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  1. In December I had a dream that I was at my wife's grand-parent's house, they having died before I met her. Her grandfather, who was never talkative in any way, walked up to me and held some scriptures out to me and said, "These are for you, share them." I woke up and looked at the bookshelf in my bedroom and saw my wife's old scriptures sitting there, collecting dust. I had the distinct impression at that moment, I think it was the spirit, that I was to buy a new set of scriptures every year, read through the entire standard works, and mark them. I was then to box them up for a future grand or great grandchild. A week later was Christmas and I bought a new, large set of scriptures and a case and started reading. I am now in Ester and I am picking up steam in this effort. I know that the scriptures are all true and my testimony of them has grown by leaps and bounds. I look forward to the days when my grand children begin coming and I give these scriptures to them with their grandfather's testimony marked throughout. I am hoping these will be a cherished memento of my testimony and feeling towards God and His great mercy on me in my life. I encourage you all to do something similar and leave a heritage of faith and love to your families.
  2. I have never understood fasting. I know we do it because 1: we are commanded to. 2: fast offering to further charity work 3:.... just those two things actually. I was studying this weeks Come Follow Me lesson and was reading Matthew 4 where Christ spending 40 days and nights fasting in the wilderness and it occurred to me that even though I do fast and know the basic temporal reasons why, I have no testimony of it. I realize fasting with prayer provides a very real strength and power to the spirit and body giving one the spiritual sensitivity and physical strength to do works which could not be done otherwise as well as increased miracles provided through faithful prayer. But what I don’t understand and the reason I may lack testimony is what it is about faithful fasting and prayer that allows those things to happen. I know we don’t need the reasoning behind everything and need to ACT in faith, which I do. I guess I just don’t get it. As I research and pray about it, any insight from y’all would be helpful. Thanks!
  3. I'm looking for guidance or help or general support. My husband went through a life crisis about 4 years ago. A few really hard things happened on his life and he didn't handle it well. as a reaction, he claims he doesn't believe in God and has no faith. I married him in the temple. We both were strong, active returned missionaries. We both married agreeing on living a life in the Church. We have 3 kids, and my husband doesn't do anything with regards to church. He refuses to use his priesthood. He hasn't been to the temple in a few years. What do I do with this??? He is anti-God and claims he doesn't believe in Christ, the Atonement or anything to do with God.
  4. I am pregnant with what would be our "rainbow baby" and currently struggling with depression. My husband and I have a large load of medical debt and are living with our in-laws temporarily. I am struggling imensly with my testimony of the gospel and its been extremely difficult for me. I have an unhealthy thought process that if I had been a better Mormon that we wouldn't have lost our first daughter and I know that simply isn't true but I can't stop those feelings from welling up inside of me I feel as though I'm doing something wrong all of the time even though I haven't. I feel like it's a really unhealthy self punishment I've prayed, looked for counsel and each time they simply say that "it's not your fault and you haven't done anything wrong etc" I've had counselors tell me that I should leave the church because it's just giving me unnecessary anxiety and honestly I would give anything to not feel this way but the gospel is a huge part of my life. I've been terrified that if I don't do everything exactly right then I'll lose this baby too so I consistently read the scriptures, pray, go to church I even signed up for institute classes thinking if I immerse myself completely these feelings would go away. I don't know if I need to just take a step back and give myself room to breathe and then come back when I'm ready or continue pushing through this depression and anxiety immersing myself? The reason I mentioned that we live with our in-laws is that this is adding to my ever long list of anxiety.
  5. I came across this essay from former U of U history professor and LDS Church historian Davis Bitton. The main thrust of the essay is that it is essential to have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not a testimony of a historical narrative, and discussion of how those two concepts are different and interrelated. One key concept that has frequently crossed my mind is the idea stated on page 339 that, even if I (as a non-historian) cannot answer the problematic questions in church history, I know there are historians who have wresteled with them and retained their testimonies of the Gospel. Maybe that feels like "leaning on the arm of man", but I don't feel that it is necessary for me to become an expert in every possible branch of study. I frequently find that it is sufficient for me to know that others have wrestled and are wrestling with church history and finding their faith intact. The other key concept that I resonated with me was the importance of grounding my testimony in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When pressed, I will usually cite Helaman 5:12 as my favorite scripture, because of Helaman's teaching that we must build our foundation on Christ and none other. Church history is interesting, and it describes a story of how the restored Gospel came to man in these latter-days (complete with human foibles and frailties), but it is not the Gospel.
