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Monday, June 27, 2016

Loved this blog post so much I copied and pasted it here...

This is something I have been pondering for a while.  I haven't been able to put it into words myself but when I read his post I recognized my  yearning.

Waking Up to our Mortal Missions

Several months ago, Elder Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at a BYU Hawaii devotional. In his talk he declared "…my first recommendation is to learn for yourselves who you really are. Ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, how He feels about you andyour mission here on earth. If you ask with real intent, over time the Spirit will whisper the life-changing truth to you. Record those impressions and review them often, and follow through with exactness. I promise you that when you begin to catch even a glimpse of how your Heavenly Father sees you and what He is counting on you to do for Him, your life will never be the same! (Russell M. Nelson. Becoming True Millenials; January 2016).

That 'glimpse' he spoke of really struck me as something I wanted - desperately. So I took his challenge seriously and have been seeking those answers ever since. I'm happy to say the answers have been coming. But the process of receiving the understanding he spoke of hasn't been easy or quick. I hope to encourage others to take this counsel seriously, and I testify that Elder Nelson's promise that life would never be the same after coming to a sense of our missions is absolutely true.

Well I got to work on my knees asking for the things Elder Nelson said to ask for. I remember getting a little frustrated that I hadn't really gotten an answer after about two weeks of asking. I quit asking for a day or two then realized I still really wanted to know. A few more weeks of asking went by with no answers, and so I stopped asking; not out of anger or anything, but I guess I felt like maybe this just wasn't my time to learn about my mission.

Within a couple months I was contacted by some people I respected who had gotten word of some skills I had and wanted to work together. Feelings of purpose in life came in high concentrations, and the law of witnesses became very active in my life. What I mean is that I began to notice some people and acquaintances would make comments like I can see you have a role to play, or I can tell you were meant to do this, etc. Their comments along with my satisfaction were reassuring that something was happening, like I was waking up to my purpose.

Weeks later my wife and I joined some friends for a David Archuleta concert. The concert was fun, but the thing I will remember most was the distinct impression I had somewhere toward the end thatDavid is fulfilling his foreordained mission. Before going on, I need to mention that I have a VERY thick veil, and have little to no experiences beyond its fabric. Anyway, in that moment I felt a strange but familiar connection to David, as if we had talked about our mortal missions at some point in premortal history. The connection was real. My impressions of David's mission were further enlightened as I listened to the second verse of his song, Glorious:

"...And you will know how
To let it ring out
As you discover
Who you are
Others around you
Will start to wake up
To the sounds that are
In their hearts
It's so amazing
What we're all creating..."

I couldn't help but think of Elder Nelson's prophetic counsel to "learn for yourselves who you really are", and coupled that with the thought of waking up.

Since that concert I've made it sort of a hobby to try to catch a glimpse of the music in other people's hearts as they walk by. As I look in their faces a little longer than usual I try to catch a glimpse of the part they play in the grand symphony of life. In that effort I have gained the assurance that whether they have woken up to the sounds in their hearts or not, everyone has something to accomplish here. That concert and the feelings that followed laid more bricks in the foundation of my own waking up process, and helped to solidify the reality of my own mission.

Then it all culminated for me within the last week. I had an experience that may have changed my eternal outlook forever. This event was a learning experience that had everything to do with understanding my purpose on earth, or my mission. I won't share the personal particulars, but I do want to share the process I went through. I share it again with the hopes of encouraging others to seriously consider Elder Nelson's inspired challenge!

It was 2:00 a.m. and I woke up with three strong impressions all at once. The first was a preoccupation with the sensation of waking up after surgery. Each time I've had an operation requiring anesthesia, I have noticed a peculiar waking up process. It begins during unconsciousness when the subconscious is fully aware of the doctors and nurses voices skirting about me, the beeping heart monitor machine and other sounds and surgical room activities, and it shifts to that moment when the subconscious is subverted and the conscience takes the driver's seat again.

During this transition there is usually a nurse or a loved one's voice saying things like "is he awake? I think he's waking up. His eyes just twitched, he's coming to". And then they kindly try to orient me by saying something like "Eric, you've just had surgery and are now in the recovery room." During that transition, it is difficult to distinguish between conscious and unconscious experiences and thoughts. I'm not a big fan of surgeries, but I do love that feeling of recognizing a familiar voice, like my mother, during that transition; it is comforting, grounding, and reassuring.

The second sensation I had was a recollection of my feelings just before my actual birth nearly 37 years ago. I know this will sound strange, and yet it was real. Much like the waking transition following surgery, I was aware of the presence of someone (possibly many) telling me I was about to be born, and they reassured me that things would be ok as I would soon pass into a new world of consciousness, which with a veil in place is ironically a world of unconsciousness (I know this is getting deep, hang with me). Their presence felt reassuring during what seemed would be a difficult transition. This sensation is more of an emotional memory than a visual memory, but whatever it is, it is real.

The last sensation I felt was taking place at the very moment I was having these thoughts. It was thick and almost tangible. It was like a curtain in my mind was being lifted. The current reality I had always known in life began to feel like an older subconscious state, and through some assistance, I was slipping into a new conscious state, which was really the recognition of my first estate (Abraham 3:26). I then enjoyed a tender memory of an event that transpired there, a "glimpse" that confirmed my "mission on the earth", as Elder Nelson said. I know this glimpse was just the beginning, and now there is greater responsibility.

My three personal lessons on waking up were real, and were perfectly orchestrated by a loving Heavenly Father in direct fulfillment of heeding apostolic counsel. I hope you wake to the sound in your own hearts as you follow Elder Nelson's direction as well. Be patient and prayerful; pretty soon you'll start to figure out your part, and know in addition to the good you are already doing, what else you need to be doing for Him. 

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