Sawing off the Branch behind Me

Tuesday, July 30

7-30By Nancy Hylton of Seattle, Washington, USA

How blessed are they! For they published peace; they published good tidings of good; and they declared to the people that the Lord reigns.

—Mosiah 11:207

My older brother, Jim, was always more of a seeker than I. But, my sister remembers well that we would endlessly discuss religious questions. She called us deluded nerds. My brother’s search for a “New Testament church” took him to the Woodland Park Congregation of Community of Christ.

A short while later he received confirmation through the Holy Spirit that this was where God had been prompting him for years. I refused to attend his rebaptism when he invited me, thinking he had gone off the deep end.

He was so excited about what he discovered in the Book of Mormon, he made me the recipient of his persistent nagging. He interrupted me to read me this or that passage while I was trying to study.

One day I remember consciously giving in to his nagging. I stopped and paid attention as he read aloud passage after passage. It was enlightening and confusing! For all of my life I had been taught the Book of Mormon was not “scripture.”

I felt an urgency to respond that would not go away. I felt myself mentally climbing onto a shaky limb, needing to saw it off to separate me from previous misconceptions. I trusted God to catch me. I asked myself, “How could a book be wrong, that testifies so powerfully of the love, and divinity, and peace of Christ?”

I went to church with Jim. As I walked into the sanctuary, a clear voice inside my head said, “This is where I want you to be.” I asked Jim, “How do I get baptized?” Jim said, “You have to do something called cottage meetings (what we used to call discipleship-preparation lessons).”

Today, my brother and I live on opposite coasts of the USA. We both serve as priesthood members. I am excited about the growing responsiveness and courage as our congregation steps forward in faith where God is calling us. It’s a privilege to take part in Christ’s mission, which develops disciples to serve. I have never regretted the difficult decision to saw off that branch behind me so many years ago.

Prayer for Peace
Revealing God, may we be the prophetic people you call us to be. May we be the ones who share Christ’s peace with neighbors.

Spiritual Practice: Making Responsible Choices
Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in your choices. Discern God’s vision for us and our mission. Begin by reviewing the responsibilities and opportunities in the day before you. Ask God for wisdom and insight about what matters most.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will separate myself from negative misconceptions.

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