  6. This account is being shared by Alan John BURGESS, as a way of introducing myself. I was baptized on April 6th of 1968. On June 15, 1968 I married Kathryn Ranee FLAUGHER in the Portsmouth Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we were wed by our Branch President, Robert Hartford. In November of 1969, our temporal marriage became a celestial marriage "for time and all eternity" in the Salt Lake Temple in a beautiful and sacred ceremony conducted by our former New England Mission President, Elder Boyd K. Packer. We wanted a family right away, but it took nearly five years for us to accomplish pregnancy. Late on the night of December 19th, 1973, my wife, Kathryn, awoke from her sleep and realized she was having labor pains. At first she was certain that they were "Braxton-Hicks" but soon realized she was in real, premature labor. I was a resident in Hospital and Healthcare Administration and a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, assigned as a Medical Service Corps officer to the USAF Regional Hospital - Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinois. I got up and immediately realized that the snow that was still falling would prevent us from driving to the base hospital, so I called the hospital and they sent a 4-wheel drive ambulance to come pick her up. Once they got to the house, they helped her onto a gurney and into the "cracker box" ambulance and headed to the hospital. I followed the ambulance in our green Audi 100 LS, staying in the tracks made by the ambulance. At the hospital, the emergency room physician confirmed that Kathy was in labor and allowed me to accompany her into the ER where he performed an emergency episiotomy (without anesthesia). His rationale was that time was of an essence if we were to try to save the baby. Kathy was a strawberry blond, and red heads tend to bleed. And because the baby was very small, only a single "snip" would be necessary. I told her she could bite on the joint of the base of my thumb if it would help her deal with the pain. It felt like she was biting my thumb clean off! Priscilla was delivered around 2:10 am very premature, weighing exactly two pounds. The ER crew spent their time intubating the baby and trying to keep her alive for the neonatal transport to arrive from Champaign, IL Fortunately for Kathy, the anesthesiologist on duty came by and, realizing the signs of blood loss, he delivered the placenta and essentially saved her life! Meanwhile our LDS Chaplain arrived and he and I gave Priscilla a name and a blessing fearing that if we didn't do so then, we might never have the opportunity to do so. With our hands reaching into an incubator and with tears of joy and fear for her little life, I gave her the name Priscilla BURGESS and blessed her that Heavenly Father's will would prevail and I expressed His and our great love for her. When the neonatal transport team arrived, they took Priscilla to Mercy Hospital in Champaign and the Air Force ambulance followed close behind with Kathryn, while I followed behind in our car. Once Kathy was admitted to the hospital and realized she hadn't brought her maternity bag to the hospital, I went on home to get a little sleep and they promised to call me if there was any change in the baby's or Kathy's condition. I caught a short nap and was getting dressed when the phone rang and I was advised that I needed to get back to the hospital soon. Despite the icy roads, I got there as quickly as possible. Upon my arrival, I was taken immediately to Priscilla's bedside, where I was informed that her premature lungs were lined with a sticky substance that normally sluffs off and is cried out when a newborn term baby is born. With premature babies it doesn't release and the lining of the lungs is covered with the stuff to protect the baby from drowning in amnionic fluid while in utero. The premature infant's lungs, then, are similar to two sheets of flypaper and every time the infant exhales, the lungs stick together a little more giving the baby less and less lung surface to absorb oxygen from the air. Slowly and terribly, my daughter was suffocating and neither the doctors (at that time) nor I could do anything more about it, but to wait and watch her die. I asked if I could give her a Father's Blessing. The hospital staff approved my request and listened as I gave my beautiful, tiny, infant daughter a blessing. I told her of our great love for her and that her Heavenly Father loves her even more. With a quivering voice and tears in my eyes once again, I told her that she had fulfilled her mission on Earth, and that if Heavenly Father was calling for her to return to His presence, that would be fine. That we would certainly miss her, but that we knew that some day, we will be together with her again. I had barely said "Amen" when Priscilla took her last breath, and then stopped breathing, even with the positive pressure machine still trying to force my oxygen into her now, lifeless body. The walk from that room to