My study of the scriptures has had a profound effect on my life. As I have studied, I have grown closer to God and found answers to real challenges in my life. This blog is a scripture journal that records insights I have discovered in the past and continue to gain as I search, ponder, and pray.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Kidney Transplant--A Similitude of Christ's Life

Things I Learned about the Savior
from Our Experiences

As I contemplate this Christmas Season, I'm humbled by the love of our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I learned so much more about his life and sacrifice by the experiences of kidney failure including the following:

·        Martin needed the great personal sacrifice of another individual in order to live. We need the sacrifice of our Savior in order to live.
·        Although I didn't really "want" to undergo surgery, I wanted to because of my love for Martin. Likewise the Savior pled with the Father for another way, yet, he stayed faithful to the end because of his love for us and for the Father.
·        I had to be enough like Martin (a match) and yet different enough (healthy and without medical conditions) to donate the kidney. The Savior had to be a match (a human) yet different enough (a god) to do the work.
·        I am bound in covenant to Martin, and it was my right to do what needed to be done to save him. We are bound in covenant to the Savior through baptism, and it is his right to save us.
·        In order to fully accept the sacrifice of the kidney donation, Martin has to take medications for the rest of his life and do what he can to live a healthy life. In order to accept the sacrifice of the Savior we need to do all in our power to stay spiritually healthy.
·        We can never repay the kindness, love, and compassion given to us by neighbors and friends. We can never repay the Savior for his sacrifice, never!
·        We can honor the sacrifice of our neighbors by paying it forward to another who needs help. We can honor the sacrifice of the Savior by building his Kingdom.

Because of our many experiences of fear, pain, anxiety, stress, peace, love, and mercy I know with much greater surety that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live! I know these things because I have learned them more deeply through the trials of my faith the last two years.

Having the honor of donating a kidney to save Martin's life was one of the most sacred experiences of my entire life. I am grateful for the right and privilege I had of doing so.And I am most grateful to the Lord and Savior for his love and sacrifice for me!

May God bless you this Christmas Season!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Acts 23 A Different Pathway Than Expected

Why  isn't it happening? Do I lack sufficient faith? What about the faith of the hundreds of others who are praying for us? What more can I do?

A few weeks ago I asked these  heartfelt questions in my journal. Since I had no satisfying answers, I left the questions hanging with the closing statement of "I don't understand."

I wonder if the Apostle Paul experienced the same questions?

In Acts 22-24 we read about the attempts of the Jews to kill Paul. It must have been a terrifying time for Paul. At one point, in order to save his life he  resorted to pulling rank as a Roman citizen, an action he usually avoided. At which point he was thrown in prison, not released an escorted to safety.

During the night the Lord appeared to Paul. In Acts 23:11 we read that he didn't just appear before him, but the Savior "stood by him. and told him to "Be of good cheer." In the NIV it reads "take courage."  The message continued. Just as Paul had testified of the Savior in Jerusalem, he would testify of the Savior in Rome. For a man who was in prison and whose life was in real danger, this must have been comforting.

Yet, we read at the end of Chapter 24 that Felix held Paul a prisoner in Caesarea for two years. I wonder if that period seemed like a long time to Paul? Did he ever begin to doubt that the words of the Lord would be fulfilled? Would he ever really preach in Rome? And why is it taking so long?

We know the end of the story. Paul was taken to Rome. He testified of Christ in Rome, even while he spent the first two years of his stay there as a prisoner. The Lord's words were fulfilled. However, in the midst of the imprisonment--in the middle of the pathway that took him to Rome--it probably didn't feel like the right path at all.

In God's own way and in his own time, he will fulfill his words. And in my case, his words are usually fulfilled by a different pathway than I expect.

But, he is a God of truth and always keeps his word. It is my task to wait upon him with patience.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Grudge Against Martin Harris -- Enos through Words of Mormon

True Confessions: For many years I held a slight grudge, against Martin Harris. Okay, maybe grudge is too strong of a word. Annoyance is better. I love 2 Nephi 2, where Lehi discourses beautifully on the Plan of Salvation. I felt that if we had the 116 pages in our scriptures today, I would be filled with deeper insights, and even more insights, from Lehi.

One day, though, I found a great need to repent after reading Doctrine and Covenants 10:45. The Lord declares that the small plates of Nephi “throw greater views upon [His] gospel.” As it turns out, we have the “better” stuff now and the lost 116 pages were not nearly so important.

This shouldn’t be surprising. The Lord in his infinite wisdom and planning cause the small plates to be made. Of course he would have them contain more important information, since he knew that they would contain the message we would have. Mormon wanted those plates included because they were pleasing unto him. But what exactly is the message they contain?

I love Jarom 1:2. Jarom declares that he will not be writing very much because the small plates already contain the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation. “What could I write more,” he asks. Included in this doctrine is the invitation for all to come unto Christ. At the very end of the small plates, Amulek urges every one of us to “come unto Christ who is the Holy one of Israel and partake of his salvation and the power of his redemption.”

In fact, all prophets and authors of sacred scripture testify of Christ (see Mosiah 13:33). Is it any wonder that after Enos’s heart was changed by the love of God, he pled with the Lord to preserve the records for the Lamanites (Enos 13-16).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

John 9 A Kidney Transplant and The Works of God

"So you've got surgery tomorrow?" President Olson asked as I entered the office for my temple recommend interview.

"Yes, it's the kidney transplant."

"Oh," he responded, "so it's not you, but your husband."

"No. It's both of us. I'm his donor."

Silence filled the room as the impact of my words settled on this great man. After a few seconds he looked at me and said, "That is a very sacred thing."

The Spirit of the Lord filled the room as we wept together during the interview. My testimony drew strength as I declared that I believe in my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost and have faith in the atonement.

Upon returning home, I marveled again, at the effect this husband-wife transplant team is having on others.

“And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him”

Truly that is what this transplant is all about. It is a witness of God's love, mercy, power, and atonement. Through my husband and through me, the power God has been and will continue to be made manifest!

To that end, I share my deepened testimony. Because of my many experiences of fear, pain, anxiety, stress, peace, love, and mercy I know with much greater surety that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live! I know they are mindful of each one of us. I know they love us. I know the power of the atonement is real. I know that we need the sacrifice of our Lord in order to live. I know that although Christ plead with the Father for another way, he stayed faithful to the end because of his love for us and for the Father. I know that because of our Lord and Savior we can return home and we can become like God! I know these things because I have learned them more deeply through the trials of my faith the last ten months.

I testify of these things in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.