My Faith, Captain Moroni, and The Atonement

Eczema Rash

It’s been a while, I know. These past few months, I’ve been consumed with teaching for BYU-Idaho and also prepping for homeschool (for the first time ever). Recently, my husband has also made some big life decisions, which are very exciting.

So, even though I don’t feel particularly “stressed out,” I know that my life is stressful. In fact, I know this is true because of this crazy eczema rash I’ve gotten all over my hands and arms.

I’ll spare you a picture.

When the crazy rash started getting bad, I asked Homey for a blessing. In this blessing, it was indicated that the rash was caused by stress, and I needed to learn how to manage it. (Getting rid of stressors isn’t really an option right now).

The rash got worse.

Well, I was getting pretty desperate, and one of my friends gave me a topical prescription cortisone product for my rash. It would clear up for a few days, I’d stop with the prescription, and it would get worse. This went on for a few months (!) Over time, the rash got much, much worse. What started as a small rash under my wedding ring became a rash on 8 of my fingers, up both hands and arms…yikes.

I’ve asked Homey for two more blessings. The same basic info was related: Heavenly Father Loves me, Christ has suffered the Atonement and has perfect empathy, this is caused by stress, and I needed to find natural ways to alleviate the issue.

As I write this now, I realize what a blessing that Priesthood blessings are. However, I will admit that during the final blessing, I wondered why I could just be healed. I know that God has the power to do it, so why can’t I be healed?

Of course, as this thought went through my brain, the words of the blessing rang out: this trial is to help you build faith in your Father in Heaven.

Okay.

Captain Moroni

Today, I read about Captain Moroni in my scriptures.

“Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” – Alma 48:17

In the past, I’ve read this scripture with complete awe for Mornoi. What a cool dude. Untouchable. Untouchable by Satan, and also – by me. I want to be like Moroni, but he is so good…too good. I can’t come close.

However, I’ve been studying the Atonement in the Book of Mormon. I know that There is power in the Atonement to enable us to overcome the natural man or woman and become true disciples of Christ. With this in mind, I have come to the realization that Moroni wasn’t just born cool and faithful. His faith and example come through his discipleship, which came as a result of his >firm faith in Christ. (See Alma 48:13. This means that becoming like Moroni, who could shake the very powers of hell, is possible–through Christ.

Part Three
So..if I want to be like Moroni, then I need to develop stronger faith.

I’m not sure if I’m a super faithful person or not. When I was younger, like most young people, I had faith. I was innocent and closer with nature. Then, I got older, more disconnected with what probably matters, and logic became important to me. I have always had a testimony because I’ve been able to logically understand the gospel. It makes sense to me, and discovering the mysteries of God is important to me as it galvanizes my testimony (logically).

Yet, I need to have faith. I need to be willing to suspend my so-called logic, and just develop a purer faith in the Savior. I suppose that is what this skin rash is designed to do in my life because my faith is wavering.

Now, I want to say that carefully. My faith isn’t wavering in a “I wonder if the gospel is true” kind of way. I will not and cannot deny the truthfulness of the gospel and my testimony. Instead, I think my faith is wavering in the same way as the man who uttered to Christ, “Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief.”

How I relate to this man!

I believe. I believe that Christ created the world, that He came, lived, suffered, died, and was resurrected. I know that He answers prayers. I know that He loves me. I know that He will speak to my soul when I search and am willing to listen. However, I have this rash that is spreading and getting worse despite my pleas.

And, as I plea for help, I feel the doubt creeping in my head, “He can help, but I doubt he’ll help me. I’m not strong or special like some people. (ie – Captain Moroni)” Stuff like that. Not helpful, and ultimately self-fulfilling.

So…as I read the story of Captain Moroni, I am both humbled and comforted. I don’t have to be a Captain Moroni to become like Captain Moroni. Instead, I only need to humbly go to the Lord, ask Him to help my unbelief, and let Him work a miracle in me through the Atonement.

His Atonement will help me to be the faithful woman and disciple that I want to be – rash or not.

***
What do you do to strengthen your faith during times of trial?

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3 Comments

  1. Helene Mathee

     /  August 7, 2014

    Job puts it so eloquently “Though He slay me, YET WILL I trust in Him. Sometimes our bodies act out to force us to slow down and take stock of our lives. I am grateful for my scare with cancer because without knowing what it was like to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and fear no evil, that scripture would just have been poetic words. But it became my mantra. My faith was made sight. The Word of God comes alive to us when we can relate to it in a personal, intimate experience. If it could happen to Job, Enos, Naaman, the woman with an infirmity or the woman with an issue of blood, God can surely breathe a miracle for you and for me. God has a plan for our lives. I do not quite understand how all the rough pieces can fit together to make a beautiful tapestry but I CHOOSE to trust and obey. I hope you find a way to deal with your stress and your rash clears.

    Most love

    Helene

    Reply
    • Helene,
      Thanks for your comment. I love what you say, “our bodies act out to force us to slow down.” It’s funny because for months, when I pray about my goals, my desires, my ambitions, my life, the response I usually get is, “relax.”

      This advice can be a little mystifying at times. Now, my body is forcing me to relax. However, I think I understand what Heavenly Father is trying to teach me. I need to “slow down” in certain ways and instead concentrate on what is important in life.

      Looking at the Savior’s life – He blessed people one by one. He didn’t heal everyone and work tirelessly busy. He told Martha that she was encumbered by many things. He didn’t operate that way. He just did one thing at a time. The Savior, the creator of this world just did things one at a time!!! I need to relax and live meaningfully as the Savior did.

      I also love what you mention – God can work a miracle for each of us. And He always performs the appropriate miracle. It’s funny, I’ve been trying to learn to “listen to my body” and be one with it. I suppose that this rash, and learning how to deal with it is the answer to my prayers. It is teaching me to be more sensitive to what is important in my life.

      love-Catania

      Reply
  2. Ann Smith

     /  August 8, 2014

    I’ve been working on this a lot lately. I’ve really struggled with “I’m giving this all I can, I’ve prayed and know this is the Lords desire for me, why can’t things just go smoothly? Why is the Lords timing so important? ” I recently read a conference address while struggling through a particularly challenging trial. It suggested to thank Heavenly Father for our trials and lessons to be learned. Ha! Yeah right! I should be grateful for stress and heartache? I prayed for help in doing this, and kept hearing the prompting to step outside the box and to try to see the situation through His eyes. A personal miracle happened. It was almost as if the Lord placed thoughts in my mind as to what I needed to learn. I prayed for increased strength and understanding. When I acknowledged God as a caring Father who loved me unconditionally, I became more patient in the learning process/my trial. He loves me and as I honestly and humbly acknowledge my weaknesses to Him he gives me added strength. After all, that’s what parents do.

    Reply

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