Sunday, August 8, 2010

Arise and Shine Forth

     "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10
Last week, I went to a church run camp for girls in my neighborhood. It was such an amazing experience; camp helped me remember how important every individual is to the world and to God. It was a learning experience from the time I shook nervously from fifty feet off the ground, suspended by thin little cords, to when I found myself running for cover from rock-hard hail the size of marbles.

Day 1: August 2, 2010. Arise and Shine Forth through Righteous Living
Today was such a blast! The younger girls lit up the camp with their smiling faces, no matter how scared or shy they were. They were loving and caring towards the other girls around them. We set up our sleeping quarter quite quickly today, after which, we played sponge water games.
We had an amazing speaker, Sister Stone, who talked passionately about how important it is to close our eyes and love everyone no matter who they are or what they look like. She portrayed and relayed with ter-filled eyes how truly important it is to never give up on those that you love, and to always do your best to reach out to those who seem lost.
Some men are born believing in God, some are born with confidence knowing that there is a supreme being who loves them unceasingly. Others lose the way and their sight of their faith, that once seemed so easy to believe and rely on. And then there are those who feel like they have no purpose. It is the job of good men and women to reach out to those less fortunate in any way, and to be an example, a beacon of light in the darkness to the many poor and lost sailsmen. All lost people need in the dark is a light, one beam, one single lighthouse in the night is enough for a stranded soul to reach out and find safe ground from the churling waves and jagged rocks in life.
3 Nephi 6:14
"And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were a few Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the cmomandments of the Lord


Alma 40:12
"And then it shall come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow."

     Tonight I was asked to share my testimony, so I decided to share a brief experience that I had a few months ago that helped to strengthen my belief. I'll write down my experience in in this journal as a guide, just in case I get nervous talking in front of so many people.
     This year at Prom, I was really shocked by the dresses that the girls around me wore. I was even more disappointed when I realized that some girls that I knew from my seminary class at school were dressed extremely immodestly.

     When I got home that night, I expressed to my mom how upset it had made me feel to see so many girls lowering their standards to try to appear "pretty" to their dates.

     The conversation turned into a spiritual experience as my mom asked me this one question, "How would those girls have felt if Jesus had walked into Prom right then? They would have been unbelievably ashamed."
That's why dressing modestly is truly important. We don't know when our Savior will come again. As we dress ourselves daily, we should think,
"Would I feel comfortable if I met Jesus today?"

     I know that this gospel is true, and I know that our savior saved us because he loves us. We will be blessed forever if we can show our love through obedience and patience.
After I bore my testimony, all of the girls were given handouts that read:
"Arise and Shine Forth Through Righteous Living

We cannot hide what we are, try as we will. It shines from within us... Those who stand firm, steadfast, and immovable are given great inner hidden powers and unseen strengths. They will be endowed with full and potent spiritual resources." James E. Faust"

"My final plea tonight is that you have the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness. Because the trend in society today is away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, you will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which you believe. Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life. The adversary would like nothing better than for you to allow derisive comments and criticism of the Church to cause you to question and doubt. Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe." Thomas S. Monson."

Day 2: August 3, 2010. Arise and Shine Forth by Recognizing and Following the Spirit

     Today was so fun and uplifting! We had to observe each other, and share our observations with each other around the campfire. We were all assigned a girl, and my girl was little Amberlynn, I noticed that she is such a sweet, caring, and happy person. I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know her better.

     The girl who had to observe me was another a sophomore girl named Lexie. She told me that she was impressed that I always stick to my standards, and that she was impressed by how hard I work at everything I do. Well, that really made me feel good about myself. The theme for today, as I've already mentioned, was recognizing and following the spirit, and there is no doubt that I felt moved by the love that was shared between the girls today. I learned that the spirit can teach us through words and feelings.

Day 3: August 4, 2010. Arise and Shine Forth by Being the Daughter You Were Meant to Be

     Today Sister Thompson read a book today that talked about how every girl is a princess. I never really thought of it that way, but I believe that God is a King, and that we are all his children. That would make me a princess, along with every other girl I see. But do I treat every girl like she is a princess? Princesses are extremely important.

     Now that I gained this knowledge, I'm going to do my best to be patient and loving towards God's other daughters, because they aren't just his children, they are in deed princesses. I'm going to make it my new goal, to reach out to others and help them realize just how important they are, because they are royalty. It's so important to always remember who we truly are, so that we can become who we were truly meant to be. Royalty.

Day 4: August 5, 2010. Arise and Shine Forth by Following the Savior Jesus Christ

"If you can resist all evil, you can resist Satan."

2 Nephi 2:27
"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the Great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."

     Now is not the time to be another person caught in the gray area, there is a clear definition between right and wrong. Don't follow the play now and confess-to-bishop-later type of life. It is not worth it in any way. Don't mock the Savior's Atonement, he suffered greatly for our sins; and her suffers greatly still when we take his sacrifice in vain by choosing Satan's easy-way-out lifestyle. Life isn't meant to be simple or easy, and if it is, you aren't living the way you should.

Alma 53: 17, 20
"And they entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, yea, to protect the land unto the laying down of their lives; yea, even they covenanted that they never would give up their liberty, but they would fight in all cases to protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage... And they were all young men and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold this was not all-- they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted."

     I'm sad that this was my last year of girls' camp.