Kathy's hospital room probably wasn't very far, but it felt like a hundred miles! I had tears in my eyes and couldn't hold them back. I walked into my sweetheart's private room and as soon as she saw me, she knew. Nonetheless, she asked me: "Is she . . . ." to which I replied: "Priscilla's gone." We held each other tight and wept together until we were both cried out. Finally, I got up and told her that I would go talk to our Branch President in Rantoul and make plans. I also asked what more she might need during her hospital stay. She gave me a short list, and I drove back to our home on Chanute AFB. I called the Branch President and he recommended a local mortuary. I called the Hospital Administrator who was also my residency preceptor; he told me to take as much time as I might need to take care of my daughter's arrangements and to tend to my wife, and he would see me after the first of the year. I gathered the items my wife had requested and returned to her bed side and we talked and cried and called family members with our sad news. Over the next few days, I arranged for flowers for Priscilla's graveside service and for her gravesite and made various other arrangements. We agreed not to have a funeral, viewing or calling hours. We held her graveside service early on Christmas Eve, December 24th, 1973. It was attended my many from our little LDS Branch, by my military comrades, and superiors and friends, but no family were able to attend. Following the internment, I drove to the hospital and picked up Kathy and brought her back to a childless home with countless presents for the new mother and baby still under the brightly lit, but difficult to look at Christmas Tree. Christmas was bittersweet. We remembered the birth of the Christ child and the birth and death of our own little child. We decided to open every package under the tree, even those that we were forewarned contained gifts for our baby who would never see the pretty clothes, toys, blankets and expressions of familial love. Immediately after Christmas, I worked hard on finishing, re-writing, editing and submitting my Master's thesis for the George Washington University program. I wrote a brief dedication in the front of the thesis, dedicating it to the memory of our daughter, Priscilla. Although I am writing this down many years later, I can feel the loss as if it were yesterday. If it were not for our membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our love for one another, and the knowledge that "Families are Forever" I don't know how we could have survived this loss. I do know, however, that every time I attend the Temple, I can feel her presence and know that so long as I am faithful to the covenants, oaths and promises I have made and honor the priesthood that I hold, I will see her and be reunited with her again. Of this I bear solemn witness in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
  7. Guest

    How Am I Different?

    I was left really off-balance when a relative left the church some time ago. The reason why this one made such a big impact on me is that in many ways I was just like her. There were some questions about the faith. There were questions about what the Spirit felt like. We had many of the same weaknesses. There were aspects, traits, and histories that were similar in both our backgrounds. And our personalities were very similar. She spent the last six months of "enduring" going to the temple almost every day it was open. Praying. Sometimes she'd do multiple sessions in a day. She said she had gained a testimony long ago. But then she had lost it in recent years. Maybe she found it was too hard. Maybe she lost sight. I don't know. But she's pretty much gone. I've spent the last few months now wondering what changed. I wondered why it didn't happen to me. I wondered why I'm still strong and she went off the deep end. (I really mean she purposefully took a flying leap off the deep end.) We were so similar in many ways. Why did I not make the same leap? Some differences that give me hope are: #1: I love my wife with a tenderness and a depth that I can never express to her in words. She (the relative) didn't ever feel that passion for her husband. My love for my wife has kept me from doing many things that would take me down the wrong path. But the interesting thing was that she said she decided to marry him because she was sure he could take her to the Celestial Kingdom. And on his side, she was right. He's about -- actually strike that. He IS the most stalwart man I've ever met. And this recent trial almost broke him. They are now divorced. #2: I generally went to the right people for advice and counsel and a shoulder to cry on. She went to the wrong kind of people. #3: I have learned an awful lot more in doctrine, reasoning, and understanding of the Lord and His ways. She was pretty much a newbie. I wonder if this is enough. In a sense it is good for me to ponder this. It makes me more vigilant. But it is disconcerting at the same time.
