Miracles do happen! I just read an amazing first-hand account of a survivor of the earthquake in Chile. It is truly a testament of God's tender mercies, even in times of great trial. Sister Lisa Laycock and her husband, Mission President Larry Laycock, are over the Santiago Chile East Mission. The Lord prepared them for the terrible earthquake, allowed them to prepare their missionaries, and thus allowed the missionaries to serve in a time of great tragedy and need. Read her account here.
Robert and I have been asked to talk in church in two weeks on Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk, "Safety for the Soul." We are SOOOO excited, to be honest with you. When Elder Holland gave this talk, I had two very restless children, and I couldn't really focus on much of it. I remember thinking, "Wow, this sounds incredible... I really will need to study this later..." but life got in the way and I have only skimmed it until this past week, when we got our speaking assignments.
The power of Elder Holland's testimony is absolutely astounding. He is not afraid to in straightforward, direct language, and with all of his heart, give witness to the truth of the miraculous work that is the Book of Mormon and thus also The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I also want to testify to the world of what I know-- absolutely know -- to be true. This blog seems to be my best format.
I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He is Heavenly Father's son, that He came to earth born as a baby of Mary in Bethlehem, that He truly lived and then gave Himself as a sacrifice in His suffering the Atonement and His death on the cross. I know that three days after His death, He arose again. He is Resurrected. He lives today.
I know Jesus Christ speaks today through a living prophet-- President Thomas S. Monson. President Monson is just a mortal man and I do not worship him. But I revere him as the Lord's chosen mouthpiece on the earth. As such, I strive to follow President Monson, because I have the firm testimony that when I follow what the prophet, President Monson, says, I am really following the Savior, because President Monson speaks for the Lord today.
I know that Joseph Smith, as a young 14-year-old boy, prayed in a quiet grove of trees and beheld the magnificent, true vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Joseph was a prophet and he did restore the fulness of the Savior's gospel on the earth.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is factual. It is in fact an ancient manuscript, written long ago by inhabitants from the American continent. And Joseph Smith was, in fact, led to the Book of Mormon's manuscript by an angel, even the angel Moroni, the last editor and compiler of this sacred set of scripture. I know that Joseph Smith translated this ancient record by the gift and power of God. And I know that not only is the Book of Mormon actually derived from an ancient manuscript, as Joseph said, but it is in fact inspired of God and truly is the most correct of any book on earth. There is incredible power in the Book of Mormon. I can testify of that power because it has in reality blessed my life as I have read from its pages and applied its teachings.
I know that the Bible is also the word of God, so long as it is translated correctly. I am grateful for the accounts of so many righteous disciples, from Adam to Moses to Isaiah. And then for the New Testament's account of the Savior's ministry. The Bible is true, and I know that with the Book of Mormon as its companion, the fullness of God's purpose and plan for His children is truly revealed.
I know that God is my Heavenly Father. He has a physical body and is a separate and distinct personage from His Literal Son, Jesus Christ. I know that I am Heavenly Father's daughter and I am here on this earth to become like Him, through trial, suffering, and learning to rely on my Savior Jesus Christ while pressing forward with all of my own heart, might, mind, and strength. Truly, we are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ--after all we can do. I know as I give my all, the Lord takes my weaknesses and turns them into strengths.
Truly, I feel so weak in writing when I try to express my knowledge that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only full and true church on the earth today. It is the Savior's church and He is the head of it. I know it is true. I absolutely know it is true. And though I am not perfect at following my Savior, and I am far from being able to understand all of His ways, I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and I cannot deny it.
Miracles do happen. God lives. He loves His children. Of this I truly testify! I pray the Lord will continue to grant me forums and opportunities to share my witness of His work, and that I will have the faith and courage to open my mouth and say the words He would have me say. We are all God's children and He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so we all could have the opportunity to return to Him--but we must follow His ways.
I hope my words have touched someone, anyone out there. If they have, please do take this invitation to read the Book of Mormon for yourself. It is free. And it is honestly the most precious, true book ever written. If you read it with real intent, with your heart open and with prayers asking God if it is true, you too will know, as I do, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and it is a blessing and a strength to those who follow its teachings. Just go to www.mormon.org to learn more about God, His eternal plan, and to request a copy of this true and inspired work.
You can even request a visit from the missionaries at this site (all over the world!). Missionaries are members of our faith who volunteer 18 months to 2 years of their lives to the single purpose of teaching others about Jesus Christ and His gospel, without any form of payment for so doing except for the joy of bringing souls unto Christ. Accept them. This decision will impact you for good for all eternity!
Thank you for letting me express the innermost, most sacred feelings of my heart. I know it is true. I know it. And I hope if anything, you got THAT out of this post-- Jocelyn Gibbons KNOWS The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as the "Mormon" church) and the Book of Mormon ARE TRUE! (-Jocelyn)