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If you haven’t heard of the Coronavirus or “COVID-19” it is a respiratory virus causing symptoms of a runny nose, sore throat, fever, and shortness of breath. Much like the common cold. Here is a link below with more information on it. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses#:~:text=symptoms

This virus has spread all over the world and the numbers are quickly rising with who is affected. It has caused shut downs of cities, borders, and travel. You can say it has been a time for some to panic. It is very heartbreaking to see many out of work temporarily or businesses not doing as well as they could. https://www.ksl.com/article/46731481/utah-small-businesses-fighting-to-survive-statewide-coronavirus-shutdown

Just in my state of Utah alone, most people I know are staying inside and are only going out to grab necessities and groceries. It’s a blessing companies are allowing employees to work from home if they are able to. My family and I are praying for those that are not able to work or work from home. 

A virus that is advising people to stay home and limit contact with people can be overwhelming. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/03/16/coronavirus-live-updates-us-death-toll-rises-cases-testing/5053816002/

I will admit that I was overwhelmed at first because I want to do everything I can to protect my children, my family, and home. I was glued to my phone on updates and all the changes happening in the world. I started to feel more overwhelmed when our church services were suspended and temples started to close unless you had an appointment. https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2020/03/12/lds-church-suspends-all/

I was adding fuel to a fire I had no control over. My stress over it was not helping me and I could feel some distance from the peaceful feeling I would have with the Holy Ghost otherwise. 

My stress or overwhelm will not stop this. I decided to shift my focus on what is happening positively right now in my life. I acknowledged the many blessings we have. We have overall really good health, food, water, and all our necessities. I am blessed to feel the spirit in many ways to comfort me and help me through this crisis or any difficult period of time. My faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, LDS.org has implemented a home centered, church supported environment. This leads me to ways our family has been Spiritually Fed through a difficult time. 

There are three ways I have felt the comfort of the Holy Ghost that has helped me throughout my life and during this time of questioning. 

  1. Home Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has advised that we don’t attend church services until the spread of the virus slows down. At home we are worshiping through partaking of the sacrament from worthy priesthood holders and family and individual gospel study. We are studying the scriptures as a family and reviewing the Come Follow Me, Curriculum. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/come-follow-me-for-individuals-and-families-book-of-mormon-2020?lang=eng

It has been a huge blessing for my family as this past week we worshiped in our home. My parents, sisters and their families, including mine were able to get on video chat and have our own home centered church service. We all sat around together in our own homes at a table or on the sofa with each phone or computer set up so we could all see each other. Some dressed like they were going to church. All were there willing to learn and support each other. One family was assigned to prayer, one was assigned to music, and one assigned to talks. We were also able to go around and share our testimonies of the topic we were discussing. Our focus was to learn from each other through the spirit of each individual and the testimony they shared. It was very encouraging to hear one another’s spiritual experiences since we don’t see each other often. We normally hear from our ward families but it was such a blessing to hear thoughts and feelings from my own family. 

For me, I am so grateful to live in a time where we are able to connect through technology to worship and connect together when we all live apart. I felt as though we were at church. The learning was in our home and the tools were provided through our church resources, the scriptures, LDS.org, and Come Follow Me handbook. We discussed our knowledge of what we do know of the scriptures and what we have gained from reading them. 

I loved hearing my Dad talk on “Trust in the Lord.” We thought it was an appropriate topic to discuss given our circumstances on this pandemic. He bore his testimony that as we focus our eyes on the Lord and His teachings, we will not fall. He reviewed the story of Peter walking towards the Savior while He was walking on water. At first he trusted in the ability to walk towards Him and then had doubts. Jesus Christ, then asked, 

Matthew 14:31

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little afaith, wherefore didst thou bdoubt?

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/new-testament-stories/chapter-29-jesus-walks-on-the-water?lang=eng

As we put our faith and trust in the Lord at all times we know that if we fall we will be able to get back up with the help of Jesus Christ. We are given resources during this health crisis and other material to help us not fall. We are able to worship in the home on Sunday and everyday of the week individually and as a family. With this opportunity to worship in the home I can already feel close to all of my family and we are able to provide the same feeling and environment we have at church. I think the spirit can be anywhere we invite it. We are being Spiritually Fed in our home.

  1. Come Follow Me

“Come Follow Me, Resources for Learning and Teaching the Gospel.”

Come Follow Me was implemented by our prophet, Russell M. Nelson and apostles, January 2019 for a more home centered, church supported learning for individuals and families. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/come-follow-me/introduction-to-come-follow-me-for-individuals-and-families?lang=eng 

The curriculum is designed to help us learn more of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It isn’t to replace the scriptures but to be a more helpful guide. For my family and I it has deepened our understanding of the scriptures and the life of Jesus Christ. It has also helped us rely on the spirit more and strengthen our testimony. 

