Monday, May 4, 2009

Testimony Tuesday: Amy

On several occasions during her high school experience, strangers would randomly approach Amy (today's guest writer) and tell her they had free candy at the old widow's house across the street from the school.  Okay, strangers is a strong word. Fellow peers in school, but still, they didn't really know her and would just show up during lunch hour and get in her business.  

Ooookay, the widow lived in a condominium and it wasn't anywhere near the school and there wasn't any candy.  But still, high school peers would just plop down in front of her and say: "Hey, you Amy so-and-so?" 

Thereafter, Amy responses positively.

And henceforth total stranger adolescent peers would divulge their biggest teenage dilemmas, then would pause and seek Amy's advice.  

Now for Mrs. Olsen's involvement with said wisegirl-on-top-o-the-mountain it's a little different.  I guess it's more like peers with benefits.  Instead of me showing up for a free therapy session during high school to get an arbitrary outsider opinion, I have a friend with a steel trap memory who remembers the details of my life and always seems to pick up where she left off.  Plus she's like a wisegirl-on-top-o-the-mountain and so her words always have a tinge of being wise beyond her years.

Above all, Amy is happy.

I think her faith and love of God have a lot to do with that.  Let's hear what she's got to say on this Testimony Tuesday:

I grew up in an active Latter Day Saint home. I was taught at a very early age how to pay attention to the feelings that followed every choice I made. Stealing my sister's stickers...I felt nervous,scared, and defensive. Leaving "drop n' runs" (cookies) on a doorstep...I felt happy, excited, and good. These emotions were actually identified and discussed as I was growing up. This was essential because it helped me gain a testimony to truth according to how I felt about what I was learning.

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the truest source of joy I have ever tasted. It is delicious with endless opportunities for miracles and blessings- growth and insight. It adds color to all that I see around me. It truly is the solid foundation to all that exists in my small but significant life, and it is TRUE.

I know this because of the million (or more) moments that the Holy Spirit has brushed across my own spirit and proven this truth to my soul. It is the Holy Ghost that allows me to know what is good and right and honest. What does this look like? Feelings of familiarity and comfort- feelings of happiness and peace. When I feel the spirit, a desire for action settles in. To BE better- DO better- WANT better.

When I act upon these feelings of the experience turns from testimony to conversion. Having a testimony is knowing something is true. Conversion is when we LIVE it every day. It isn't a testimony that keeps us secure. We often hear people stand in church and "bear testimony" who later fall completely away. How is this possible? Knowing it is true is good- but isn't enough- especially in a world disguising filth for fun and sin for pleasure. When we LIVE the gospel every day (the best we know how) there is safety that takes over our doubts and fears. It wins the fight over worry. Conversion secures hope through trial, and adds brightness to life.

A story: All of my life I have understood and lived the principle of tithing. I'll share one of the many miracles received because of the conversion to this principle. When my husband and I were married a year, we were broke. We had a little girl and bills to pay and were really in need of a miracle. My husband had four jobs at this time (one full time- three side), and we struggled to make ends meet.

One day I received a medical bill for $376.86 and I burst into tears. We didn't have it. Joe and I knelt in prayer and poured out our hearts to our Father and expressed our faith that because we were full tithe payers...we were ready to receive the blessings promised. We went to bed with confidence it would come. Somehow- it would come.

The next day I got an unfamiliar envelope in the mail from State Farm Insurance. It wasn't our insurance provider and as I opened it I read the most unexpected letter to my husband. It explained that they were aware that he had been in an accident four years earlier (a motorcycle hit his car in a parking lot)and they were sorry they were sending a check to him NOW...for $376.86.

The EXACT amount we needed to pay our medical bill! That same morning, we were offered more work on the weekend which added 800 dollars to our bank account! This all came the morning after we prayed in supplication (or "humble request" as the dictionary says.)

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ more than anything in this world. It IS life. It provides answers to EVERY question ever asked by the human race. It is in the scriptures and the words of the prophets that these answers are found. I have sought to find answers to some very specific problems in my life and have been sustained with inspiration of what is best. If we humbly ask in faith and LIVE the gospel...we WILL receive.


Danielle said...

i had a similar tithing experience a year after we were married, we owed $70 in tithing and that was all we had left in the bank, but we paid it. The very next day we recieved a check for $70 from an Aunt who had forgot to give us a wedding gift.

Sophia said...

Reading your words is beautifully reminiscent of hearing your voice. I love how your specific example, and whole life for that matter, are testaments to the priciple of faith-- you've been richly blessed because you believed first. What an example of steadfastness! You don't make the gospel something strange and mystical. It's a very real, clear force in your life.

Lee Family said...

I can't believe it's Tuesday already - man how the weeks fly. That was a good example to me to teach my children to correctly identify their feelings. . . and then acting on those feelings to lead to conversion. I really like that and I need to do that more with my children. There is safety in the gospel!! Spiritual safety in our covenants!! Yeah! Love ya Louise.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate Amy's testimony. I am so impressed with the young people in the Church today. Thanks, Amy, for sharing your personal tithing story. We just returned from spending 8 months in Hawaii. The people in our ward were so humble and so devoted to the Gospel. Thanks again, from Marilyn