Forgiveness: My Testimony

I have struggled with this concept since I was 9 years old. How do you forgive someone who has wronged you when they won’t acknowledge their wrong-doing by, at the very least, apologizing? It’s even more difficult when it’s a family member. When I was 19, a stranger assaulted me, was apprehended, judged in a court of law, and served his time. Never apologized. How can I forgive him? Is it possible to forgive those who haven’t repented?

I am grateful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for helping me gain the testimony that it is possible to forgive those who have not apologized. There is no need for me to judge these people; Heavenly Father will handle that. In the Doctrine and Covenants 64:9-10, the Lord said, “Ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”

I am thankful to finally have gained the strength to release the anger and anxiety related to these events. I firmly believe I could not have found the courage to do so without the guidance of Heavenly Father’s word and the blessing of the Holy Ghost.

I’m looking forward to recapturing some of that 9-year-old enthusiasm that was taken from me and living in the light of Christ.

Me (on the right) and my sister at Kings Island (bonus: Creepy botanical Fred Flintstone photo bombing!)

Effective Immediately…

My first calling at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I am the newest Family History Consultant at my Branch…it a blessing and an honor to be called to do this work.

It has been a busy month! I hosted a DAR Application Workshop, attended the district meeting for INDAR, and hosted a genealogy workshop. Wrote a family narrative for my final ProGen39 assignment. Kept up my work responsibilities. Kept up with my sons’ lives…work and school.

What my schedule looks like for September:

  • Complete DAR Chapter Yearbook
  • Send out letter to DAR Chapter members
  • Host two Museum events
  • Hold first DAR Chapter meeting of the 2019-20 year
  • Attend last ProGen39 chat
  • Prep for filming at Museum
  • Prep for Legacy Gala
  • Prep for INDAR presentation!
John Barr of Old Northwest Genealogy talking about early Indiana land records and holding a set of rods and chains.

What Drew Me to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…

It’s time I put this down in writing.

First of all, we need to go back five years when I started this blog…this is what I wrote:

Since you’re probably dying to know:  Independent and agnostic. <–That is historical context for my descendants in 100 years.

Per the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

agnostic: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable

My entire adult life has been defined as above. I attended different services at different churches at different times. What I found difficult with attending those services is being preached to without context. Sure, who doesn’t know John 3:16, but what does that mean to me? One could say I could’ve devoted a little time to figuring that out…this is true, I could have. Maybe that means God wanted me to experience more, learn more, before making the ultimate decision to come to Him. Maybe this has been my path all along. I trust that God is guiding me now and forever!

You can be reunited with your family after death, your temporal family and your spiritual family. That’s it. That’s what I needed to know. I had always believed that once you die, you cease to exist. But then I wondered, your physical body ceases to exist but does your soul? My friend Sister F* explained it so well…that energy has to go somewhere! It is a very comforting feeling to know that someday you’ll be with loved ones you knew on Earth, loved ones who came before and after you, and your Heavenly Parents. Since I was taught that, I have felt nothing but light to the depths of my soul. I literally smile when I think about the Church or reading scriptures or thanking God for leading the way.

I could say my journey to God began before I was even born. He knew me then. He knew I would want to find my way, learn, and come to believe His word. I could say my journey involved divine intervention on 1 August 2015 when I first met my friend Sister F*. Heavenly Father crossed her path with mine! I could say my journey to this very moment began on 6 May 2019 when Sister F* shared with me what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was all about. I could say my journey back to God began on 20 July 2019 when I was baptized and confirmed on 21 July 2019 as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Emerging from the baptismal font, I felt joyful, ecstatic, newly born! Yes, it took three dunks but maybe I needed those three to wash away years of sin! My friend, Sister F*, was there to meet me coming out of the water…what a wonderful day!

A member of this Church, Sister B*, spoke about the Holy Ghost following the baptism. She said I know God is with you at this moment. She had no idea how true those words were. She had mentioned that with my job at the Museum I have to retain so much knowledge and share it with others, and I’ve always been happy to do so. Earlier that day, however, I had gone to work with a litany of to-do items that I really wanted to get done in the three hours I would be working. A volunteer I hadn’t seen in a few months came in unexpectedly. She has always been an avid supporter of the Museum and its activities. We wound up spending my entire workday brainstorming ideas to drum up interest in our community. I didn’t get anything on my list done. After I left the Museum to run errands, I was trying to figure out the best time to get back to the Museum to catch up. I’m not going to lie, it adds a bit of stress to my life, especially leaving things undone. On the other hand, I can’t turn a deaf ear to someone who is so enthusiastic about the Museum’s mission. So, yes, God was with me in that moment in Sister B*’s words; hearing her say that God has gifted me with this love of local and family history so that I may share it with others was God’s way of reassuring me that the items on my to-do list will get done and He had even sent someone who is genuinely excited to plan and help carry out activities at the Museum!

The next day at Church, I was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost through the most beautiful blessing bestowed by Brother C*. I was surrounded by my new family who shared in praying with those wondrous words, and my soul beamed brightly. Thus begins my true journey…and I have never been so sure of anything in my life!

There is sunshine in my soul today,

More glorious and bright

Than glows in any earthly sky,

For Jesus is my light!