  8. I don't know how many of you live or have lived in the deep south but today was another one of those "defend the faith" days... A guy I know at work asked me if I was still LDS so naturally I said yes (Although I thought about telling him "no, I'm a Snuffer-ite now"), and waited for the test to begin. Round one (outside the men's room) - Him: "Do you still have the seer stone Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon?" Me: "I believe the angel Moroni took those back when Joseph had finished translating." Him: "Do you still have the plates the Book of Mormon was written from?" Me: "The angel Moroni took those back too when Joseph had finished translating." Him: "So you don't have anything?" Me: "We have the Book of Mormon, and in a future day the plates will be revealed again and the sealed portion will be translated." Him: "So no one else saw the plates but Smith?" Me: "The testimonies of eleven witnesses who saw the plates is in the front of the Book of Mormon" Him: "But no one saw the plates while he was translating?" Me: "Not that I'm aware of although several people took turns writing while he translated." Round two - Me (in a note we work in different parts of the plant): "You believe in the bible, and if so, is there an original version of any of the books or epistles of the bible in existence? What happened to the original versions - each one specifically? Do we still have the breastplate the Jewish high priest wore or the Urim and Thummin he used? Do we have the Ark of the covenant, the menorah, the altar of incense or the table of shewbread from the tabernacle in the wilderness or the temple in Jerusalem? So we don't have the original version of any of the books or epistles of the bible, we don't know what happened to them. We don't have the breastplate the Jewish high priest wore or the Urim and Thummin he used and we don't know what happened to them. We don't have the Ark of the covenant, the menorah, the altar of incense or the table of shewbread from the tabernacle in the wilderness or the temple in Jerusalem and we don't know what happened to them. That's OK, I believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God even the I don't have the gold plates or the Urim and Thummin, and I believe the bible is the word of God as far as its translated correctly." * Round three tomorrow (hopefully it will be something new and exciting for once) get this stuff much where you are?
  9. Hi everyone, I have been married for almost 5 years and have no children. I was raised in the gospel and my husband is a return missionary who was also raised in the church. My husband recently came out to me with the his belief that there is no God. He has struggled for the last few years, with the catalyst (I believe) being his younger brother coming out as gay and leaving the church. My husband also suffers from mild depression and I think that this trial has made it harder for him to feel the spirit. While he hasn't stopped wearing his garments yet, I know that is the next step for him. I still have a testimony and am feeling heart broken. I can see all the things that I wanted for our lives getting flushed down the toilet. I am afraid to have kids with him and kids are something that I desperately want. He has changed so much since we got married I am terrified of how much more he could change in the next 5 years. I just feel so discouraged and sad. It seems that when it rains it pours because I have recently seen many LDS couples around me filing for divorce. We are looking into meeting with an LDS counselor. I would greatly appreciate any advice, support, and prayers during this time because I am feeling so lost and scared. Sincerely, J
  10. It seems we have lots of people coming on with testimony struggles. A CES Devotional to address just that topic: "Worldwide Devotional to Focus on Strengthening Testimony", May 3 at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy. Online at The speaker says: “I want to describe to you how I came to know that He is the literal Son of God, the Redeemer and Savior of the world, and that His gospel is true,” Elder Robbins said. “I also want to help you discover that your own testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel is much stronger than you think it is.” See how evaluating where you are on the faith spectrum and assessing how you can grow and how you can get there has the potential to change your life. Source:〈=eng
  11. I am very pleased to have found this interesting website on the Church, which is managed by members of the Church. I am since 2008 a member of the church, and I have a testimony. I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Joseph Smith Jr. was a true prophet of God, and Thomas Monson is a prophet of God. I know from the deepest part of my soul that the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and that Joseph Smith had it translated correctly. No matter what will always assert enemies of the Church, I have a testimony of the truth of the Church.
  12. A little bit of a story with a happy ending to share-- For me, the most difficult part about being in an interfaith marriage is not the non-member husband, but handling the evangelical mother-in-law that comes with him. When hubby and I started dating, MIL was a huge fan of me… except for my “Mormon problem”. Needless to say religion has been a rocky subject. To learn about Mormonism, MIL signed up for a class on the subject at her church, entitled “Mormonism and the Evil Cults” (or something like that). She got a lot of bad information, and doesn’t really listen to what I say because she honestly thinks I’m brainwashed and hell-bound (roll eyes). Though, to be fair to her, I haven’t been perfect on the issue (like not inviting her far enough in advance to baby girl’s blessing). Anyway, the purpose of this post is to celebrate: last night we chatted and had a great discussion sharing testimonies. I learned a lot more about her and feel that she learned a lot more about me. Not only did she not stone me for sharing me testimony, she liked it! I’m still kind of in “wow” shock…. Just wanted to share good news with you all J.
  13. Let's discuss doubt. It seems quite trendy, in some circles, to embrace doubt as some sort of virtue. What are your thoughts on doubt?
