Before I fully started on my journey back to the gospel I was looking for someone who had gone before me, who had returned to the LDS church after severing ties and had made it through all the changes I knew were coming. I wanted someone to say to me, “Hey, I’ve done this, it was great, here’s what you need to do.” It seemed simple enough with the sea of LDS books, podcasts, talks, etc. but there just wasn’t anything I could find that satisfied what I was looking for. So I started my own on an academic level. This blog originally began as an assignment for a writing class where we created pages based on how to do something that changed our lives. Here I am nearly three years after fully immersing myself in the gospel and my life is almost unrecognizable on every single level. I am perpetually in a greater position to give this advice day by day. So I am starting a series of posts based on the original intent of this site: How and why I did it.
The word gospel means “good news” and the good news is the Lord Jesus Christ and His message of salvation. There is endless good news if you are considering your faith again. Jesus is the ultimate and perfect exemplar, which is wonderful to keep in your heart each day knowing you have someone who made zero mistakes. You don’t ever have to second guess and say, “well he was great except for that one time” because he never messed up, backed out or strayed from the work his father sent him here to do, not even in the face of challenges we can’t even comprehend. Because of this we can look to him in all things. Jesus taught, “This is the gospel which I have given unto you–that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. . . This is my gospel, for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do.”
“All of us can emulate the Lord’s example, regardless of age, status, or location.” – Robert D. Hales
The wonderful, simple, reassuring news for all of us is whether we are returning to our faith after a few weeks or a few decades, the process is the same. This gospel and its precepts are SO simple anyone can follow them and receive the same results. By “simple” I don’t mean easy. Your life on this earth was never meant to be easy, let’s be clear about that. But with the gospel of Jesus Christ in your life you will receive guidance, blessings and answers that are keenly specific to your life, your family, and your challenges because Heavenly Father is keenly aware of you.
Still, making such a big change can be intimidating to the point of keeping us from doing anything, but please ignore that feeling. Don’t let the adversary derail you before you get started. Let the words of Alma inspire you, “if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” If the desire is there give it a chance. Allow the desire to work in you.
There is a pattern that was created spiritually and it begins and ends with your Heavenly Father and YOU. You can survive all the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows because you have heavenly help along every step of the way. The process is the same for everyone and it is the same every time. That is the beauty of the gospel! The first steps you begin with will be the same steps you take each and every day as you come to know the gospel is infinitely edifying and instructive and it gets deeper and richer the more you immerse yourself in it. This is a pattern that Heavenly Father designed for you to draw closer to Him, for you to stretch, to grow, to learn, and to ultimately become like Him!
So wherever you are, start there. Start here. Just start. Follow your heart, try the experiment and exercise a particle of faith to see what Heavenly Father has for you.