A few weeks ago, I felt prompted to begin the Book of Mormon over with the intent to write down every attribute of Christ and Heavenly Father I could find. I wasn’t sure at the time why I felt the need to, but I had the pleasure of having a two hour texting session with our daughter who is away at college yesterday. I told her about what I was doing and that I felt like I wanted to know this God and His Son and if they were people I could follow and worship. Her response? “And yeah? Why is that? I thought you were pretty solid with God, is that not so anymore?” In that moment, I knew why I felt prompted and I texted her back, saying “I’m always questioning, which means I’m always studying and praying about what I am learning. Conversion is a life-long process, not a one-time event.”
It’s true, about my growing and learning, and about the life-long process. I am at a place in life where I want to know God and Jesus Christ better. I’ve had a rough time the last four years and, honestly, at times I have been so mad at them that I wanted nothing to do with them. I stopped praying and wanted very badly to stop going to church, but there was still a part of me longing to find the answers and I believed (still) that the peace I was looking for would only come from God. Now that I’m not so angry anymore, I want to understand why God would put me through such a hard time and the only way I think I can understand is by knowing who they are.
So, here’s my list – just from first Nephi.
blesses, warns, teaches, visits, merciful, redeems, provides redemption, delivers, compliments, protects, softens hearts, communicates, helps, kills, all knowing, all power, sent Savior, resurrected, unchanging, judge, over all, physical being, human form, speaks like me, can appear and disappear, part human, part God, loves us, His love is most desirable, His love is most joyous, heals, casts out evil, crucified, gives gift of the Holy Ghost, angry at sin, prompts us to do things, gives power, provides scriptures, makes covenants, gives eternal life, only God over this earth, has His own laws, expects us to repent, works in our behalf, does stuff we can’t do for ourselves, keeps His promises, provides witnesses, gives us work to do, gives strength, show His power to us, provides a way, gives direction we can understand, does all He can for us, keeps His word, feeds, speaks, leads, wise, buried, died, saves, chooses us, calls us to do His work, restores, the light, righteous judge, glory, mighty, dominion, king, gathers, makes us mighty, favors the righteous, created the earth, raises up righteous nations, destroys wicked nations, rules in the heavens, loves those who love Him, remembers His promises, can change the face of the earth, works outside physical laws (miracles), shocks people (Nephi’s finger), allows wickedness so He can show His power against them, suffered physically, loving kindness, long-suffering, visits physically, visits through His voice, will not allow His name to be polluted, will not give His glory to another, no peace for the wicked, mourns for our unrighteousness, wants to bless us, salvation, faithful, preserver, frees us, waters us, comforter, not forgotten us, we are engraved on the palms of His hands, the harmful will flee from us, clothe us in bridal clothing, builds temples, kingdoms will care for us, all things known to the prophets, Gentiles blessed with the gospel, will work among the Gentiles, destroys sin, numbers His sheep, reigns.
And that’s just the first book in the Book of Mormon! 109 attributes. Now, the question is, is this a God and a Savior I can put my trust and faith in? I know my answer is yes, but I still have issues with things like “allows wickedness so He can show His power against them.” It seems so unfair to those who may be suffering at the hands of someone else. I don’t know what to do with that. I look at the world and it makes me afraid. Not just afraid for now either, but if it’s this bad now, how much worse is it going to get? I know the whole “faith and fear cannot coexist.” I have a lot to work out in my own mind and heart, but overall, I’m pretty sure I can believe in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I still have some trust issues with them.