Blog by Irinna Danielson | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Recently my husband was called to serve as a First Counselor in the Young Single Adult Presidency. That involved having to leave the ward that my husband and I have attended for the last 19 years, and serve in a branch we were completely unfamiliar with. Shortly after we arrived, I was called to be a teacher. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I embraced the changes and moved forward with hope and faith, meeting new people, serving the Young Single Adults, and serving with the Presidency and their wonderful wives.
We have been in our new branch for a few months now. It hasn’t been long at all, but already the changes we made to accommodate our unexpected callings have been a great blessing to us. I have seen a side to these young single adults, some of whom I taught as youth many years ago, that I never would have known had I not been in the branch with them. They have taught me, inspired me, made me smile, served me, and blessed my life.
This experience has taught me that sometimes we need a change in our lives, whether we know it or not, and whether we like it or not. In my case, through revelation, I believe I was spiritually prepared for this transition before it came, and that has made all the difference to me.
Change is inevitable throughout our lives. It would be beneficial to be prepared and greet change with enthusiasm, excitement, and obedience. Primarily when those changes have been delivered to us by Christ’s servants on earth, His prophets. Throughout history, although doctrine has always remained unchanged, policies have changed from time to time to accommodate the changing times, and our changing needs. These changes are meant to help us draw closer to the Saviour, and they will if we are obedient to the words that have been delivered to us. Change helps us to reach our potential. It prepares us for things to come, and turns our weaknesses into strengths.
I am so excited about the recent changes that have been announced in the last few General Conferences. I have felt the blessings that have come from embracing these changes. It helps me to know that the gospel is still in the process of being fully restored, and it doesn’t surprise me that there will be more changes to be announced. All this so that we can increase our faith in the gospel, become motivated once again, and prepare for what is to come…or shall I say–Who is to come. ~Emilia Julian
What’s changing next?
That question, or variations of it, seems to come up a lot following a whirlwind year of changes in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From adjustments to the Sunday worship schedule and an emphasis on home-centered gospel learning, to changes in age requirements for youth to participate in temple and priesthood ordinances, to how missionaries can communicate with their families and the list goes on and on. It seems like there’s a change every other week.
It’s clear that God has a vision for His Church at this time. His prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, shared a glimpse when he said, “If you think the Church has been fully restored, you’re just seeing the beginning. There is much more to come.”
At the Rome Italy temple dedication, where Latter-day Saints witnessed even more historic firsts, President Nelson added, “This is a hinge point in the history of the Church. Things are going to move forward at an accelerated pace. . . . The Church is going to have an unprecedented future, unparalleled. We’re just building up to what’s ahead now.”
Unprecedented. Unparalleled. What does that mean for us as members of the Church today?
It’s easy to think of “the Church” as a big, global institution. But, really, “the Church” is you and me. It’s the people and their individual acts of love, service, and devotion to God that make all the difference. It’s individuals over institution. When we think of it that way, the responsibility is clear. Our future, as disciples of Jesus Christ, is unprecedented and unparalleled. This is a hinge point in the history of us as individuals to build up what’s ahead—the Savior’s Church for when He returns again.
A Personal Responsibility
I don’t think it was coincidence that President Nelson’s first talk in general conference as prophet was entitled “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives.” Only three months into his calling, he talked about how the Spirit had repeatedly impressed upon him “how willing the Lord is to reveal His mind and will.” Not just to him, God’s prophet, but to each of us as God’s children. President Nelson called receiving revelation a privilege and one of God’s greatest gifts to His children.
I couldn’t agree more. God doesn’t ask us to follow Him or his prophet blindly. He invites us to follow Him in faith, and a big part of that is asking questions so that we come to know truth for ourselves. With each change announced for the Church, we can personally pray to God to know what it means for ourselves, our families, and our congregations. Every change announced by Church leaders won’t be spelled out exactly, and I think that’s on purpose so that we can learn to “stretch beyond [our] current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation.”
God wants to speak to us. He is willing to reveal His mysteries to us. All we have to do is ask and learn how to listen for his answers. Change starts with desire, and that desire can only come individually—not because someone told us to do it. It’s our personal responsibility to seek truth and act by the Spirit when we receive answers.
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