Worth of a Soul

Sister Warwood and I cleaned out the bookshelf in our front room the other day and we found some small cards with pictures of Christ at different points in His ministry. It's interesting to me how depictions of Jesus Christ are so personal. I didn't feel a connection with the represention of Jesus on those cards, but I knew they were nice so I left them on the shelf for someone else to find and enjoy.

This painting, Worth of a Soul by Liz Lemon Swindle is one of my absolute favorite images of Christ. I like it for a few reasons. One is that it is tranquil and calm. There is so much turmoil in the world and I know that the Savior suffered for every pain of every individual. He is there to succor us in our afflictions.  I love how innocent children are, and we are all admonished to become like little children and put off the "natural man" to become like Christ. Mosiah 3:18

I am also drawn to Byzantine icons of the Savior.  My love for this artwork stemmed from a class I took in college titled Spirituality in Art.  These likenesses of Christ are not intended to soften the heart and do not in any way reflect that "Jesus is my homeboy" attitude (I really don't like that phrase). These illustrations of the Savoir remind me that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God. They bring reverence to Him.

I know that having representations of Christ in my home and around me in life are essential as reminders to be like Him.  What are some of your favorite portrayals of our Redeemer?

Loving Prayer

I am so excited about the response that I have gotten about this blog so far! In a few lessons that my companion Sister Warwood and I taught I stopped and thought to myself, "wait, didn't I just write about this topic on my blog?" It's awesome to see how the preparation I do in my own study is exactly what I need to share with people later in the day.

Sister Nestman asked me a great question about my post on prayer.
"What do you think was the key turning point for having your prayers go from a duty to a loving conversation?"

My understanding of God's commandments changed when I realized that perfect obedience isn't just about doing what I'm told, its the attitude that matters as well. Growing up I was always a "why" questioner. I didn't do things until I knew how it would benefit me or what the importance was. I'm sure I drove my parents crazy. The good thing is that I usually did what I was asked. It's after doing things that are asked of us that we recognize the importance. Like showering.

Um yes. I was a disgusting child and I hated taking showers. I'm pretty sure my parents would take us to the beach because that was the only time I felt gross enough to want a shower. But as I grew up and realized the wonderful blessing of cleanliness in my life (ie., people would actually talk to me because I wasn't stinky and dirty) that I enjoyed getting clean and ready in the morning.

Following God's commandments works pretty much the same way. When I told myself as a 13 year old that I was going to pray before I went to bed each night it was because I knew I was supposed to. It was the way I knew I could start good habits. I don't remember the first time I received and answer to a prayer, but I do know that when I really poured my heart out to God and entrusted the deepest feelings of my heart to Him that I felt His presence in my life. I knew I wasn't alone.
That recognition that I was praying to get to know the feeling of the Holy Ghost and to let the Lord know that I wanted His help is what led me to love and cherish the time that I spend to pray.

Has anyone else had experiences with prayer that they would like to share?

If you want to find out more about prayer, check out this website!

Pray Often

In the past 4 weeks I have learned the immeasurable importance of prayer.

I have always understood that prayer is a connection between myself and God but I think as I've used it in the past it has been out of duty rather than love. In 8th grade I started a habit of praying before I went to bed each night and I wouldn't let my tired body fall into bed until I had at least said a tiny prayer of thanks for the day. I formed a habit of always kneeling at night to pray, but I don't think I was really communicating with the Lord.

As a missionary we are given guidelines for our day and before every meeting or planning session and in every lesson we pray. Prayer establishes a connection between us and God. It is how we build our relationship with Him.  How can we expect to know someone if we don't take the time to talk with them?

My relationship with my Heavenly Father has been strengthened as I come to realize just how much I need the Lord's guidance in my life each day. The words "pray often" no longer mean each night and morning and before most meals. Every time I think "hmmm... maybe I should pray about this" I do. I know that as I continue to heed to those sweet promptings that the Lord will trust me and I will come closer to Him.

The Happiest Father's Day

Today was my first Sunday in Hopkinsville, Kentucky! I have been looking forward to this day since I arrived on Tuesday so I could meet all of the members of the ward and branch that our area covers. Admid all of the excitement of settling into the new area I almost forgot that today was Father's Day! Yes I got my cards sent out, but just barely :)

Typically on holidays children in the church sing for the congregation and today was especially wonderful. As the primary from the Fort Campbell Branch made their way up to the pulpit to sing to their fathers I realized just how few of them were their to hear their precious children. This branch is a special one because it is comprised soley of families that live on post at Fort Campbell (Army).  When they sang the song "I'm so glad when daddy comes home" their faces all lit up and it dawned on me that when their daddies come home from work it isn't just at the end of the day, but sometimes not for well over a year. Their fathers are the ones fighting overseas to protect our country and our freedom.

I was thinking about the joy these children have when they are reunited with their fathers after such a long time and how joyous we will all be when we are reunited with our Father in Heaven. I believe that moment will be the most wonderful exciting moment of eternity, to know that I have followed the example of our Savior Jesus Christ and lived my life according to His teachings to be worthy to live in the presence of God again.

Come back for more good news of the gospel soon!
Sister McCall