“…In our lives that are often filled with questions, worries, pressures, and opportunities, our Savior’s love for us individually and as His covenant children and also His teachings and laws are available daily resources that we can depend on to be a “light which shineth, … enlighten[ing our] eyes [and] quicken[ing our] understandings.” As we seek for the blessings of the Spirit in our lives, we will be able to, as Jacob taught, see “things as they really are, and … as they really will be.”
…As an early follower of the gospel, I encountered many who observed and perceived changes in my behaviors, practices, and choices after I joined the Church. They were curious about the “whys” of what they were seeing—why I chose to be baptized and join this congregation of believers, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; why I refrain from certain practices on the Sabbath; why I’m faithful in keeping the Word of Wisdom; why I read the Book of Mormon; why I believe in and incorporate the teachings of modern-day prophets and apostles into my life; why I attend weekly Church meetings; why I invite others to “come and see, come and help, … come and stay,” and “come and belong.”
At the time, those questions felt overwhelming and, transparently, sometimes accusatory. But as I grappled with people’s scrutiny, I came to realize that their probing was, in fact, my first invitation to pick up and put on a pair of spiritual lenses to clarify, focus, and solidify what motivated my adherence to gospel practices and standards. What was the source of my testimony? Was I only carrying out “outward performances” without allowing those practices connected to God’s laws to “strengthen [my] faith in Christ” or to demonstrate understanding that Jesus Christ is the only source of power in my observances?
Through rigorous effort to look to and for Jesus Christ in my every thought and deed, my eyes were enlightened and my understanding quickened to recognize that Jesus Christ was calling for me to “come unto” Him. From this early season of discipleship in my youth, I can recall an invitation extended to me by the missionaries to join them as they taught the gospel to a group of young girls about my age. One evening, as we were seated in the family home of one of these young women, their tender question of why I believe pricked my heart and allowed me to testify to them with deepened understanding of the Lord’s vision about the spiritual motivations of my discipleship and has refined my testimony going forward.
I learned then, as I know now, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, directs our feet to meetinghouses each week to partake of His sacrament, to the house of the Lord to make covenants with Him, to the scriptures and teachings of prophets to learn of His words. He directs our mouths to testify of Him, our hands to lift and serve as He would lift and serve, our eyes to see the world and each other as He does—“as they really are, and … as they really will be.” And as we allow Him to direct us in all things, we receive testimony that “all things denote there is a God,” because where we look for Him we will find Him—each and every day. This I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.”