In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul taught Saints of Ephesus that through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, they could be saved.  Before their conversion, Paul said, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being…strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But because of Christ’s Redemption and through covenants established in His Church built on apostles and prophets, the Ephesians were “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently called the Mormon Church). The Church of Jesus Christ spans the globe with each congregation teaching the same truths of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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I’ve moved 67 times in my life, and Paul’s promise of belonging and fellowship provides great comfort amidst the anxiety of starting over in a new location over and over again. Because of the Gospel, and the church, I have never felt completely alone or isolated, knowing I have a church family anywhere in the world that I go.

young-women-temple-square-625491-galleryBut, even more important than that feeling of community, I find a place authorized by God, to make and keep sacred covenants (agreements to keep God’s law in turn receiving God’s blessings)—so I can have hope in Christ and find God in this life and the next. My primary purpose in this life is to become a covenant woman of Christ whose countenance reflects His image, an image of faith, hope & charity.

Jesus Christ has overcome death and hell for you! His atoning grace makes all things new – beauty from ashes.  When Christ’s grace is efficacious in your life, you become His disciple in word and deed, and as you act, He gives you a new heart and you ultimately become like Him.

3 Ways Covenant Women Enrich My Life

Being a woman in His Church brings extraordinary opportunities for peace, fulfillment and purpose.  I love what Stephanie Dibbs Sorensen shared on wellbehavedmormonwoman.blogspot.com.

 Now that I have grown into my womanhood, I feel deep gratitude for who I
am and I continue to learn what I mean to God and what He can do with my life. I have two sons and a husband whom I love dearly, but when my daughter was born, the influence of her female spirit in our home changed us all. She is divinely different from my boys, and those differences have inspired a kindness and nobility in them that is a testament to her power as a female.

I glory in womanhood and I know God glorifies it, too. A daughter of God rightfully inherits the gifts, power, and potential her loving Father bequeaths to all His children who love Him and serve Him.

1-Good Works

jesus-with-children-craig-dimond-82779-gallery“Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him” (Alma 5:41).

“Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days that she was sick, and died…” (Acts 9:36-37).

The people sent word to the Apostle Peter.

 “Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up” (Acts 9:39-40).

There are so many ways to “bring forth good works” today!!

After one of our family’s moves, I met an amazing woman named Marti who ABOUNDED in good works! I felt awed by what she accomplished every day. While her children were at school, she found time to serve on the board of the local food bank. She served as a regional director for young women ages 12-18, and participated in other civic causes. Her enthusiasm for sharing her time and resources with others invigorated my own efforts.

young women in forestI met Misty while sitting in court. She and her husband had fostered seven siblings (who were the older siblings of the baby my sister and brother-in-law fostered and later adopted.) Misty and her husband wanted to adopt the seven older siblings abandoned to the system by their parents. They already fostered and adopted nine other children, several as sibling groups, before wanting to provide these new children a forever home. What a giving and selfless home to show the love of Jesus Christ to 16 abandoned children!

A dear friend, Rebecca, told me about micro finance—where the global community combines forces to loan relatively small individual dollar amounts (like $25) to people in economically challenged countries. The loan gives capital to increase the recipients’ business capital and productivity helping them out of deep poverty with dignity. After a specified time frame, the recipient pays back the loan. Rebecca told me of her children’s excitement to help someone get a goat. The goat helped with the recipient’s family’s need for milk and then she also planned to sell milk and cheese to others in her community.

2- Mourning With Those That Mourn

“And now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort…that ye may be redeemed of God…” (Mosiah 18:8-9).

“And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him” (Matthew 27:55).

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciples standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26-27).

I cannot comprehend the grief felt by Mary as she stood before her beloved Son’s cross!  She and a few other devoted women went to comfort Him and each other during history’s darkest hour. Women mentioned in the scriptures at being near the cross were Mary mother of Christ, Mary Magdalene, Salome (John’s mother), Mary (the wife of Cleophas), Joanna, and other women who had followed Jesus from Galilee.

There are so many ways to mourn with those that mourn!!

pictures-of-jesus-mary-martha-1104492-galleryAfter my first miscarriage, Heather, an extremely accomplished, educated, successful woman handed me a note and gave me a hug. The note read, “This coupon hereby gives you permission to punch anyone who says stupid or insensitive things to you in the nose.” It was the comic relief I needed right then, and empowered me to not take offense when people sometimes unintentionally said things that were hurtful rather than helpful.

Soon after my father-in-law’s death, my mother-in-law (a Christian woman belonging to another denomination) attended church with me and Anthony in my parent’s congregation. During Relief Society (a meeting for women ages 18 and up during the 3rd hour of Sunday Services), the teacher–obviously following the promptings of the Holy Spirit–stopped her lesson and shared her thoughts on death, the resurrection, and the eternal nature of families. My mother-in-law said that the teacher’s words were exactly what she needed to hear, and she finally felt some measure of peace.

It’s amazing how even blog posts let you know you’re not alone when mourning.  A Mormon woman shared her feelings about her husband’s pornography addiction. While my issues are not the same as hers, I am concerned about issues she addressed, and her concluding comments of sisterhood and love really resonated with me. I know that we are not alone! Her blog title is “As Sisters God Gave Us Each Other.” Beautiful!

