Monday, May 3, 2010

Got Love?

Two friends eat a bowl of spicy curry. One shudders while the other smiles.
Two sons hear of the death of their mother. One cries, but the other remains silent.
Two people listen to a sermon. One says, with shaking head, "Weird." The other says, with joyful heart, "Wow."
I observed or experienced the latter occurrence yesterday, and feel intrigued. What causes people to have unique preferences, views, and reactions? Probably too many variables to count. Here are a few parts of my life experience that I figure contributed to me being one of the joyful types after last night's sermon:
  1. The sermon was given by someone of a different faith than mine, and while I feel confident in my own beliefs, I also highly respect and value the varying religions of the world. I have been deeply enriched from friends of other faiths, be it through the non-denominational worship services I attended regularly in college, or the countless conversations I had with investigators during my full-time missionary service, or the dozen or so Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings I attended with a friend (by the way, AA meetings seem similar to my own church's testimony meetings, though with more of a "rated R" I generally believe there is some truth to be found in all walks of belief, so I actively look for it when given the opportunity.
  2. The 3-4 women seated directly near me during the sermon were thoroughly enjoying it, laughing loudly at all the right times, and nodding or otherwise affirming quietly when they agreed with the speaker. Probably their reactions colored my own.
  3. The personal theme I have developed lately in my attempts to grow my faith was addressed in the first minute of the speaker's sermon--thereby putting me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. The speaker said, "I do not come to entertain or instruct. I am here today to help you feel the love of God in your life." Feeling the love of God is something I seek daily, and wish upon all humanity. I have even lately started praying for specific people to notice God's love for them--to feel it, be changed by it, rejoice with me in it.

The preacher at last night's sermon stated that one of the most sure ways to feel God's love is through studying scriptures. "This book," he waved his Bible above his heart, "Is God's love letters to you." It is true in my life as well as this man's; the times I have felt most touched by the tender teachings of the living God have come through my study of His words. I believe the Bible is the word of God, recorded through ancient prophets. I also believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

So here is my shout-out to the blogosphere today: is there anybody within the sound of my voice who wants to feel more of God's love? If you do, please leave your address in a comment (I moderate, and will not publish your address for anybody else to see) and I will send you a FREE copy of the Bible and Book of Mormon. These two witnesses work hand-in-hand. I am excited to spread the joys I have found through living Jesus Christ's teachings. If you are more comfortable requesting the scriptures from an official source, check out my church's website:


Kristen said...

I too found it interesting we had such different view points. Just so you know, I too believe that a person can feel enlightened and receive truth from anywhere that truth is resonating. I have been to other worship services and left feeling like I had learned something and I worked with people from AA and implemented their ideas in my work with people struggling with addictions. I know AA is built on fundamental principles of many faiths and I enjoyed feeling the spirit at these meetings.

Not sure why we had such different viewpoints of the meeting last night. I enjoyed the speaker, but I didn't get the warm feelings I usually have. Odd.

Melody said...

I wish there was a "LIKE" button to this post!

TheTamFam said...

Oh, Kristen I always feel like you are an open-minded listener! I am thinking it could also be partly just an issue of "clicking," like how some speakers reach certain people more than others, and I have my two favorite Apostles during General Conference talks, etc. simply because they tend to say things in a way that touches my spirit more than other speakers do...

Valerie said...

Nice thoughts, Courtney. I like listening to others talk about religion. There are many good folk out there that have sound understanding.