I thought that I would share a quick experience that I had this weekend. A bunch of friends and I went up American Fork Canyon, and then a bunch of good stuff happened when we got back. I wanted to write this for my religion class. Hope it's okay:
I have learned so much about myself since I last wrote one of these. The change has been for the better, and if I do not write it all down and have someone as a witness I’m afraid I’ll change back.
During class last Wednesday, I felt that I should go to the temple. I had been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, but since I have moved across campus I was not ever motivated to make the walk to the temple. Now that I look at it, it was silly because even though the walk is long, it is beautiful and I should be extremely grateful that the temple is within walking distance and that soon two temples will be within an hour walk of me. The world is incredible!
I was finally motivated and went up to the temple. Since I had not been in a long time, I was expecting something akin to the trumpeting of angels and a heart full of warmth and love. But none of that happened. I found that I kept thinking about the outside world and I was simply not open to the Spirit. I knew I was supposed to go, though.
Then this weekend some friends and I went up American Fork camping. We got back Saturday morning in time for their volleyball game. I asked a friend to bring me some Sunday clothes and my recommend because one of my friends was heading up to the temple right after and I wanted to go. So I threw on the random clothes my roommate had brought and up we went. We got there and the whole experience was amazing. The words of a father’s blessing I had received just prior to coming out to school again came to me and I remembered that God was proud of me and was overwhelmed by the love I felt as I thought of that. I had been too hard on myself that week and I needed to remember that all that mattered was how God felt about me.
That night I hung out with some friends and I felt excluded and lost. Feeling of being unwanted and uncared for overwhelmed me and put me in a bad mood. As I was walking home, suddenly a thought came into my mind. After any spiritual experience or a time when I feel like I am worth something, however small, to the Lord then I am always hit with this feeling of being unworthy and disliked by people. Satan was exploiting that weakness I had to make me forget about the experience that I had earlier that day. When I felt rejected, I lost all feeling of love and joy and retracted into myself and feelings of misery. As soon as I realized that none of those feelings were true, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
In church they always talk about how Satan attacks your weaknesses and he knows what you struggle with personally. I had heard that but I had never applied it to me. Of course he was not going to attack me by using myself against me. That was too personal. I was too weak there. I had always pictured him as an external force that comes as temptations and people. But he is not. He uses your weaknesses and makes it personal. Your temptations can come from within and you can think they are you but when you stand up against yourself in that way, you become so much stronger. You find that weakness that you never realized you had and you make it strong and fortify it. Only you have the power to defeat your temptations.
Be strong and of a good courage...for the Lord, thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9