction rather than taking control myself. Before I met the missionaries I had already quit caffeine, drugs, alcohol, smoking, worthless relationships, and self-disrespect and all of their beliefs appeared to coincide with my own. I felt that deep inner peace, I didn’t have to think when I spoke to the Mormons because the words simply flowed straight from my heart. It wasn’t necessary for my brain to intervene with our conversations. As I prayed I pleaded with God to tell me if these books I held in my palms were true. My hands began to tingle and the warm glow blossomed from my ribcage but still I am not convinced. Still I fall guilty of contemplating whether or not this is my mind playing tricks on me, deceiving me into this belief for my own comfort. I have faith in God, I have faith in myself, but the Book of Mormon and the Bible I am not so sure. Dedicating my time to teachings already inscribed constricted my own exploration and my personal endeavours in solving mysteries of the human condition and expressing my deepest creativity.

Fundamentally love is the purpose. Love is the reason for this religion and all religions and that is the most important part to be realised. How can we commit ourselves to values and beliefs we trust in and remain undivided from the rest of humanity and from all other religions that also live to preach love? In religions we are divided, outside of religions we are divided, but the key to our success is to become one, united race. United in understanding, self-awareness, positivity, freedom from manipulation, desire for peace, and loving one another as family. In an ideal world we would all care, but for now I will continue to love, continue to care and continue to work as much as possible to change that which is already in motion. Revolution is on the horizon.