{mormonmommyblogs} eternal life

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My newest piece is up on Mormon Mommy Blogs today. This one has been rolling around my mind for a while before I could formulate it into words. Do you ever have those thoughts that make an impression but you can't really explain to others for a while? This one's been around for about 15 years and I finally got it into words. Full post is below :)

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Eternal Life. How would you define eternal life? Heaven? A place of happiness? What we receive after we endure to the end? The place where God lives? Being exalted and living with our Heavenly Father? I've heard these and much more in my many years in the church. Eternal life was always one of those big general ideas in the church that I knew about by hearing it in context with other topics, but one that I couldn't seem to define. Until one day I read a scripture that changed my life.

You know the kind; a verse you've read a hundred times before, but had never caught your eye, hadn't said much to you until exactly the right moment. I don't remember where I was at the moment or what led up to it, but I remember exactly how I felt that day when I read John 17:3 for the hundredth time.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent. John 17:3

I learned a lot about my life in that one sentence of scripture, that one line of the Great Intercessory Prayer.

You see, I was teenager. One that hadn't grown up in church, but had known of it's truth for a while. My testimony was built in Seminary and Young Women's and I was learning all this on my own. When a youth leader of mine had challenged us to imagine Christ and Heavenly Father sitting next to us as we prayed, I gained an understanding of my personal relationship to them. As I read and sought to understand the scriptures in those years, I learned that not only did He want to hear from me, but that He wanted to communicate back with me. As I felt and responded to the promptings of the Spirit in my life, I came to understand that He knew me as an individual, as His daughter, and that He wanted to be a part of my life. My personal knowledge of His love for me became the cornerstone of my testimony and remains so today.

I knew that He wanted to be a part of my life, every day of it. I knew that I wanted to continue to learn of my Father in Heaven and grow closer to Him in this life, right now. So when I read the Savior's definition of eternal life, to know God and Jesus Christ, my life changed. I could no longer see it as a challenging trial that had to be completed well and endured faithfully until the end, when I would finally be rewarded for my good choices. Instead, it became a glorious and wonderful place where every day, every moment, held the opportunity to live life with Him, to feel His warmth, and bask in His love. Instead of a trophy waiting at the end of the race, eternal life became the beautiful scenery and loving companionship that blessed me as I ran along.

We can't come to know God completely in this life. We'll never know all His reasons or understand all the ways He cares for His children. But we don't have to wait till our mortal eyes can see Him. As we welcome His love and influence into our lives, as we communicate with Him through prayer, the scriptures and prophets, and the gift of the Spirit we can come to know Him better. We can come to live each day with Him as a part of our lives. We can come to know Him a little better every day. Every day we can have a little slice of eternal life.

image via lds.org media library

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