I have been called to gather Israel. And it snuck up on me like my 29th birthday.
Our lives are a series of culminating promptings. Until President Nelson’s recent borage of talks, my seemingly eclectic glob of life goals didn’t have a name (please insert ‘AHA!’ moment). Apparently, Gathering Israel is a call for each one of us to share our lovely, unique gifts with the world, wrapped taut in a testimony of Christ.
Again and again, my heart prompts me to share my scripture study online. But do I have anything lovely and unique to give? Fear creeps in. I decide I don’t and slumped over in my bed like a bag of potatoes to take a nap. I can’t sleep. Defeated, I drag my arm across my body to open Come Follow Me and out pops (like the first daffodil of spring) one of my FAVORITE scriptures of all time:
2 Timothy: 7-8 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.
Within, is Timothy’s formula for recognizing God’s spirit vs. God’s opposition. Fear is never of God, which is quite convenient. Once recognized we can dismiss it, and seek actions that invite the emotions of power, love, and a sound mind (or God’s mind, which Jospeh Smith, in the Lectures on Faith, question #14, says is the Holy Spirit).
Let’s break this down. As you sit in testimony meeting there is a prolonged silence. Your heart starts beating faster as the thought, “bear your testimony” comes to mind. You feel fear or nervousness. Immediately, thoughts like, “I am not prepared,” or “I’ll testify in Relief Society,” or “there’s not enough time” also come to your mind, battling for your attention. Tip: Oftentimes, tempting excuses immediately follow a prompting in order to delay or abandon an action of “power, or of love, or of a sound mind”.
Let us no longer trust fear.
Would you believe this is the very scripture I put on my missionary plaque 14 years ago? And my mission cultivated the idea of Scripture Stamps! I choose to believe God is inviting me to gather Zion, in a personal, lovely, and unique way. Even if I am the only Zion I gather.
So back off fear. Here is my first blog post!
What are your lovely and unique gifts and how can you use them to gather Israel?