As you might imagine, I write my articles well in advance of publication. There are a lot of pieces that have to fall into place for this particular instance to be circulated on time and in order.
So I just finished a difficult article you can read in a few weeks regarding the challenging obstacles that face us in this day and age. I want you to feel inspired and motivated by the time you reach the end of my articles. That is the way I like it. I don’t know if readers will feel that way with the upcoming post about challenges, but that is my very goal for this article.
Today (the day I’m writing this) is the first day of 2019. I fully expect this to be the best year of my life. Though I am not absolutely sure that it will be, I have decided to go into it thinking that way and fully expecting it to be. So what are some of the things on my plate for which I am really excited this year? They are numerous, and the following is just a partial list:
- Witness my family grow and prosper
- More grandchildren
- Trip to Church history sites and seeing the pageants (bucket list)
- Family gathering in San Diego
- Visit Spain
Even if some of these things do not materialize like I am imagining, they will eventually, and having these prospects in my future help me face each day with optimism and joy.
I know it’s just a matter of time before they all transpire, and I am excited for these experiences. I have already set my daily goals to help achieve all these objectives in the timeline that I am anticipating, and I fully expect them to be realized this year. But perhaps this is the best part: even if they don’t happen this year—no matter. The prospects do not change.
Neither the goal nor my attitude is altered. They will all happen!
However, that isn’t even the most exciting part. The best part in my opinion is that my life is in the Lord’s hands, and what He can make of me and my family far exceeds my fondest imagination or ability to conceive. How do I know this? I have already experienced it in my life. I am not waiting for the ball to drop to find out if this message and its principles are true and effective in my life and yours. That has been demonstrated existentially (and repeatedly) already.
I know this because I have experienced it. Even the tough times have a purpose. They help us acknowledge and appreciate the good so abundantly and lavishly placed in our path. We are the recipients of the countless blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They don’t begin after we die; they do not wait to start benefitting us as we move on to the next realm. The blessings of the gospel are apparent yesterday, today, and tomorrow because Christ is already victorious. He won, and as we align ourselves with Him, so do we.
I will tell you how I know this with surety.
Now perhaps you are saying something like, “Nobody can know the future for certain,” to which I would respond, “Of course we can!” Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean that we can’t know it for sure. We can and we do. Still not convinced?
All my life, I have read about and studied details regarding Paris. Our regular remedial education teaches us much about the good people of France, the French Revolution, and the cities that dot its beautiful landscapes. What’s more, many have borne a personal witness of their experiences there. I have two sisters that travelled Europe when they were going to college. They visited Paris and later described the events of their trip in great detail to us and showed evidence in pictures and their shared experiences. Their explanations only solidified my knowledge of this beautiful country and its wonderful people. Yet, I had never been there myself—could I still say that I knew Paris exists?
Some time later, my wife and I took a trip to France with our 17-year-old daughter. We stayed in Paris and saw its picturesque neighborhoods, climbed the Eiffel Tower, rode the speeding trains, and frequently enjoyed shopping on Champs de Élysées. We saw the museums and architecture, enjoyed the beautiful language, tasted the French cuisine, and witnessed for ourselves the “City of Love” in this remarkable country. Now can I say that I know Paris exists?
At what point does one really know for sure?
Whatever your answer, it is in a similar way that I have read about and studied the life of Jesus Christ. I have lived and followed His gospel’s principles. As a result, I have witnessed the effects of obedience in my life and that of others. I enjoy its blessings and see its influence daily. I know the fulfillment of its promises. And I have experienced its influence, felt its warmth, and tasted its joy. I am an eyewitness.
Over a lifetime, I have observed the truths of the gospel—whatever the requirements are of knowing its authenticity for sure. I have lived its claims and seen the respective results.
Can I now say with confidence that I know the gospel is true?
Now, if you are still not convinced, I have another example from the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, wherein we read about Alma and Korihor. That entire experience is covered in a single chapter in Alma 30. You can learn from this passage by study. You can read it, listen to it, or let someone else share it with you, but however you do it, that’s how I know—in the very same way. And you can too. (See Moroni 10:3-5, Mark 13:28-31)
Knowing is great, but experiencing it is even better. That is true for Paris, and it is the reason for the gospel of Jesus Christ in the first place. Our Heavenly Father has provided life experiences and a perfect plan for us so that we can reach our potentials and become like Him through the Savior Jesus Christ.
As Alma said to Korihor:
40 And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.
41 But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true…
I know that it is just a matter of time before we all understand this. In the meantime, we can have the confidence and security that as we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, everything will be okay.
It is happening right before our eyes.
Car voici mon œuvre et ma gloire: réaliser l’immortalité et la vie éternelle de l’homme. (See Moses 1:39 in French)
About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.