  14. So, for a while I have noticed that during fast and testimony meeting (the first Sunday of every month) most people do not mention Jesus until they close with " the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." When parents spoon feed their testimony to their kids, Jesus doesn't even make top billing. Adults seldom talk about His work on the cross, or His unwavering grace. Instead, they relate some funny story that happened to them at the mall. Others relate a sad story, where I find myself constantly praying that their tears are because of their passion and not because they are nervous public speakers. More often than not, it seems to me that these people see testimony meeting as an opportunity for their 15 min without ever giving God any credit for anything in their life. Isn't a testimony supposed to be just that, a testimony? I feel that every word spoken in that moment should be drenched in our Savior's love and only glorify Him? I mean, we are ending our words with His name...shouldn't He get some credit. I know I may sound cynical and calloused, but this truly bothers me. I love my Savior so very much and it bothers me that given the opportunity to shout this to the heavens in front of their church family some people would rather talk about so many other things. Jesus should always be our focus. Am I wrong? What do you think?
  15. Yesterday's sacrament meeting revealed a rather strange talk by a soon-to-leave missionary that wound up with follow-up comments by the stake president. The whole topic of this kid's talk was that it wasn't right to use the word "know" in gospel subjects because we don't, in fact, actually know and are pretty much just going on faith. Husband and I personally wanted to smack the kid, but giving him the benefit of the doubt and bad communication/presentation, could he possibly be on to something? Is "know" the wrong sort of word when "believe" is best?
  16. I stumbled across this site well now that I say that I was led here. My husband asked me for a divorce have been preparing to take out my Endowments and during this time it had come to light he is addicted to pornography and has decided I've become to "religious" and he must move on. I already have received blessings from this trial and heartache. It has strengthened my testimony and my desire to attend the Temple has never been so strong.
  17. I am sookmi. I am a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am married for 40 years to the same woman. We have had seven children, six girls and one boy. One daughter died at birth. We have 13 grandchildren, 9 boys and 4 girls, ranging in age from 1 to 16. I have served in many church callings small and large. I am currently without a permanent home, job and church calling. I do many things, I am mobile notary, Santa Claus, Income Tax Preparer, factory worker, courier and many other things. Most important I have and bear a firm testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the redeemer and savior of all creation. That by and through Him all things were and are created. That He has established His Church on the earth in these latter days which is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That the Church was established in these days by the Prophet Joseph Smith who also brought forth the Book of Mormon and many other things by and under the direction of Jesus Christ, The Messiah.
  18. I have created a Book of Mormon Testimony Translation site where bi-lingual LDS members translate testimonies for other members. Any suggestions on how to promote it? It is a perfect way for return missionaries to keep up on their language skills. Book of Mormon Testimony Translator - index Thanks,
  19. :confused: I honestly don't know what's wrong with me! I am coming around and am now just saying the word of wisdom is there to protect us even though scientists say other wise (it is true they can't stick with one thing... For Example Eggs use to be good to have daily and now their not??). I never not followed the word of wisdom unintentionally, but now I just think it's there to protect us. I still struggle with my testimony, and one problem I think I have it.. I don't know if the spirit is answering my questions or not. So I continue to do what I've been doing (Praying, reading scriptures, trying to find things that will give me the spirit and try to do my best). I know I won't get an answer right away, but I wonder if I already know the answer, I am just afraid? Something is holding me back from believing? I've never really doubted like I do now, it's gotten bad that I think something is trying to convince me that God or Jesus may not exist, but I can't believe that and I try not to, I mean look at this world! How could someone possibly deny them. I have no idea what's wrong... I sometimes just want to crawl in bed and cry because I don't know anything and yet I want to know so badly. :confused: ADDED INFORMATION: It's been happening for almost 2 years, but this past 6 months to a year it been slowly decreasing and ever since I moved to a new ward (In July 2012) it hit a rock. I've talked to my mom, my cousin, one of my friends and I have talked to one of my good aunts. But mostly my cousin and mom. My mom use to be a member, but has been inactive for around 2 years. (Same with my eldest brother). My mom left because of all the judgment she gets from the church. And I try to go to church (mostly without her). Which I have been doing for almost a year. She went to church with my last Sunday and plans to go with me again after general conference. (it all depends on my step father, he's not a member, but we don't force this issue. We just let things flow where they may).
