Daily Answers: How to serve my neighbors

My question in my scripture study today was how to help my neighbors who are experiencing physical suffering. I want to take away their physical pain and disability. We’ve offered to help with yard work and would run over there right away if needed. The answer I received was not how to help physically or how to take away the physical discomfort. I had an inspiration to offer to show them more of The Book of Mormon videos. They’ve watched some with us. My concern is that my neighbors will think we only want to talk about gospel subjects. I read in Alma 3 that after the war between the Nephites and the Amlicites, thousands of “souls [were] sent to the eternal world, that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery” (Alma 3:26). This reminded me that I can offer to my neighbors and they have a choice. There is always a choice. Then in Alma 4 I read how Alma was sorrowful because of the afflictions and inequality of his people. He wanted to relieve their suffering. He didn’t do their yard work. Instead he gave up the judgment seat “that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty” and he saw “no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them” (Alma 4:19). My answer was to serve as Alma served and as Jesus served—to offer the gospel through my testimony.

I am concerned my offer will be rejected, but Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught us, “Understand that it’s not your job to convert people. That is the role of the Holy Ghost. Your role is to share what is in your heart and live consistent with your beliefs. So don’t be discouraged if someone does not accept the gospel message immediately. It is not a personal failure. That is between the individual and Heavenly Father. Yours is to love God and love your neighbors, His children. Believe, love, do. Follow this path, and God will work miracles through you to bless His precious children” (Ensign, May 2019, “Missionary Work: Sharing What Is In Your Heart”).

I will serve as Jesus served. I will share my testimony with my neighbors.

Daily Answer: What does personal revelation mean to me?

My daily question for my scripture study today was, “What does personal revelation mean to me?”

When I study the scriptures to receive personal revelation, I notice phrases and write those down. The phrases that I noticed today from Mosiah 24 were, “pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts,” “lift up your heads and be of good comfort,””stand as a witness,” and “the Lord did strengthen them.” Having the knowledge that the Lord knows my heart, comfort, the ability to stand as a witness, and strength are all blessings I’ve received from personal revelation. I also learned from the story in Mosiah 24 of Alma’s people being delivered from bondage. Alma was told by the voice of the Lord what they should do. Sometimes I “hear” a voice with direction. After Alma and his people escaped, “they poured out their thanks to God.” I received the personal revelation that I should kneel and thank the Lord for receiving personal revelation. As I did that, I received the understanding that I can talk to God. Isn’t that incredible? I, Docena Holm, can talk to God.

What personal revelation means to me is that through the gift of the Holy Ghost I can Hear God daily and often. He comforts me, gives me direction, strengthens me, and encourages me to repent and turn to Him.

Daily Answer: How do I disrupt myself?

My daily question for my scripture story was “How do I disrupt myself?”

I listened to a podcast about creating instead of competing by disrupting yourself. https://www.ldsliving.com/pages/allin-e77-whitney-johnson-create-compete

And this past weekend I joined many other writers in the 2020 Virtual Storymakers Conference. As with every conference I’ve attended, I hoped I’d propel my career forward with an agent and book deal. Instead I learned that I have a lot to learn . The classes offered encouragement and excellent writing tips and a connection with other writers. Since the conference was virtual, registration is still open. I highly recommend this conference. https://ldstorymakersconference.com/

For my daily answer I read Mosiah 20 and 21. I learned for myself that I need to humble myself, ask in prayer (cry mightily to God), and my heart needs to be soft. Ammon helped to deliver the people of king Limhi. I need to accept help from others. And I need to witness and testify of the answers I receive by sharing them with others.

I don’t need to turn my life upside down, but I need to be okay with feeling disrupted and uncomfortable. That’s how I will learn.#

Daily Answers: Emotional Connection

I have been writing and submitting to agents and publishers for about twenty-five years. Many of the rejection letters I’ve received say, “I wasn’t able to connect.” Today I gained a better understanding of that seemingly ambiguous statement.

This week I’m attending the 2020 Storymakers Virtual Conference. I participated in the first pre-session yesterday and learned from Jennifer Nielsen. She is amazing! I had the privilege to work with her at a Children’s Literature Conference in Boise a few years ago. I took her to several school presentations in the valley. She is a great writer, and she is compassionate and inspiring. I was impressed by her presentations which were uplifting and encouraging, but I was even more impressed with the personal attention she gave to each student during the book signings. She was genuine and kind. Jennifer was also encouraging to me about my writing.

During the session yesterday, Jennifer shared that after being rejected many times, she re-examined her writing and discovered that she needed to include more emotion in her books. Today for my scripture study, I asked the question, “What does my writing need?” I already knew that my writing also needs more emotion, but through my scripture study I was able to gain a deeper understanding of why. I read Mosiah 14 which is my favorite chapter in the scriptures. Abinadi taught Isaiah 53 which is about the Savior’s mission and atonement told in beautiful language. Here are the words which caught my attention this time, “grief, sorrows, wounded, bruised, despised, rejected, oppressed, healing, pleasure.” Strong, emotional words for what Jesus Christ experienced on this earth so that he could connect with us. C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.” Stories allow us to connect and the emotion in stories allows for a stronger connection. Jesus Christ experienced our sorrows so that he can not only connect with us, but so that he can succor us and heal us.

Today in my scripture study, I learned the importance of emotional connection in stories and was taught through the spirit a deeper understanding of how “with his stripes we are healed” (Mosiah 14:3-5).

Daily Answers: The Healing Power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement

My question in my scripture study today was about how to help my daughter who is struggling with physical and emotional issues. In Mosiah 13 I read that “were it not for the atonement, which God himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of his people, that they must unavoidably perish” (Mosiah 13:28) and “Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth? Yea, and have they not said also that he should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, and that he, himself, should be oppressed and afflicted? (Mosiah 13:34-35). These scriptures gave me reassurance that Jesus Christ can heal through the power of the atonement.