Emilism: I am living proof of the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
After experiencing the first effects of the Atonement, my mind was put to rest and I finally received peace. I began to discover who I really am and what is in my heart. As I went about my days I began having little bursts of insight. They were mainly about myself, the world around me, or a manifestation of God’s hand in my life.
I can’t remember anything unless I write it down, so after these moments came I quickly forgot them. I have made a habit and seen the benefit of journaling throughout my life, so I decided to start a special journal to keep track of these thoughts. At first it was just a little 3×5 spiral note pad. I kept it with me at all times because I never knew when inspiration would come, but these thoughts quickly outgrew my small note pad. I transferred them into several journals, some for short insights and blessings, another I used for writing out prayers, and another for things I learned while studying the scriptures.
As I recorded these thoughts, I didn’t always know exactly what they meant, but over the years as I went back and read what was written in my journals, I found them to be very insightful. My own words would give me guidance, comfort, and speak peace to my heart. I usually turned to them when I was feeling particularly discouraged. Although they were just my own thoughts, as I turned to them for comfort the Holy Ghost would confirm to me that they were true.
For some time I kept hearing the word truism over and over. It began to stick in my mind, and I found it curious that so many people were using this word. The meaning: “an undoubted or self-evident truth; especially: one too obvious for mention” (1). People use the word truism in a secular way, often having to do with business, science, or interactions with the outside world. Life is also full of spiritual truisms to be discovered. They are eternal truths, found in the scriptures and the words of the prophets. Elder Richard G. Scott said:
In this uncertain world, there are some things that never change: the perfect love of our Heavenly Father for each of us; the assurance that He is there and will always hear us; the existence of absolute, unchanging truths; the fact that there is a plan of happiness; the assurance that success in life is attained through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His teachings because of the redemptive power of His Atonement; the certainty of life after death; the reality that our condition there is set by how we live here. Whether one does or does not accept these truths does not alter their reality. They are the fundamental building blocks of a living testimony. A strong testimony is the unshakable foundation of a secure, meaningful life where peace, confidence, happiness and love can flourish. It is anchored in a conviction that an all-knowing God is in command of His work. He will not fail. He will keep His promises (2).
After hearing this word repeatedly, I came up with my own version: Emilism: Things I find to be true about myself—weaknesses that surface and/or virtues I possess, all of which come to play out in my life in different ways. Accompanied with specific guidance, these personal truisms have helped build my testimony in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it is God’s hand, helping me understand myself better and make adjustments accordingly. It is God’s way of shaping me, my life and ultimately putting me on the road to happiness. I now refer to these thoughts and insights as Emilisms.
Emilism: Writing is the voice of my spirit.
As I looked back on all these truisms, some big and some small, I realized that they have been a guide and compass in my journey through the Atonement. You have a compass too—your inner voice or the Light of Christ! The more you follow your conscience, the stronger it becomes, but neglecting it will dim this inner light.
The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience. The Light of Christ should not be confused with the Holy Ghost. It is not a personage, as the Holy Ghost is. Its influence leads people to find the true gospel, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Conscience is a manifestation of the Light of Christ, enabling us to judge good from evil (lds.org, Light of Christ (3).
Recently I sat in the car with a close friend, chatting away as girls do. She described how she sometimes experiences what she feels like are little bursts of insight, but is not sure if they mean anything. She wrote a few down and later thought they were kind of smart ideas. I got excited because I have a testimony of following that light and guide. She said her journal only has a few thoughts in it, but that’s okay. I encouraged her to keep writing. Like my journal, hers will grow in time.
These insights can come at any time. They are there, lingering, if you will take time to listen. Your own personal truisms will be a guide and compass through the Atonement and throughout your life. I will use my Emilisms as a guide throughout this journal, highlighting key truths I have learned. They are personal revelation given only for myself from my Father in Heaven. Each provides counsel required to draw closer to Him, showing how I made a step-by-step transformation through the Atonement. Although meant for my own healing, they can be applied to other circumstances, and speak truth to another person’s heart.