  20. I am having a little trouble with the LDS church and I need help on what you guys did to gain a testimony. I read the Book of Mormon daily, Pray every night and sometimes in the afternoon. I go to church almost every Sunday. I haven't had a testimony of the church for a little over a year now. I know God exists a long with Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost. I've been a member my whole life. I am confused about why the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible and teachings earlier in the day. Or why the church is becoming more and more strict. By this I mean when my grandma through my moms childhood they were allowed to drink wine as long as they didn't get drunk, but now were not allowed to at all. I am trying to figure things out but it's becoming difficult and I just don't know any more. I feel the holy spirit during most testimony meetings and at the temple, but I have not found my testimony of the church so I don't even know it's true. When I was 12-15 I wanted to get married in the temple but since 16+ I don't. I think that even though were not sealed in the temple we can still be with those we love, God wouldn't keep us from those we love. He's not heartless.
  21. Hello! My name is Melisa. I am a recent convert to the LDS community. I was taught by to awesome Missionaries. I know that the Gospel is true because of them teaching me. I also know that by learning I can be with my Heavenly Father again. I would like to share what little of testimony I have with you now. When I first went to the church I was studying Wicca. I had a couple books on the subject and was reading them. I got about 5-10 pages in, in about a week. I went to church got the Gospel Principles book and could not put the book down. I asked for lessons before I started reading the GP. I felt a tug on my heart that day so I asked for lessons. I took all my lessons and before my lessons were done about the 2nd one in we had a baptismal date set. I was baptized the the 19th of June and confirmed the following Sunday. I have never felt better in my life! I always know that no matter where I go I always have Heavenly Father with me! I am loving my life and helping my family get back on track. I say these things in Jesus Christ's name. Amen.
  22. Hey y'all! My name is Linabeth and I'm from the GREAT state of Texas! I may have been baptized at 8, but am a convert to the church. My mom joined when I was a baby and my dad joined when I was 10. I have had my moments when I have questioned my faith, but have ALWAYS turned back to the church and know without a doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the truest church on the face of this planet! I love my Savior and brother Jesus Christ and I love my Heavenly Father! I am so grateful for this gospel and for all of the members who have aided in strengthening my testimony in Christ.
  23. Hello everyone, I was born into the church and have always been active but have always had lot of questions. I have served a mission and am currently in college. When I was 15 I was shocked when I discovered anti Mormon material on the internet for the first time while writing a talk. Since then I have continued to be very curious about church history and just about arguments against the church in general. I have recieved spiritual confirmations of the truth and validty of the church, but many of these things still trouble me. I often times feel confused, decieved, and it seems like no matter how hard I try I cannot get rid of these feelings and maintain a more solid testimony of things like the book of mormon and joseph smith. I believe in them and as I said have received spiritualy confirmations of their truths but I cant seem to permanently get over a these doubts. I am also uncomfortable to discuss this with my family, close friends, or bishop. Does anyone feel similar? I just feel a little ashamed especially in testimony meetings and I wish I could have a little more faith. thanks!
  24. Guest


    Let's forget about it. Most people misunderstand, sorry for the post.
  25. Today, Sunday, 4 January 2009 was a day of mixed emotions for me. I found myself to be both joyous and also a little sad. For you see, today our ward was reorganized and I was released as the First Counselor in the Bishopric. I felt joy because I know in my heart that I humbly served and strived to do those things which Heavenly Father would have expected me to do. There is no doubt that I made some mistakes along the way, but I did everything in a spirit of love, humility and gratitude. The Lord knows my heart and He truly knows of my love for the people of our ward. I also felt joy because now I will move on to do other work that the Father has planned for me to do in His vineyard. I view every calling that I have had up to this point as training and preparation for the things that are yet to come. Carefully reviewing the pages of my Patriarchal Blessing, I have been promised many great and wonderful things and added responsibilities in the Church if I remain faithful and true to the commandments of our Heavenly Father. At the same time I felt a little sad and even became a bit emotional as I bore my testimony because suddenly the reality of it all hit me and I realized that I would no longer serve my ward in this capacity. It is hard after serving in two Bishoprics to let go as it were and realize that the Lord has called someone new to the position, but I am reminded that the Lord has work for me to do in other parts of His vineyard and my being released after several years of faithful service is a necessary step in preparing me for the days ahead and the work that is to be done. As I mentioned in my testimony today, "I do not know what tomorrow may bring, but I can testify to you that I do know the One who holds all tomorrows. He alone knows the plan for my life that has already been set. I humbly pray that I will always like Nephi of old be willing to go and do those things which the Lord doth command." In Ecclesiates 3:1 we read, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" A season in my life has just ended and a new season has begun. I look forward to my next calling and serving wherever and in whatever capacity the Lord would have me to serve.