So, yesterday I was at church and one thing about the LDS church is that we don’t have just the priest who gets up and gives the sermon.
Every week, the bishop of our church picks 2 or 3 of the ward members to get up and give a sermon (we call them “talks”).
He gives them the topic and about 15 minutes to share with the ward what their feelings on this topic is.
It’s a more interactive way of learning from your peers, especially because we feel that each individual has value to God and also that each individual has something to share and needs to be anxiously engaged.
We believe in this so much that the first Sunday of each month we have our Fast and Testimony meeting. Everyone fasts the first Sunday of the month, if they are able to. (We do not require babies to fast, obviously. You can’t see me wink.)
But we also have a testimony meeting where anyone who feels inspired to can get up and share their thoughts on the gospel.
Again, we believe that all individuals should be engaged.
Well, yesterday was our Fast and Testimony meeting and I felt like I should get up and bare my testimony of gratitude and God’s individual love and awareness of each of us.
Particularly me as I have been very blessed recently with a lot of the things that I have been striving for in my life.
So, I felt impressed that I should share some of these feelings and just talk about how I know God is aware of each of our trials and loves us individual.
I am not going to lie, it was not my most eloquent or moving testimony I have ever given.
In fact, I had that moment after sitting down where I felt like my testimony was inferior to other’s who may have brought in the spirit more.
As soon as I sat down though, a friend of mine who has been struggling with the Gospel scooted close to me and whispered the words:
“Why does God love you, Corrie? Everyone talks all the time about God loving them, but why? What makes him love you?”
My first thought was actually “I don’t know! Why does he love me?”
The words my friend spoke was true. We do always talk about how God loves us and that God is aware of us, but I never stopped to think as to Why? It was just one of those things that you accepted as that’s how it is.
Why does he love me? What is his reasoning behind loving me?
It was one of those moments where you know you’ve been put on the stage.
In that small bench with him whispering to me, I had been put on the stage more than when I had been up in front of everyone baring my testimony.
I bore my testimony and said what I believed and now I was being challenged.
And my friend was just sitting there staring at me waiting for my response.
All I could think of as to why God loves me was that I am his daughter.
Now, this is said a lot, but did I ever think of what that meant? Not really and this was one of those moments where I got to expound on what it did mean to me.
I let him know that I was his daughter, which fosters an immediate love.
But I also let him know that what this means is that I spent thousands of years in the premortal life with Heavenly Father. Thousands of years where he watched me develop my personality and my talents.
Thousands of years where we spent days on end together where he watched me grow and succeed and laugh.
And just like any person that spends long periods of time with another person, you cannot help but love them and feel connected to them. You cannot help but cheer them on and search out ways for them to succeed in their endeavors.
That is why I know my Heavenly Father loves me.
Not because He is an all-knowing being who has love for every creature due to his majesty. (Which he does.)
But because he knows me and we have spent years together loving each other.
Also, what’s not to love?
Come on now.