No, today's blog is not about Santa....that is another post entirely!
I was inspired today by THESE remarks, partially shared by President Monson in his November BYU Devotional. As I read, the truths he shared permeated my heart. I agreed with all of them. Then I pondered....why do I believe?
Growing up, my family was not generally a very happy place to be. I kept myself very busy so I did not have to be at home. It didn't make my parents happy, but I was happier.
Participation at church was part of our lives. I usually had good feelings at church activities and services. Part of that participation for teenagers was early morning seminary. We all met at the church about 6:20 a.m., Mon-Fri, to study our scriptures. My junior year, we were studying the Book of Mormon and our teacher informed us that we would not pass the class if we did not read the book. Having never failed a class, I wasn't about to fail an optional religion class. I read the book.
The last prophet to write in the book, Moroni, admonishes the reader to ask God (verse 4) if their writings are true and promises that if you do so with a sincere heart and real intent God will answer you. One night, as I was going to bed, I knelt to say my prayers. I told my Father in Heaven that I had read the book. I believed it, but I wanted to know if it was true. Did it really happen?
A great warmth entered my heart and filled my entire being. I knew it was true....and I still know it today. That was the beginning.
Many times since then, the truths of this gospel have been confirmed to me. Everyday in my family and through my responsibilities at church, I have the opportunity to practice Christian principles that require me to become a better person. It is not easy! Change is hard---but it doesn't have to be slow. I don't want to just talk about better....I WANT TO BE better.
There are amazing stories all around us and in the scriptures of forgiveness, repentance, perseverance, hope, courage, loyalty, fidelity, humility, charity, etc... I want to become like them. Those stories inspire me and encourage me to make changes. That's kind of what this blog is dedicated to...changing the negative parts of me, becoming more like who I want to be and helping my children become who they should be, drop by drop, act by act, here a little and there a little....(sometimes a lot!).
I believe because everyday as I practice I can see growth and improvement. Some days I wonder, but if I look back far enough, it is there. I am not as thin, beautiful, or fit as I once was. But I am more kind, less judgmental, slower to anger, a little wiser, quicker to serve and slower to insist. Today's Carin is better than yesterday's. And so I continue to believe.