"Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Since starting my deeper studies in the New Testament, I have come to see the well known story of the Samaritan woman with such a greater love and understanding than I ever had before. The words that our Savior share with her have caused me to reflect back upon my life and the steps that I have made to recognize just like the Samaritan woman what Christ meant by Him being the ‘living waters.’
Often times in the past I sought very much the worldly, temporal joys of life rather than the gospel of Christ. I never quite understood why these things could never satisfy that void that I felt deep within me until I watched a good friend of mine convert to the gospel in August 2011. Since that very day my eyes were opened to the everlasting happiness that the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring into our lives. I, too, echo the words of our Savior that through Him our ‘thirst and ‘hunger’ can be quenched by His good word. I promise through my personal experience that He can change your life for the better; He can help you through the roller coaster of trials and tribulations that life brings before us. I promise you that He loves you and awaits for the moment you take His hand and accept his precious gift; His Atonement.
1 Nephi 10:19
"For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round."
As I have diligently been seeking to find the ‘precious perils’ in the New Testament, I’ve come across a very testimony strengthening reality. I have throughout my life thought nothing much of the baptism of our Savior more so than what it was as well as the events that followed. But, since deeply pondering these accounts..I’ve began to see a pattern that has been established for us to receive strength from our perfect example and leader, Jesus Christ.
"Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world."
I received this little saying in a fortune cookie today and it caused me to reflect back on the well known verse in John 3:16….
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
The underlining message of the gospel is love. The whole essence of the gospel is love. Heavenly Father loves us so much that He allowed one of His perfect, sinless sons to take the weight of the world’s sins, pains, afflictions ectt..upon himself so that just like Him, we could one day return home; the kingdom of God. It’s no wonder that we all yearn for this feeling of being loved in our life. Our sole existence was created literally out of such an act as that.
"The atonement wasn’t just a mass event/ a mass sacrifice. The atonement was done on an individual level, and we each have the opportunity to accept that precious gift. We each have an opportunity to experience it for ourselves. We each have the opportunity to feel and receive that personal relationship with Christ."
Just recently when thinking about personally what it means to me to be baptized, these words were fed to my mind. Baptism is more than a mere decision to join the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints..no, it’s more significant than this. Baptism is literally giving yourself the opportunity to understand just how much your savior loved you when we threw himself upon the ground in the garden of Gethsemane as he felt the pains, afflictions, sicknesses, and mistakes that we have and will make. The choice to be baptized is choosing to feel on a personal level the immense care and worth that your Heavenly Father sees within you. You deserve that, and that is why we serve 18-24months of our lives devoted to you. Let yourself have that opportunity to know how special you are to The Lord.
"Heavenly Father isn’t just a disinterested party waiting for life to weed out those who aren’t worthy enough to make it. He awaits for us and our return back to his presence."
I loved this phrase that a member of the ward gave in a wonderful talk about our Heavenly Father and His very nature as our God. I know this to be true. God is not sitting in His throne checking off the list those names of individuals who fallen unworthy of obtaining His kingdom; God loves us and sent Christ to provide the bridge that separated us from His presence. Our Heavenly Father like any good parent who loves their child, only hopes that we will hearken to his words so that he can help us through our journey of life. Let God be the director of your travel through the maze that we are sent to experience and complete. He can help you.
Two week ago I had the bitter/sweet opportunity to bear my last testimony in zone meeting (congregational gathering of missionaries). As I sat there trying to grasp on to reality that I’m really in all actuality coming up on the very tail-end of my mission, I pondered over what I could possibly share to those missionaries who were about to hear probably my last words in the mission field. As I sat there praying for the guidance of the spirit to know what to say, I was touched as the spirit was instructing and teaching me of a few passages in doctrine and covenants 45:3-5.
3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—
4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;
5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.
For the longest time I saw these verses as simply discussing what the time of judgement will be like..that Christ will be standing before the Father begging, more so pleading our cause before Him. As I listened the instructions of the spirit, I realized that I had this all wrong. Christ has plead our cause the moment he stepped forward in the pre-existence, in that grand council in heaven and volunteered to be our savior. Christ plead my cause the moment I entered into mortality and obtained a body. He plead my cause the moment I turned 8 and was baptized. He plead my cause through the very waking moments of my darkest abyss when I attempted to commit suicide at 15. And he continued to plead my cause when I went through the repentance process years later, put my mission papers in, and went through the temple. He will continue to plead my cause before God until the day I pass through this life. Why? Because he loves me, he loves you. Christ suffered so he could provide YOU the opportunity of everlasting life back home, in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father.
You know what I find interesting?? A couple weeks ago, we had a lesson on fasting and the great things that come from when we take opportunities to do so. (Fasting is when you abstain from any sort of food or drink for a certain time frame, usually like 2 meals or 24hrs.) As this member was leading this discussion and asking us to share experiences we’ve had in fasting …my mind reflected upon my studies of Christ that I’ve had lately and thought about His experience of fasting in the wilderness shortly after his baptism.
I reread over these words in Matthew 4:2-3
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him…ect
Often times I have been taught that the adversary came to Christ at his weakest point and tempted him then, but I realized something vitally wrong here. If we fully understood the message shared here and know by our own personal experience the sense of strength that we receive when we fast, then we would be able to see how this teaching is completely not accurate. Christ May have been physically weak, but spiritually he was at his highest point. He had in the Joseph smith translation of the bible, went to the wilderness to “be with God” and it might be safe to assume that God in that very moment instructed, maybe even prepared Christ for things that would come in His future…even preparing him for the temptations of the adversary. This account truly has opened my eyes of how much our Heavenly Father loves us and how willing He is to prepare us for those moments of opposition and trial that have or will come in our future, if we but just turn to Him like our Savior did.