This week has been such a point of sacrifice and learning for me! As I continue in my studies at BYU-Idaho, I grow in my appreciation for how interwoven the gospel and my education can be. I feel so lifted up by the funding and sacred donations of church members so that I can receive a quality education.
This week we studied from the middle of Genesis in the Bible. I was able to see the stories of the “founding fathers” of the scriptures and how they lived their lives to remain pure and worthy of the covenants they made. There are a few examples that really stood out to me and I want to take a moment to share how they relate to my own life and how I was able to find them relevant and helpful throughout my week:
One of the things that really stood out to me was the trust Jacob placed in his mother to “deceitfully” obtain his father’s blessing by dressing up as Esau and killing the food for him. I think of how I sometimes am asked to do uncomfortable things by Heavenly Father and how much I have been blessed from doing these things anyway. One example was choosing to serve a mission. This week I was reminded of the initial sacrifice this was and also all the connected blessings involved with that “sacrifice”. I was dating someone when the age change happened. We were very serious in our relationship and considering making eternal decisions together. I remember how powerfully I received the impression that I was to serve a mission – it was almost like a personal commandment from God. I spoke with my boyfriend and let him know how I had felt and we were able to learn together about obedience and inspiration. Breaking up was difficult, but I had the confidence needed from the confirmations from the Holy Ghost I received about the importance of my missionary service. Now that I am happily married to another man that God brought into my life I am able to see His wisdom in asking me to do something that seemed difficult at the time, but that has proved to be the greatest blessing in my life thus far. I have considered sharing the gospel and the admonition that my forefathers received to share the truths they held with surrounding nations and people. It is part of my responsibility as a participant of the Abrahamic covenant to share the truths I know. My husband and I have discussed this week how we are going to work to share the gospel and we have identified a friend from his school that we will friendship and invite to learn more. I feel so much peace about this decision. Because I have spent my time pondering on the scriptures, my mind was in a place for me to receive revelation and my heart was prepared to be obedient in building the kingdom of Heaven.
Another direct lesson opportunity I had was in following Joseph’s determination to do what is right. This week I had a big exam in Financial Accounting that I was very nervous about. I had an opportunity to pray while studying and ask God to please fortify my work and help me to retain the information that I had worked hard to learn. In places during the test where I could have briefly cheated to look up an answer I had no temptation to do so whatsoever. I had set my book and my notes far away so that they wouldn’t even be close to me. I had also prayed at the beginning of my test for the strength to have a clear mind and the help I would need to do my best. I realized that because I was willing to make a promise to the Lord, myself, and the school when I decided to come here I didn’t have to chose each moment whether or not to be honest. I have already made the decision and I was able to flee from wickedness. This example helped me to see that perhaps Joseph wasn’t even tempted by his master’s wife and her sensual desires. If he had already made the decision to remain clean and pure he wouldn’t need to make it in the moment of temptation.
I have learned how essential it is to study the scriptures and apply them. I feel so strengthened and uplifted when I study diligently and see how I can change my life as a result of what I learn.