He Loves Us and We Love Him: You've Memorized It, Now Live It (Bookshelf eBook)(edit)
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It's been twenty-five years since the Young Women theme and values were first introduced to the world. Today, the timeless truths of that theme and the simplicity of those values are proving themselves to be more needed than ever. As the world grows more aggressive in sharing lies about the way to find happiness, it's never been more critical that daughters of God know and understand the truths they recite every Sunday. In her conversational style, Laurel shares a message that God does love them, and when they learn to live according to their love for Him, they'll see the power of this remarkable theme in their lives.
- Divine Nature
- Individual Worth
- Choice and Accountability
- Good Works
- Virtue Conclusion
Afterword by Ardeth Kapp
- Size: 4x6
- Pages: 112
- Published: 2010
About the Author
Laurel Christensen, a runner, a Jane Austen devotee, and a sought-after speaker, grew up in California, Kentucky, and Missouri. After serving in the California Riverside Mission, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and later received a master’s degree. She has spent most of her career at Deseret Book Company, where she is currently Vice President of Product Development. Laurel is a favorite speaker at both Time Out for Women and Time Out for Girls, and she has published several talk CDs and books for young women.
Trusting in God’s Plan . . .Not Mine
I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves me. I have faith in His eternal plan, which centers on Jesus Christ, my Savior.
When I was thirteen, I met the boy I would one day marry. Oh, I loved him. In fact, my journal even contains a little “theory” about how the whole amazing story would one day unfold. It involved me getting a little older and going to BYU and us running into each other on campus after his mission. I was convinced our children would one day read the journal entry. Oh, I loved him (did I already say that?) and I just knew it was all going to work out.
Well, one day I did get older and I did go to BYU.
He went on his mission.
Then we ran into each other at BYU after his mission.
And he did get married.
Just not to me.
BUT, everything really did work out . . . just as it was supposed to.
It just didn’t work out like my journal entry said it would. Through that experience and so many others, I’ve learned a lot about FAITH.
I spent too much of my life thinking that having faith meant believing that something was going to happen—like if I closed my eyes tight enough or stayed on my knees long enough or repeated “I believe” enough, then whatever I wanted to have happen would happen, and THEN I would know I had faith.
And so, when things didn’t happen like I thought they would (or believed they would), I found myself questioning if I had enough faith.
You probably learned the fourth Article of Faith long before you learned the Young Women theme. And in the fourth Article of Faith we learn that the first principle of the gospel is faith. Right?
The first principle of the gospel is “faith IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.” I think I used to forget the full principle. Too often I was really practicing “faith in Laurel” instead of “faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” And I have found that those times when I struggle with my testimony or wonder if God is really aware of me, it’s because I’m remembering the first principle incorrectly.
The reality is that faith isn’t about me. It’s about Him. And the Lord Jesus Christ has a pretty impeccable past record . . . not just in my life but in the countless lives and experiences of God’s children. That is why, if my faith is really centered in HIM, then I’m always okay. Always.
What does it mean to have “faith in [God’s] eternal plan, which centers on Jesus Christ, my Savior”?
One of my favorite faith scriptures starts with a little question in Moroni, chapter 7. (I know Hebrews 11 and Alma 32 are usually remembered as the “faith chapters,” but Moroni 7 is great too.) In verse 20, you’ll read: “ . . . how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?”
I love questions in the scriptures because they are typically followed by answers. I can’t think of many things that sound better than being able to “lay hold upon” (or have) “EVERY good thing.” The answer starts to come in the very next verse:
“And now, I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing.” Did you catch that? Mormon is going to tell us the way we can actually have “every good thing”!
Well, if you read the next few verses (22–25) you’ll see how important it was to the Father’s plan that Jesus Christ should come to the earth. And how, even before He came, people living on the earth were able to and needed to have faith. Then in verse 26 comes the nugget of all nuggets, taught by the Savior:
“Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.”
WOW . . . did I read that right?
Anything I ask the Father in the name of Jesus Christ will be mine?
No . . . not just anything.
BUT anything “which is good.” And not just good, but GOOD FOR ME.
Sometimes we want something good—really good. So we start praying for it with all the belief our little hearts can muster. But just because it’s good doesn’t mean it’s good for us. (In 3 Nephi 18:20 we see a similar scripture, except instead of the phrase “which is good” it says “which is right.” That helps me understand the scripture in Moroni even more.)
In other words, even if you want something very, very much, and even if it’s good . . . it might not be right. And it might not be right because it might not be part of “His eternal plan.” For YOU.
Right before I turned twenty-one, I went home from BYU for Christmas. I had been spending time with a boy who I thought I loved enough to marry. (No, not the same boy from when I was thirteen. Apparently you can love a few boys enough to want to marry them.) I was feeling confused and frustrated about what to do with the feelings in my heart. One night, I knelt in prayer and really talked to my Father in Heaven. I told Him where I was in my life and how I was feeling about this boy, and I wanted to make sure He knew how much I wanted to be married.
I started to say, “Thou knowest my desire to get married.”
But instead, out of my mouth came: “Thou knowest my desire to go on a mission.”
DID I JUST SAY “A MISSION”?
I didn’t want to go on a mission. It wasn’t ever in my plan. (Notice I said “MY” plan.) It wasn’t something I had really considered doing. But I said it out loud! Maybe God didn’t hear me. Maybe He was busy. I remember closing my prayer and getting up and leaving the room as fast as I could. Yes, surely He didn’t hear me and so wouldn’t ever expect me to go on a mission.
The long story short is that for the next six months, I didn’t think about a mission or talk about a mission or pray about a mission. I wanted to get married to this boy who I thought I loved—and getting married was a good thing. And I was going to exercise all the faith I could, and I knew Heavenly Father was going to help me.
But . . . I was exercising faith in “Laurel’s plan,” not faith in God’s plan.
Then came July 4th. I had been twenty-one for five months, and things seemed unsettled in my life. But, on that night, when I knelt in prayer, those words came again: “Thou knowest my desire to go on a mission.”
And this time, I knew it was good. I knew it was right.
I found myself in the Missionary Training Center three months later.
You know, as much as I wanted to get married, and as good a thing as that was to want, it just wasn’t right for me at the time. The MTC was where I was supposed to be. It was part of my Father’s plan—a plan that is “centered on Jesus Christ, my Savior.”
Do you want to have every good thing in life? Every good thing that is right for YOU? That is what faith is all about.
Faith isn’t the first value because it’s the easiest. It’s the first value because it’s the foundation for all the other values. In fact, it’s the foundation for the entire Young Women theme. Can any of us really stand and say that “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us” without faith? Nope. Not possible.
If you choose to believe that statement, you are exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You are coming to understand the first principle of the gospel and the first Young Women value.
I Love This LIttle Book
by DeAnn - reviewed on October 23, 2010
This is the perfect size book to give to Young Women. When I got it I planned on just sitting down and reading the entire thing in an evening -- but then I didn't. Instead I read a chapter a night for several nights. It was like my little "going to bed treat". It is simple, inspirational, and personal stories that really helped me relate the values to my every day life.
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