Last night I went to a fireside that was (to say the least) awe inspiring. It was so fantastic, and so inspirational. The speaker was a woman named Diana Hoelscher. She was FANTASTIC! This was the third opportunity for me to hear her speak, and sadly, only the first time I have actually made it there. Luckily, she will be coming back one more time in a few months. Well- I did something at this fireside that I rarely ever do- I took notes. And because I FOREVER want to remember what she said, and because I know myself so well, I decided to put these notes in blog form. Why? Because the piece of paper I took the notes on will only survive so long, but my blogs will last forever!
(They really will! I turn each years posts into books! More on that later...)
((As fair warning, those not in a spiritual mood may not appreciate this blog post, but I am still riding the spiritual high this speaker left us on last night and this post truly is for me. ALSO I am paraphrasing just about everything that is not quoted scripture. All the blue links will take you to the LDS.ORG website for cross references within the scriptures...))
So- on to the notes!
She started this off with an illustration:
(Forgive the blur- click on it for a clearer picture...)
The red numbers are the points I found very relevant. My notes will keep referring back to this picture...
First and foremost, though people blame Eve for the fall, and YES she was the first to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, she also knew she HAD to.
God gave two great commandments to Adam and Eve. Don't eat from the tree, and multiply and replenish the earth. Problem is, there was no way to do BOTH at the same time. While in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were still spiritual beings. They had no blood coursing through their veins, and they were still able to stand before God. In this state they could not procreate. It's as simple as that. Eve ate of the fruit, Adam followed suit, and both were cast out of the garden. They fell.
Point 1: Because of the fall, we were physically separated from God. But not from his comfort.
We are required to follow the laws of Justice and Mercy. As stated in Alma 42: 12-15 (the important parts are bold- she only went throught 12 and 13, but then described what is written in verses 14 and 15)
12 And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state, which aman had brought upon himself because of his own bdisobedience;
Point 2: We are required to do the best we can and work as hard as we can to return to live with God again.
Point 3: Because we are not perfect we can not make it on our own. We needed the Atonement to make up the difference. To bridge the gap between us and perfection.
Point 4: The atonement consisted of three parts:
First, the Garden of Gethsemane.
-Jesus Christ knows what EVERY temptation feels like.
-No one knows what it feels like to be me. To know my thoughts and feelings. No one- except Christ.
-Christ absorbed vicariously all pains, hurts, anguish, heartache, illness, and even loneliness in The Garden.
-When you were lonely and a friend stayed with you. Where did your loneliness go? When you were in sick and were given a blessing of healing, where did that illness go?
Second, on the cross.
- While on the cross the feelings of Gethsemane returned for a second time. He cried "aMy God, my God, why hast thou bforsaken me? " (Matt. 27:46) And eventually, he gave up the ghost.
Third, the resurrection.
-Alma 7: 11-12
-definition of succor: Topical guide definition- to help. From Medieval Latin succursus, from past participle of Latin succurrere, to run to the aid of (like you might run to the aid of your hurt child...)
So Who is God? Heavenly father? Jesus? it can be confusing... The answer: It doesn't matter. Jesus never did anything that didn't sustain our Heavenly Father.
God is the title of the highest level of the priesthood. Christ has attained that level of the priesthood.
My mother has the glory of being a mom. When I become a mom, will I be equal to her glory? No- because my becoming a mom, made her a grandma. When I become a grandma, she will become a great grandma, etc. So it is with Christ and Heavenly Father. All glory given to Christ sustains Heavenly Father and his glory.
Point 5: At what point is my work enough? When I die? Is that when the Atonement takes over to catapult me into perfection? Is it when I am resurrected? No. It is when I am baptized. THAT is when the covenant is made. When I promise to do my best, to work my hardest, and in return I can return to live with him again.
"When I was baptized I made a covenant to take upon me the name of Jesus Christ and to serve Him and be obedient.
Heavenly Father has given me the Holy Ghost. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can be forgiven of my sins when I repent. If I keep my baptismal covenant, I can return to live with Him." (Faith in God pamphlet)
Sometime after your baptism, or maybe even just before, conversion happens. When everything you have been taught just *clicks.* This conversion is a necessary part of the plan.
Point 6: Repentance is where you transfer your pain and sins to Christ.
-We need baptism because without the covenant of baptism, repentance goes nowhere.
-It doesn't matter where you do, repent! It may be best to be alone. For us mom's, alone time is practically non-existant. If the only place you are alone is in the shower, so be it. Brushing your teeth, driving the car... The place is not nearly as important as the act...
Point 7: There is NO DIFFERENCE between your baptism and taking the sacrament.
- How amazing is it to have a cleaning lady come once a week? 10. Times. Better.
- Every week the sacrament takes away all of Satans amunition.
- Every week you can renew your baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament. You are clean. And pure. And perfect again. EVERY WEEK. It is a wonderful feeling. And it is addicting. You begin to need it. To CRAVE it.
-Remember every Sunday is a new beginning.
Repentance is the key. You need to ask for forgiveness, and try with all your heart to not repeat the transgression.
So, should you really repent for things you KNOW you will do again? Should I repent for raising my voice to my children, to thinking bad thoughts about someone I don't necessarily like?
-Even the little things. You may do it again, but you can't break the habit on your own. **Diana Hoelscher made a point out of telling us that this part is her personal feelings. There is no documentation to prove it, it isn't written in some book or spoken in the scriptures or any general conference... this is her feelings** You can;t stop by yourself. Ask for forgiveness and as you continue each night/week to ask forgiveness with sincerety and faith in God, He will help you overcome it. He will purify your desires. Trust in Him.
Alma 34: 14-16
14 And behold, this is the whole ameaning of the blaw, every whit cpointing to that great and last dsacrifice; and that great and last esacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, finfinite and eternal.
Choose a date for your "rebaptism" (meaning the day you take this into your heart and remember that the sacrament IS your rebaptism). The night before pray to be forgiven of those things you can not remember, and if it needs be that you repent for it individually , "bring it forth to my memory." For these items, don't say "I shouldn't have done that." say, "I know what I did was wrong" and try with all your heart and mind to refrain from repeating the sins.
-Satan will work hard to keep you busy so you don't repent. DON'T LET HIM DO IT!
Diana ended this fireside with a promise that if you do this- you WILL be cleansed. You will feel pure, and clean, and you will learn to rely on these feeling and come to crave this feeling each Sunday.
Odd and interesting tidbits I loved:
* No matter where you are, prayer should feel like home. Like comfort.
* Abraham 3:4
4 And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its atimes and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a bday unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand cyears according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s dtime, according to the reckoning of Kolob.
If you do the math, that means 22 years is 31 minutes. A long life of 88 years is just over 2 hours. Would you want to return to heaven after your life and be sent to the Telestial Kingdom because you couldn't hold it together down on earth for 2 hours??