- Do we sometimes become so accustomed to the blessings we have been given as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that we fail to fully comprehend the miracle and majesty of discipleship in the Lord’s true Church?
She points out some great benefits of having the gospel in our lives but this is not what the church is about.
- We believe that this Church is more than just a good place to go on Sundays and learn how to be a good person. It is more than just a lovely Christian social club where we can associate with people of good moral standing. It is not just a great set of ideas that parents can teach their children at home so they will be responsible, nice people. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is infinitely more than all of these things.
She goes through a list of things we as members of the church know knowledge about. She speaks about the true nature of the Godhead, the first vision to Joseph Smith, the restoration of the priesthood, the authority to use that priesthood in Christ's name, the eternal nature of the family unit, prophets that receive direction to lead Christ's church in our time, and the purpose of temples to save our deceased ancestors. She points out that all these things make up the greatest message on earth. But having knowledge of them is different from believing them.
- If these things are true, then we have the greatest message of hope and help that the world has ever known. Believing them is a matter of eternal significance for us and for those we love.
She goes on to explain what she means is the difference of knowledge vs. belief.
- To believe, we need to get the gospel from our heads into our hearts! It is possible for us to merely go through the motions of living the gospel because it is expected or because it is the culture in which we have grown up or because it is a habit.
This belief will transform us into an understanding of the true nature of conversion. True conversion requires faith to put our knowledge into action so that God can strengthen our testimonies. It comes from acting on the things we know. Taking action turns our knowledge into belief as we live the things we know.
- We all need to seek to have our hearts and very natures changed so that we no longer have a desire to follow the ways of the world but to please God. True conversion is a process that takes place over a period of time and involves a willingness to exercise faith. It comes when we search the scriptures instead of the Internet. It comes when we are obedient to the commandments of God. Conversion comes when we serve those around us. It comes from earnest prayer, regular temple attendance, and faithful fulfillment of our God-given responsibilities. It takes consistency and daily effort.
She concludes talking about Lehi's dream. She points out that there are many people who made it trough the mist of darkness, all the way to the tree of life, partook of the fruit, but later fell away because of the mocking of those in the great and spacious building. These people only needed to maintain their faith and could have had eternal life. This Book of Mormon is about our day so it would be good to reflect if we have any tendencies to these people that she describes.
- If the Book of Mormon was written specifically for our day, then surely we cannot miss the relevance for all of us of the messages in Lehi’s vision of the tree of life and the effect of those pointing their fingers and taunting from the great and spacious building.
Finally, she points out that we are not in a situation where we are wandering around life looking for truth and light. She bears her testimony that we already have this truth.
- We don’t have to go searching through the philosophies of the world for truth that will give us comfort, help, and direction to get us safely through the trials of life—we already have it!
Sister Oscarson's message is so simple. We know the things of the gospel, but do we believe them? She points out that this means taking our will and handing if over to God to do things that are beyond our understanding. I think we all have opportunities to be more believing in our lives but that is the point of our journey of life. Through the trials, the happiness, the disappointments, the triumphs, and the pain, we need to be able to recognize that God is at the head of our lives and that He has a higher purpose for our lives than we might understand. Being able to hand our lives over to God to trust in His plan, understood by us or not, is a key step in our path to true discipleship.