The Communist dictatorship that operated in Albania from 1967 to 1991 declared Albania as the world’s first and only “Atheist state.” Harsh punishments were leveled at believers, clergymen were killed, and it was not a time for religious yearnings. So, how did anyone keep that spiritual glimmer alive during that oppression, and even more compelling, how would a 14-year-old boy find the Church in 1993, only two years after the Communists left?
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I have often wondered who are the pioneers in each land who hear the gospel and respond to the Spirit with such fervency that they can defy tradition and family pressure to join a faith that is tiny. Who are these people who become the backbone of the Church, meeting in little apartments with only a handful of others, when their peers attend church in sumptuous cathedrals? What spark has been lit in them? Vincenzo Conforte is one of those pioneers.
“If I just drove off the road, it would all be over. Everyone would forget about me, and it wouldn’t hurt anymore.” But Erin knew that wasn’t the answer. When Erin was growing up, home was never a safe place for her. She was physically, mentally, and sexually abused by the person who was supposed to protect and take care of her. When she told her mom about the sexual abuse, they left their home.
“Seek for and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost”. How many times have we been taught to do this? But, even after all of those lessons, many good members of the Church have only left the lesson or talk more frustrated, with a feeling of inadequacy. We ask ourselves, “Is there something wrong with me? Why have I never felt these promptings that everyone else keeps talking about?” The answer is simple…You HAVE been getting those promptings. The issue is that nobody ever taught you how to recognize them.
In the crowd of Saints at the visitor center after the first session of the Rome Italy Temple dedication, I saw a group gathering to take a photo in front of the art glass. After jumping in to take the picture for them, I asked the owner of the camera what brought her to Rome. Her response was breathtaking: “We came here 9 months ago because my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.”
In the latest episode of the Illuminate Podcast, Taylor Chambers, licensed marriage and family therapist, shares an important recovery and healing concept: mindfulness. Find out what it is, why it matters, how it can be developed, and what you can do to start practicing this skill.