I've been thinking about that. Desire. That's really what it comes down to, isn't it? That's how people change. When you really want something, you will work to get it. If you want something spiritual, and really desire it strongly enough and REMEMBER that you desire it, you will turn away from sin and temptation. Whatever you want most is what your actions will follow. It's so important to remember the big picture.
We have one investigator named Vila, and she has recently realized that she really wants to be baptized (this month, baby!). She has met trials, especially with her work schedule and coming to church. She wants to be at church. She wants to do everything she needs to do to prepare for and make her goal to be baptized by the end of this month. She's had a hard time with her boss at work, who is Muslim and thus doesn't sympathize with the desire to worship at a Christian church on Sunday, although she's tried talking to him. She's been very upset, and praying hard about that. Yesterday she called us and said she now has a new manager, who is Christian and has her on the evening shift on Sunday. What a miracle!! She prayed what I think may be some of her first prayers of gratitude. This is a testimony to me that the Lord blesses us according to the desires of our hearts. Whatever we align our actions with--including good worthy righteous things--we WILL receive. We will do our best to find a way, we will resist the temptation to take an easier road, because of our desires. And if we do the best we can to obtain what worthy things we desire, the Lord will bless us with everything else we need. He will fill in every gap and pour out blessings to us from Heaven... blessings in this life and as well as glory in the next. In the scriptures we learn that we will be judged according to our works and the desires of our hearts. I think those two things are quite closely related. We just need to make sure and pray and act so that what we desire most is what's most important from an eternal perspective. What aligns with God's will. What a happy life, if we can do that :) A lot of being pure in heart means having pure desires. Having and acting on our most righteous desires will lead to conquering the natural/carnal man and our spirit will conquer and be purified.
I've realized a lot this week what I really believe. I have met so many people who are not LDS who have such deep and strong faith. Such good people. I'm realizing deeply that it's not about being a Mormon... it's about being a Christian. I'm realizing we as the LDS really do embrace ALL truth... and I do too. We really do seek after everything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy. Everything that promotes faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. This church's claim is that it does not differ from the original Church that Jesus Christ established on the earth. That is absolutely true, and we can each know that for ourselves through study and prayer and following God's commandments. This claim implies that our only goal is to follow, obey, and serve Jesus Christ, and we embrace everything that will most lead us to Him. It's truly about being a Christian. That's why I'm a "Mormon." Because I want to follow Jesus Christ and this is His original Gospel in its unblemished and untainted fullness! This is the clear, straight path that leads to Him. I say humbly that I'm not LDS because I love being a Mormon. I'm LDS because I love Jesus Christ. And this is why I'm in Kota Kinabalu right now.
Love you all! Have faith, stay strong, remember where you came from :)