At my institute class last night, my teacher looked out at the class and asked us all, “Why are you still a member of this gospel?”
“Wow…” I thought to myself, “I’ve never really thought about that in-depth before.” I mean I do know why but I’ve never sat down and listed all of the glorious reasons! He let us sit there for a minute and think. Continuous thoughts flowed through my head of why I, Shelby Mills, at age 18, am still a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He began calling on other classmates as they shared their reasons why. Each was so personal and beautiful; I agreed with them wholeheartedly. I never raised my hand to share why I am still a member of this church, but as I continued to sit there and think (and even continue thinking at this very moment), I realized it was because of one simple word; love.
How could I not belong to a church whose teachings are based upon love? How can I not believe that a have a Father in Heaven who loves me and knows me by name? How can I not believe that I have a Savior who loved me so much He died for me? How can I not believe that God loves His children so much that He restored the Savior’s true gospel back to the earth? How can I not believe that love can last forever through the sealing power and ordinances made is God’s holy temples? It’s impossible. Love is forever and enduring. Love is pure and life-saving. At some of my darkest moments in my life, it was God’s love that saved me.
This gospel gives me purpose. It allows me to understand who I am and my full potential as a daughter of God in these latter days. It let’s me know where I came from, why I’m here on earth, and where I’m going once I pass through this state of mortality.
This gospel gives me hope. It gives me hope in myself and in others that change is possible when we rely on the Savior and His infinite Atonement. It gives me hope that all the wrong that happens in this life will be made up in the next. It gives me hope that the morning will always come.
It’s been just a little over 10 years since I was baptized and I can firmly say that it was the best decision I have made in my entire life so far. I often hear people tell me that they think I’m “brainwashed” and that the only reason I’ve stayed in the gospel is because I’ve been forced to. That’s when I think about the gift of agency! We have all been given the blessing to choose as we will. If I didn’t know the church was true and loved it with all my heart, do they really think I would stay in it for this long?
Friends I want to tell you that this church is TRUE. I would never say that if I didn’t know it to be an absolute fact. It is a gospel of hope, peace, love, and happiness. It helps us understand how to love and how to serve both God and our brothers and sisters around us. It overwhelms me with happiness. It gives me guidance and purpose.
I will forever be thankful that God put me into a family that had already been blessed with gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ. You can know this is His gospel too! The greatest way to know the truth is to ask the One who created it. I promise that if you sincerely pray to your Father in Heaven with all energy of heart, He will answer your prayers and pour His peace and love upon you. I promise that because it has happened to me all too often. How blessed we are for a Father who is so mindful and loving of us!
So I guess those were my main reasons of why I am still a member of this church. This gospel is amazing my friends.. I love it. I know it. It’s my home. If you guys ever have any questions feel free to ask me!