So this past week I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas with Copper Pointe. And I’m really glad I did.
This summer I’ve come to realize won’t be as much as an adventure as I’d hoped for. But I think that more than anything this summer is going to be a summer of getting to know God better and finding and really establishing my relationship with Him. And while it may not contain crazy travels or wild stories, it’s going to consist of complete, life changing bliss.
And that’s one of the reasons, if not the main reason, I’m glad I went to this conference. I wasn’t sure how to feel about going to the conference, but I kept an open mind and I was not disappointed.
My favorite sermons were spoken by Daniel Fernandez and Judah Smith.
Some of my absolute favorite points that Pastor Daniel made were that we need to spend our energy searching for God’s eternal purpose for us. And to not only search for the purpose, but when we find it, we need to trust in it completely. And one thing that Daniel reminded us of, and kept reiterating, is that we need to not be dedicated to Christ because we feel he owes something to us. I was awed by that. I think that it was a good reminder that will stay with me forever. And a reminder that many people needed. That we need to not just be Christ followers and follow His commandments to receive blessings. But we should do them solely because we love God. It kind of made me reflect on myself as a Christ follower. As much as I’d love to sit back and say that I follow God’s commandments and the word’s of His prophets and leaders is because I just love Him, I can’t. Because we’ve all done something for the purpose of receiving extra blessings. To serve us and uplift us in some way. Most of us just never realize it. It was just such an amazing realization. And the other thing that keeps ringing in my mind is that we “should not be dedicated to Dedicated.” The point that Pastor Daniel was trying to make with this is that we should not be Christians just because of a conference. Or some big event. Some big sign. But that rather, we should be Christians because of the little things. The little revelations that God makes to us. That we will be dedicated to Jesus even we he is testing that dedication with all His power. That when the storm comes and all hell breaks lose, you still find peace and love because of the Savior. That you don’t just believe in Christ when He calms the storm, but when you’re in the epicenter of the storm. I think that Pastor Daniel was just reminding us that we need to be dedicated to God. Not because of what He blesses you with or because things are going well, but because He is God.
My other favorite speaker was Judah Smith. Some of you may have heard of him because he is allegedly known (and basically proven to be) Justin Beiber’s pastor. And I can see how that is. Because this man was amazing. He spoke the word. His sermon was based on Matthew 20:1-16. If you need a refreshed, pull out your Bible and read it, because I could never explain it as well as the Bible does. The sermon basically boiled down to God is God and we will never understand why He does all He does. As humans, and especially me, we want things to make sense. There has to be a rhyme and a reason to everything. But that’s not how God works. We want justice, we want an explanation, and we want fairness. That’s not how God works. And more than anything, this sermon reminded me of my spiritual journey this past year.
For those of you who don’t know, I was really struggling with my faith a year ago. I mean, I believed in God, I just wasn’t sure if I believed in the whole “Mormon” thing. And it was a tough and long journey. After countless prayers, hours of discussions with pastors and bishops, studying things out on my own, and flat out ignoring this spiritual void in my life, I can say that it still doesn’t make sense. But I don’t have the problem with it that I used to. Without this sermon, and months ago while talking to my bishop, it occurred to me that he’s not going to have the answers. That the prophet is not going to have the answers I need. That all the pastors in the world or books that are written in the world are not going to have the answers. That no matter how much “revelation” is had, no one will ever be able to understand God completely. Not in this life. And for a while, I felt bad that I was never going to be able to understand. Be able to understand “Why Joseph Smith?” or “Why is the temple so important?” or “Why the Book of Mormon?” but this sermon kind of answered that.
Because God. Simple as that. One of my favorite things that I wrote in my journal from Judah’s sermon is “Do you trust what is behind door number God?” Wow. Isn’t that amazing. Do you? I know that sometimes I don’t. I’m not afraid to say it. I’m human. Sometimes…. All the time, trusting God is scary business. It’s being vulnerable beyond compare. And trusting in the inconceivable. But let me tell you, coming to the ever frustrating and totally mind boggling realization that God does what He wants whether there is reason or not because He is God has been hard. But it has been the best experience I’ve ever had.
This weekend was different than I expected, but good. God changed lives. Not the pastors, God. He changed lives of thousands due to that conference. Including mine. I understand why they called that conference dedicated. Because I have come home with a new dedication towards God. A dedication that will last a lifetime. A dedication that will not make sense and will be questioned all the time. But a dedication that is unbreakable and eternal.