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You don’t believe in God?

Earlier this week, I read a post by a lady that broke my heart. I share my answer here for all who do not believe that God exists since He allows bad things to happen.

My dear Sister, it sounds as though you have been abused in horrible ways, and my heart goes out to you. I wish I could comfort you by putting my arms around you and taking you away from those who harmed you. But, I am not there in person. I can only share with you what I have learned in my 70 years of life.

Right now, you do not believe that God exists, however, that is only because you don’t know Him. Bless your heart. That is not your fault. All you have experienced is the pain of life, not the joy of knowing Him.

God will not stop anyone from using their own agency. At times, we must step back mentally and allow others to do what they do. We can warn and caution, but then we must let them make their own choices. God will make them pay for what they have done to you. Those who are kind to you, will be blessed for that kindness. If you make bad choices, He will not stop you, for the same reason.

At one time there was a major war regarding two options: our having the right to choose for ourselves or being compelled to do everything. Jesus Christ came to Earth in a body just like ours so that He could learn how we feel and why we do the things we do. He came to help us be able to get back home – where we are loved and cared for. He also had to suffer at the hands of evil people, just as we do. The only difference between Jesus Christ and us is that He was half God and half Mortal. The mortal part meant He could die a physical death. The God part meant he had the power within himself to overcome death and finish the plan God wanted for us who chose agency.

The fact that you have a body of flesh and bone with blood means that you chose agency. Which meant you would have to suffer, just as Jesus Christ suffered. Which also meant you would have to allow others their agency as well.

God is anxious to bless you, but you must trust Him. Do you know how tiny a mustard seed is? Go to a garden shop and ask to see one. A mustard seed amount of faith is all you need to ask for God’s help to understand. He will help you to find Him. He will do that for you, I promise. I was an abused as a baby, child and youth. When I was a young adult I was also abused in ways that would make your skin crawl. Yet, I came to know that God cares. He really does and He will show you if you will allow Him to.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I could not sleep until I bore my testimony to you. Gentle hugs from a sister who has been there, and come to really know God personally. You are one of His daughters, and He wants you to know that. Look at the sky in the morning and think about what there is to bless you. The very air you breathe, trees and flowers, animals, planets and stars, and YOU!

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Tolerance and Love

Our Father in Heaven loves all of His children . . . .In fact: God is Love.

Peter taught that “God is no respecter of persons: “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

In his conference talk on tolerance and love, Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that “real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation—not acquiescence! Real love does not support self-destructing behavior.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Teach Us Tolerance and Love,” Ensign, May 1994, 71)

Below are the words of Russell M Nelson, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have taken the liberty of using part of his talk as I feel they are most applicable today. He too used that quote from Acts 10:34-35, then said:

“Yet His children can be so intolerant with one another. Neighboring factions, whether they be identified as groups or gangs, schools or states, counties or countries, often develop animosity. Such tendencies make me wonder: Cannot boundary lines exist without becoming battle lines? Could not people unite in waging war against the evils that beset mankind instead of waging war on each other? Sadly, answers to these questions are often no. Through the years, discrimination based on ethnic or religious identity has led to senseless slaughter, vicious pogroms, and countless acts of cruelty. The face of history is pocked by the ugly scars of intolerance.

“While we strive for the virtue of tolerance, other commendable qualities need not be lost. Tolerance does not require the surrender of noble purpose or of individual identity.

“We are grateful for the many examples of heroic service rendered in times of earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, or other disasters. Such cooperative efforts to help neighbors in distress transcend any barriers posed by religion, race, or culture. Those good deeds are latter-day love in action!

“Of course we are concerned with the need for ambulances in the valley below. But at the same time, we cannot ignore the greater need for protective guardrails on the cliffs above. Limited resources needed for the accomplishment of the higher work cannot be depleted in rescue efforts that provide only temporary relief.

“The biblical prophet Nehemiah must have felt that same commitment to his important calling. When he was asked to divert attention away from his primary purpose, he replied: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? (Nehemiah 6:3)

“Now may I offer an important note of caution. An erroneous assumption could be made that if a little of something is good, a lot must be better. Not so! Overdoses of needed medication can be toxic. Boundless mercy could oppose justice. So tolerance, without limit, could lead to spineless permissiveness.”

“The Lord drew boundary lines to define acceptable limits of tolerance. Danger rises when those divine limits are disobeyed. Just as parents teach little children not to run and play in the street, the Savior taught us that we need not tolerate evil. “Jesus went into the temple of God, and … and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers.” (Matthew 21:12) Though He loved the sinner, the Lord said that He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” (D&C 1:31) His Apostle Paul specified some of those sins in a letter to the Galatians. The list included “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, … wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.” (Galatians 5: 19-21)

“To Paul’s list I might add the regrettable attitudes of bigotry, hypocrisy, and prejudice. These were also decried in 1834 by early Church leaders who foresaw the eventual rise of this church “amid the frowns of bigots and the calumny of hypocrites.” The Prophet Joseph Smith prayed that “prejudices may give way before the truth.” (D&C 109:56,70) Hatred stirs up strife ( Proverbs 10:12) and digs beneath the dignity of mature men and women in our enlightened era.”

My beloved brothers and sisters, at this time in America many are trying to distract us from what is so important. Jesus Christ taught us to love others as we love ourselves. Remember, those who practice an “eye for an eye” only leave an entire nation of blind people.

Another of my favorite teachers was Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She once said,

“If we pray, we will believe; If we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve.” (Mother Teresa)

It is my prayer that we will follow the Saviour and stop feeding into the world’s hatred. Rather, let us love and do good wherever we may be.

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