Hold on to Your "Spiritually Defining Memories"

I choose to believe because I love Heavenly Father and His son, my Savior Jesus Christ. My love for them binds me to them. I have felt Their love for me in real, tangible ways - my own spiritual experiences with God. Elder Neil L. Anderson spoke about these experiences in his talk “Spiritually Defining Memories” from the April 2020 General Conference.

Elder Anderson said “Along with the peaceful direction we receive from the Holy Ghost, from time to time, God powerfully and very personally assures each of us that He knows us and loves us and that He is blessing us specifically and openly. Then, in our moments of difficulty, the Savior brings these experiences back into our mind.
Think of your own life. Over the years, I have listened to thousands of profoundly spiritual experiences from Latter-day Saints all across the world, confirming to me beyond any question that God knows and loves each of us and that He eagerly desires to reveal Himself to us. These experiences may come at pivotal times in our lives or in what may at first seem as uneventful happenings, but they are always accompanied by an exceptionally strong spiritual confirmation of the love of God.
Remembering these spiritually defining experiences takes us to our knees, declaring as did the Prophet Joseph: “What I received was from heaven. I know it, and I know that God knows that I know it.
As I think about my own life, I can gratefully say that I too have had experiences where God powerfully and very personally assured me that He knows me and loves me and that He is blessing me specifically and openly. I cling to these experiences and recount these moments when doubt creeps in.
One experience happened a few years ago. I had just learned that someone I loved dearly had left the church. It was a shock and a blow to me. It left me wondering “If they leave, why do I stay?” When the next General Conference came up, I listened intently to Elder Ballard’s talk “To Whom Shall We Go?” Elder Ballard spoke about church members struggling in their faith. It felt so applicable to my life and those around me. I re-read that talk many times. A few weeks after that general conference, I attended a stake training meeting. I was tired and discouraged. As I sat in the meeting I kept thinking “Why am I here? I don’t feel like this is really helpful.” Then the concluding speaker stood to speak. As she began, she said something to the effect of “I had prepared a message, but I don’t actually feel I should share that after all. I want to talk about Elder Ballard’s talk from conference.” At that moment I felt God’s love wash over me in abundance and I knew her words were for me. It was a sacred experience that I cherish. With Elder Anderson and the Prophet Joseph, I also say “What I received was from heaven. I know it, and I know that God knows that I know it.” And once again, I choose to believe.

~Ashley Pabst

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