In one word, what does the Savior mean to you?
After each member of our family shared their one word with the Sister missionaries in our home this last week, the Sisters showed our family this powerful video:
Tears filled everyone’s eyes as each of us pondered why the Savior means so very much to us.
My word was “Everything.”
Those of you who have followed my writing over the years will already know some of this; however, it bears repeating.
Growing up, my home had its share of ups and downs, as most people’s do. However, when I became a teenager, the violence in our home escalated. When I was seventeen, I was sobbing in my room following a particularly painful experience, pouring my heart out to Heavenly Father. I felt more alone than words can describe. As I quietly cried and prayed, an indescribable feeling of love overcame me. I felt embraced in warmth and acceptance. To this day, I still believe that had I faith enough to open my eyes, I would have been able to glimpse my Savior. This feeling of complete love only lasted a few moments; however, the impact has remained for my entire life. Decades later, I can still close my eyes and recall with clarity that moment and those feelings.
Many, many times during personal scripture study, I have, again, felt close to that feeling of complete love. (You’d think I’d remember that and never drop my habit of daily study! Unfortunately, like most of us, I forget too easily the lessons of the Spirit!)
Again and again, when I doubted in my ability to overcome negative learned behaviors as a young mother, I would fall to my knees in a locked room and cry out for the Lord’s help. He has blessed me many times to be able to overcome habits that would have damaged my sweet children’s spirits as they grew up in our home. I am not perfect. Too often I stumble and fall. Too often, my children have heard my apologies for failing to live up to my charge as their mother. But without the Lord’s help—Oh! How much more lost I would have been!
I have felt broken and useless in the Lord’s Kingdom, overshadowed by those whose callings allow them more time in the limelight. And time and again, when I have turned to Him in prayer, asking humbly, “What more can I do?” I have been led to minister, one-on-one, to a fellow journeyman on this path of discipleship. The Lord doesn’t care about callings — He cares about my heart. Am I pure before Him? Do I seek to be His hands in the lives of those around me? Through Him, I have been the answer to someone’s plea-filled prayer. Through Him, I have come to love, truly love, those around me.
These one-on-one experiences with being the answer to someone else’s prayers have also taught me to better understand how the Lord works in our lives. For me, it has been through service that I’ve learned the most about my Savior. True, scripture study has been the backbone of my understanding over the years, but it is through doing that I truly change to become like my Savior.
This reminds me of something I once read about President Spencer W. Kimball and the Primary song, I Am a Child of God, written by Naomi Randall. In the original version, the words read:
I am a child of God, and he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear.
I am a child of God, and so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words, before it grows too late.
I am a child of God, rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will, I’ll live with him once more.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must know, to live with him someday.
(Children’s Songbook, pg. 2.)
When President Spencer W. Kimball heard this song, he asked that the final line have one word changed: “know” to become “DO“.
To know isn’t enough. The devils know and tremble; the devils know everything. We have to DO something.
– Spencer W. Kimball,
President Kimball’s lesson is that it is the doing that counts, not just the knowing. I have learned much through scripture study and I expect I will continue to learn much throughout the eternities. However, it has been by rolling up my sleeves and doing the will of the Lord that I have learned the most.
My Savior loves me. What beautiful hope this gives to me. I, who am broken, weak, and so easily led astray. He loves me. The thought still causes me to question, “Why?” Why would a perfect being love me? Yet I know He does. I see it in the countless prayers He has answered and in the guidance He gives me now.
Because my Savior loves me, I can pick up the broken pieces of myself and continue forward in faith, knowing that with His help, I can overcome and eventually become as He is.
During this Easter season, may we each reach out to one another in loving gratitude for Him who is our everything.
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years.