Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

No Limits

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It was just after six o’clock on Saturday evening.

I walked into the Chapel with my daughters, my mother, my sisters, and my nieces.

I entered knowing that the evening was historic, that strength would come from righteous daughters gathering together, that it would be a night to remember.  I came hoping the words that would be spoken were the words that needed to be heard.

I walked into the Chapel with a heart that was pleading.

I entered seeking answers.  Direction.  Guidance.  I came hoping the words that would be spoken were the words that needed to be heard.

I walked into the Chapel and left behind the constant noise of my life to live softly.

I entered to receive tender tutoring, to be led by the gentle whisper of the Spirit.  I came hoping the words that would be spoken were the words that needed to be heard.

I walked into the Chapel with a woman of great faith who is not of our faith.

I entered wondering what she would hear, what she would feel.  I came hoping the words that would be spoken were the words that needed to be heard.

I won’t ever forget her wondering if she had worn the right clothes, pulling out a newly purchased Triple Combination so that she would be prepared, explaining to me that she had come looking for what was common among us.

She walked into the Chapel with a heart laid open, bare.  Ready to receive.  Not looking for what separated us, but looking for what bridged us together.

And then the words began.

The story of two women from different walks of life.  Different stages of life.  Unlikely friends bound together by what was common between them.

Elisabeth, righteous before God.  Filled with the Holy Ghost.

Mary, whose soul did magnify the Lord.  Whose Spirit rejoiced in God.

Elisabeth believed Mary was blessed among women.  Through Elisabeth God provided support for Mary…a sister.  And Mary abode with her about three months.

Their ages were not the same.  Their lives were not similar.  Yet there was one thing common between them, they were two women who knew that with God nothing would be impossible.

I leaned over to my friend and asked her if she had ever thought of that story in that way before.

Words that needed to be heard.

“As individuals we are strong.  Together with God, we are unstoppable.”  (Rosemary M. Wixom

“Though in many ways we are different and unique, we also acknowledge that we are all daughters of the same Heavenly Father which makes us sisters.”  Bonnie L. Oscarson

“The Lord needs women who will step forward in righteousness and say, ‘Here am I, send me,’” M. Russel Ballard

“You are more alike, as Daughters of God, than you are different.”  Henry B. Eyring

I sat within the walls of the chapel and experienced the tender tutoring as the words continued, the words that needed to be heard.

If ye are not one ye are not mine.  There is nothing worth losing our compassion over.  We need each other.  If there are barriers it is because we have created them.  Oh, how we need each other.  Let what we think divides us falls away.  You are more alike than you are different.

I listened and I thought of my Christian friend sitting there next to me, who had come seeking what was common among us.

We live in a generation in which the theological divide between us threatens to hinder the work of God among us.  Perhaps we have focused too much on the beliefs that separate us, rather than the truth that is common among us.

That truth is simple.

We are believers of Jesus Christ.

That He was born. That He lived. That He died for us. That He will come again.

We must remember this truth… we are more alike, as Daughters of God, than we are different.

Words that needed to be spoken.

Words that needed to be heard.

I walked out of the Chapel celebrating that truth.

 

Emily Freeman