"There is beauty all around.."
See things with spiritual eyes: seek light
In the world in which we live, it is easy to get caught up in the loud noise and hustle of the things around us. Take time to step back for a second and look around us at the details of God creations. The mountains, the flowers, the ocean, and even the different cultures and colors. One of my favorite times of the winter personally, because I love to snowboard, is going up the lift as it snows and to awe at the greatness and beauty of the moutnains, trees, and nature that God has created for us. President Uchtdorf shares his thoughts on the story of Moses in the scriptures and when he is moved by the works and creations of his God and Maker. Uchtdorf states,
"…Moses stood in the presence of God and spoke to Him face to face as a man speaks with his friend.1 During the course of that visitation, God showed Moses the workmanship of His hands, granting him a glimpse of His work and glory. When the vision ended, Moses fell to the earth for the space of many hours. When his strength finally returned, he realized something that, in all his years in Pharaoh’s court, had never occurred to him before.
“I know,” he said, “that man is nothing.”2
Uchtdork continues, "
"But even though man is nothing, it fills me with wonder and awe to think that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”7
And while we may look at the vast expanse of the universe and say, “What is man in comparison to the glory of creation?” God Himself said we are the reason He created the universe! His work and glory—the purpose for this magnificent universe—is to save and exalt mankind.8 In other words, the vast expanse of eternity, the glories and mysteries of infinite space and time are all built for the benefit of ordinary mortals like you and me. Our Heavenly Father created the universe that we might reach our potential as His sons and daughters.
This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it."
One way to reach that goal is to step outside ourselves, see the power of Gods realness in others, and serve His children in order for them to reach their own potential.
I will never forget two specific ladies that I had the privilege of meeting in Argentina on my mission. They were neighbors to a member and she gave us their reference to go stop by and share the gospel of jesus christ in their home. As we approached the house, it occurred to me how humble and hopeless the circumstances of these two ladies were. not only did they live in such poor conditions but they were also with injuries and disabilities making it that much harder to get by and function in their daily lives. I remember thinking how hard it would be to get these ladies involved in the church at all and wondering what they could possibly do in order to progress as investigators. We decided to go along with the appointment and stopped by with the member to speak to these ladies about our unique message of Jesus Christ. I will never forget the feeling that was so undeniably present in that humble house of these two disable ladies. I remember us sharing our testimonies of how God is our loving heavenly father and we are his children. Laying in bed, tired and sick, being unable to even speak, These angels and special daughters of God looked into our eyes with smiles of promise and joy. I felt a powerful conviction of the spirit in my heart that these women were Gods daughters and he loved them and had a purpose and plan for them. As time went on we continued to teach them, they grew in their testimonies and began to read, pray, and attend church with the help of the members, Their humility and love filled the rooms of every place they entered and everyones hearts were touched to know how much they mattered to God.
Think of the times that this has occurred in your own personal life whether that was on a mission, at school, within your family, or even with a stranger, when you were an instrument in Gods hands to have those spiritual eyes and you are able to see someone how God sees them.. You feel the power of their potential and how much they matter to him. What a crucial and powerful gift and responsibility we have been given to have these special experiences in our lives as Gods chosen disciples of Christ. We must constantly be looking into the hearts of others around us to uplift, love, encourage, and inspire Gods children so they are more able to find themselves and reach their potential. This is one concept that helps us better understand who God is, the importance of us being his instruments and his examples on the earth, and using that gift to bless and strengthen his children around us.
It seems a lot easier to love and see the good in others sometimes But what about ourselves? How are we personally able to find Gods power in our own lives and strengthen our testimony of Him that loves us and knows our divine purpose? It seems too easy to get caught up in temporal things than remember our eternal worth. Because satan knows how much we matter to God and how much we have to do on this earth, he will do everything in his power to make us feel down on ourselves and discouraged about who we are and what we are capable of.
I had the opportunity to experience this sense of insignificance and loneliness for myself in my own life at work. I work at a residential treatment center and once a month we have all the addicts go out on a one day trip to do some experimental therapy to process their issues and tap into themselves to gain strength. We went to these caves that were just a little outside of nevada and we went about 90 ft underground. As we entered as a big group we all split up into these cold and dark corners of the cave and then they had the tour guide shut off the lights completely and we were instructed to sit in silence for about 30 minutes and just be alone with ourselves. At first of course, as I heard the girls around me that have been through so much heartbreak and become so broken from their family lives and additions, just heard them weep and i felt so much sadness and hurt for them. as time went on i began to feel of that darkness and it scared me how alone i felt and i couldn't even see my own hand in front of face. what a scary but powerful moment to tap into that part of me that felt so dark and alone and scared of myself and the world. i remember wanting so badly to be able to talk to any girl next to me or even feel that they were there so i could get through those long silent minutes. i remembered just thirsting for sincere, genuine prayer to be able to communicate with my father in heaven and just to know that he was there in such a literally dark and lonely time in my life. i can't even paint a picture to describe the sense of peace of love that i felt from heaven come down and cover me almost like a loving hug. i had never felt so understood and felt so excited and hopeful for the things to come in my life and the importance that my decisions and thoughts and feeling played in Gods eyes. I was important to him. I mattered to him.
Brothers and sisters let us never forget the power that lies in our personal gift of agency to choose, like it states in alma 32,"give place, that the seed be planted in our hearts" and make ourselves and God a priority in our lives. we will not only strengthen our own self worth and become our divine selves but we will continue to have those spiritual eyes to see the good and love in others and we will work to help them reach their own salvation. So many times I think we let external things define how we feel and who we are like the story in the scriptures of the woman taken into adultery that is brought before christ. We look around us and care so much what people are saying or thinking when we slip up and make mistakes. I want you to understand the powerful message christ had for that woman in that moment as well as the message he has for us. After the world is shut out and the opinions are muted of others and we are left alone, crying or broken on the floor, feeling like we have failed ourselves and God, Christ comes to us and he forgives. It is such a powerful and personal experience to know that aside from what others think and what the world thinks, all that matters is that we personally matter to him and we are forever worthy of his unconditional love and mercy. We cannot ever forget that.
I testify of that specific, personal love and forgiveness from our Savior Jesus Christ. I have experience those moments daily of feeling insignificant, incapable, or unworthy but I know with a surety, that if we are constantly applying these two key principles of seeing others with spiritual eyes and loving them as God does, as well as using our agency to develop our love for ourselves and seeing our divine potential, we can become like him. we will see every day as gift to grow and progress forward and we will be filled with Gods love. No matter what you have done before today or how down you are on yourself, I promise each one of you that God knows you personally and you matter to him. I challenge each of us today to humbly seek our father in heaven in fervent prayer and to carry our convictions of his divinity and truth in our lives to those that he loves around us. I have no doubt in my heart and mind that this gospel is not true. I have felt it strongly throughout my life through the power of the holy ghost and I feel so now. I know that these things are true and I say them in the name of jesus christ amen.