 Aren’t we commanded to bear one another’s burdens, to comfort those who stand in need of comfort and to mourn with those who mourn? We must get outside ourselves to be able to accomplish these most Christlike tasks. You are not alone sisters, not one of us, no matter the trial in our lives, none of us are alone. God gave us each other.

If you are dealing with this particular addiction in your life, in your marriage, or any addiction or unhealthy relationship, please reach out to those who’ve come before you and can help you through the pain to find the peace and comfort that can only come through the Atonement. mormonwoman.org

3-Standing As A Witness

“And it shall come to pass, that if you shall ask the Father in my name, in faith believing, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see…” (Doctrine and Covenants 14:8).

jesus-woman-at-well-water-942642-galleryThirsty, the Savior sat near a well in Samaria. As a woman approached, He asked her for water. The ensuing conversation is, for me, one of the most poignant in scripture. Slowly, steadily, the Savior taught the woman, and she realized that He was the Messiah!

“The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, ‘Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?’

And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them…

And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that it is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world (John 4:28-29, 39-42).

There are many ways to stand as a witness for Jesus Christ!!

I have several friends and family members serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ. Every day, they get to share the Savior’s Gospel message to any who choose to listen. When they rely on the Lord, miracles happen! My cousin Cassie is serving a mission for 18 months in Poland.  She shared this in her weekly letter,

It was certainly the busiest, most rewarding, most draining, and happiest week of my mission. We literally planned out every minute of this last week. At one point, we had fifteen minutes to spare before a meeting, so we made a goal to give out one Book of Mormon within that short time. And you know what? We gave out two! Another time, we needed a new investigator and had prayed for the Lord’s help… as we were contacting at a whiteboard, a woman walked up to Sister Pearson and said, “Hi, I’ve heard about your Church and I want to meet with you. When do you have time?” Miracle.

We also saw many miracles with regards to members helping us on lessons; there were many times when plans changed last minute and members or investigators weren’t able to come, but in the end we were able to make five member lessons happen by putting our whole hearts into it and leaving the rest up to the Lord. Yet another miracle was the amount of Books we passed out and people we contacted on public transportation. We made a goal to contact at least one person every bus/tram ride, and we were guided to those who wanted to hear our message. Those are only a few examples… I could go on for hours. It was the greatest week!

Lord Jesus Christ at Second ComingThe first Sunday of every month is set aside as a fast and testimony meeting for congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ.  Members come to church fasting (and donate the cost of the two meals they would have eaten to the church to give to the poor and needy) and then anyone who wants to can stand in Sacrament Meeting and declare his or her testimony of Jesus Christ or an aspect of the Gospel. My five year old niece Kyla consistently stands every month and shares her love for the Savior. Her testimony is short, but the witness she bears is profound.

The personal revelation that Jesus is indeed the Christ and that He lives and will return to earth again is the most important testimony I have ever received. But, its depth didn’t come to me in an instant.

My mother sings beautifully. As a teenager, I accompanied her many solo performances. She chose to sing songs about Jesus Christ and His earthly mission as a way of standing as a witness of Christ. During a powerful performance of “O Divine Redeemer,” the Holy Spirit testified to my soul that the Savior hastes to help me and He does redeem and save!

Night gathers round my soul
Fearful, I cry to Thee,
Come to mine aid, O Lord!
Haste Thee, Lord, haste to help me!

Hear my cry, hear my cry
Save me, Lord in Thy mercy;
Hear my cry, hear my cry!
Come and save me, O Lord! ~Charles Gounod

The Gospel teacher with the most profound influence on my life is my aunt Maylene. She was the Young Women President (the Young Women program is the Church’s organization for teenage girls aged 12-18) for several years while I was a teenager. Her Sunday lessons expanded my mind and understanding about the Savior. She expected us to know for ourselves that Jesus is the Christ through studying the scriptures and praying to God seeking answers. She taught me to recognize answers to prayer, to see heavenly miracles in the world around me, and to understand the ways the Holy Spirit manifests truth to me. I still see her face as she talked about “Light and Truth” one Sunday. I knew she believed what she taught us. I knew she knew that Jesus is the source of light and truth. She described how God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in response to his humble prayer to know which church was true.

 I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. … When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other – This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! (Joseph Smith History-1:16-17).

The Holy Spirit filled the room and our hearts. I knew Aunt Maylene knew it was true. And, I knew it was true, too.

To read more of Delisa's articles, click here.

To read more of Delisa’s articles, click here.

I love the sisterhood found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!! Sisters have buoyed my soul and strengthened my faith in Christ. They’ve helped me to make and keep sacred covenants which bring me closer to the Savior.

Sometimes I have felt weak and oppressed. I’m so grateful for every sister in my life, for each one has lifted and blessed me in her own unique way. I pray that as I strive to be a covenant disciple of Jesus Christ, I will more completely give of time and effort, mourn with those that mourn, and stand as a witness of God in all things and in all places!

To find out how others feel about being a Mormon woman, check out mormon.org.

About Delisa Hargrove
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.

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