A special day today…The Hope of God’s Light

 

Today is my re-baptism.  If you’ve followed my blog from the beginning, you know in May of 2013 I lost my membership in the church as part of the price I would be required to pay in order to fully repent of the way I had errantly chosen to live my life over the prior years.  Membership in His church is a privilege – as is the covenant of baptism – One i took for granted…One I now cherish and will defend and honor with my life.

My change of heart, in which I recognized that there was no price too great to be paid, occurred before I ever went to meet with my local Bishop and confess all the horrific choices I’d made in my life while having turned my back on the church, my faith and all that I’d known to be true.

Nearly 7 weeks later, the decision of priesthood leaders was that excommunication was the proper decision for discipline, and that if I followed the admonition and counsels given, I could be considered for re-baptism a year later.  I met with my priesthood leaders last Thursday, and the end result, after they thoughtfully spoke with me, and then prayerfully sought inspiration and revelation on the Lord’s desires for me – was a unanimous sustaining of my application for baptism.

Here’s the point I wish to share.  When I woke Friday morning, and once on my knees in earnest prayer, it was then that I realized the immense weight that had been lifted from my shoulders.  I cried tears of joy as I recognized that my offering, that of my whole soul and sincere pure heart every day, in private, over the past year, had been accepted of Him.  What a humbling and deeply touching experience.  I am now a deep partaker of the supernal and divine gift of our Savior’s Atoning sacrifice.  The healing power and strengthening power of The Atonement is fully applied in my life.  I couldn’t and can’t feel more eternally thankful for Him, for His love, patience, long-suffering and his acts of a loving shepherd to find me, carry me and nurture me back to a place of strength and help.

I’ve never done anything in my life that has been more difficult than this past nearly 18mos – but I’ve also never done anything more rewarding to my spirit or my being than that which I’ve accomplished in that same time spiritually.  Nothing could be of more worth to me.

I now stand to be a witness of His love – and there is nothing sweeter that man can attain, than feeling and knowing of His love and nearness in a their life.

The chance to be forgiven.  The opportunity to be reunited with Him, and to be restored to prior blessings of membership, priesthood and temple – would simply NOT be possible were it not for Him, for His love…for His sacrifice.

I KNOW that Jesus Christ lives.  I know of the power and healing of His Atonement which was made for each of us.  I have tasted it and applied it deeply.  I also know that it is by Him and through Him that we have the opportunity to return home to live with Him and our Father in Heaven, and that there is no other name nor means by which we can truly be redeemed.  With that witness, any man will exclaim, as did I – “there is no price too great to be paid.”

I share this video “The Hope of God’s Light” because it typifies what many of us have experienced – feelings of being lost, disposable, misfits, damaged, broken and some measure of hopelessness.  Yet it also shows by authentic experience in this man’s life, the reality of God’s love for each of us individually, and that none of us are beyond His reach, because of our Savior Jesus Christ – and thus IF we demonstrate the sincerity and humility to find Him – we will.  Period.

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4 thoughts on “A special day today…The Hope of God’s Light

  1. Hi Jamie,

    Your post is such a beautiful witness and celebration of one’s faith. I was very touched and extremely proud of you and all you have accomplished. I know for sure you are in the palm of His hand and great things are ahead!

    Blessings,

    Mary

  2. Jamie,

    I stumbled across your blog today while searching for something. I’m actually the writer/director of the film you posted above, and I just wanted to let you know that as I read your story, I was deeply moved by your humility in coming back to church.

    There are a thousand reasons to leave. And more and more people are making excuses as to why they cannot be members of the church. But you’ve found the reason to stay, which is Jesus Christ.

    The most exciting thing to me in Todd’s story was that it was so normal. And it took so long. And he had so many bumps along the way. It was real. But God was always behind the scenes and sometimes on the scene, directing his path, so long as he was making the effort.

    Your story is beautiful. Don’t forget what you’ve gone through, but at the same time, look forward. Life is brighter in front of you.

    Thank you dearly for sharing your experience with others. We all love you for doing so.

    • Brian, thank you so much for sharing your comments. My journey in one obvious aspect, i’d never wish on anyone. Yet as it regards repentance, the Atonement, forgiveness, His love and the DEEP and abiding change that happened within me, which calmed my storm, brought great clarity and began immediately to make a difference in my life, is something I wish for everyone.

      My life has been blessed in the most meaningful and eternal and amazing ways since the moment I took my first step towards Him, with a sincere heart in search of forgiveness. It means a great deal to me to be able to use my mistakes, and the beauty of the changes made possible through the Atonement to lift others in any way.

      I loved the video you produced – precisely for the reasons you stated – it was real. It took time. Our Father in Heaven was intimately involved, where and when He needed to be to produce the very best outcome, at the very best time for Todd. I try to share that video whenever possible because of those reasons. I’m 25 months into my “comeback” – which will have no end date – and it is a process, not an event – yet there are junctures where I can look back and see the immensity of the progress, of the changes and it humbles me even further.

      So thank you for your feedback, it really does mean a lot. And if you’re ever working on anything, or if in any way I can be of help to anyone contemplating that juncture of “will I?” or “won’t I?” as it pertains to repenting, or coming back, or just never leaving – Please know with all the energy of my heart I would respond to help in any way deemed best.

      If it’s not inappropriate, I’d love to connect with you on Facebook – maybe this connection isn’t just a coincidence 🙂

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