Dom and I have seen a huge difference as we have used this material. Everyday we have taken a paragraph from the assigned week of learning and studied it as a family. We review scriptures from The Book of Mormon and New Testament. My sister has shared a site called Saving Talents that provides weekly lessons on Come Follow Me. The site breaks down each week’s lesson for us to be able to teach and understand it more simply as a family. My family and I have been using it since the first few months of this curriculum. 

Each night before bed we spend about 10 minutes studying Come Follow Me. We say a prayer to invite the spirit, sing a song that relates to the lesson we will be reviewing, and read a few scriptures going over the lesson. Dom and I then share experiences or testimonies we have received from what is being taught. It’s amazing to share some of my experiences I have had to learn from that relate to what we are reviewing. I have talked about times I have strengthened my testimony from a prayer, going to the temple, or a trial I had to face. 

Recently, in a lesson Dom and I shared how we faced a challenge of putting trust in the Lord. We relied on our faith and trust to achieve goals on finding a career path we felt that best suited our talents. We had experienced some difficult challenges of being unemployed, having no home, and without any of our belongings. It was definitely faith building. We turned our hearts to the Lord and prayer. We trusted in Him. We knew that as we focused our lives on serving and striving to be like Jesus Christ everything would work out for good. 

Romans 8:28

28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

That personal experience and this pandemic and…really all experiences have either brought us closer or further from the spirit. With Come Follow Me we have been able to grow closer to the spirit and have more of an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are feasting on the words of Jesus Christ and it is working toward our betterment and good. I can feel it and I feel deeply Spiritually Fed. 

3. Self Love

The third way I am being Spiritually Fed through this crisis and really any crisis has been through self love. My self love is unique to me and is unique to you. You know what works to help you feel the spirit. You also know what helps give you peace and love to your mental and spiritual state. 

Ways that you can do this are through:

Exercise

Sleep

Eating 

Reading books

Listening to audio 

Getting outside

Doing something you love

Having good thoughts

Loving your body and mind

Prayer

Scripture study

So many forms of self love are out there and you know what brings you the most peace. I try to do many of these a day to bring the spirit into my thoughts and to help me feel good about myself. 

I love to go for a run everyday and lift weights. When I am doing that I listen to an audio book, church talks, self help podcasts, or motivational talks. I knock two things out at once. I feel so inspired and strong after working my brain and body. I also spend as much time praying as I can. I want to have the spirit with me at all times. If I can pray before each meal, each task I am about to do, and each moment I need to feel closer to the spirit, I want to do it. It brings a sense of calm and as I listen I can feel the promptings guide me to choose to make better choices. 

Sometimes, when I get the opportunity I like to just sit in silence and think of what I want to become. I think about what I love about me now and ways I can better love myself. For me, it always reverts back to feeling close to the spirit and choosing to think better and act better. It’s a way for me to slow down and observe the life I am living as a wife and mother. There is a need for correction almost always but when I am loving me and what I can become I know I can be a better human being and daughter of God. I know as I am striving to live as close with the spirit as possible and taking care of me I am better prepared mentally for difficult times or challenges. I am feeling the spirit more as I am loving myself and the spirit within me. 

These three ways have Spiritually Fed my family and I. This difficult time and crisis can become overwhelming but we have felt more peace and at ease as we have strived to do these three things. We don’t know the length of any difficult trial but as we are bettering ourselves and helping those around us, it helps us carry the load that might feel too much to bear. I am grateful for the opportunity to worship in my home with provided Come Follow Me material and ways I can self love. 

These are what are working to keep me Spiritually Fed. What are some ways you or your family are doing to help your spirit or thoughts during this time?

About Author

My name is Brianna Marshall. I was born in Dayton, Ohio into a Air Force family. We moved to Colorado Springs, CO when I was 5 years old and lived there till I moved off to College to Orem, Utah in 2007. I was raised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm still actively practicing the same faith today. I graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelors in Communications. I was married to my husband Dom in 2010 in the San Diego Temple. Dom and I have two children, one a boy, named Ronen, and a girl, named Ryen. I have been in and out of teaching physical fitness for over 10 years. I love to run and weight lift most days of the week. I also love to do yoga at night to calm me down before bed. I have always had a love for baked goods. My mom made a great dessert every Sunday and made them upon request growing up. I have always been really well at expressing my thoughts and feelings. I love to express a lot of my spiritual feelings with friends and family. As a young girl, I worked really hard to have a great relationship with my Father in Heaven. I have felt His presence from the time I was 8 and currently still feel his love and desire for me to become closer to Him. I desire to be a missionary as well as help others understand His love for all of His children. I find that being friendly, understanding and being compassionate to everyone is the best example of His son, Jesus Christ. I strive to follow His teachings. I also stumble with all of it. I'm so grateful for the atonement and repentance when I'm in need of change of heart and a compassionate spirit. I find life to be so beautiful and I'm grateful everyday for the experiences I have. I am a wife, mother, daughter of God, writer, runner, baker, and an imperfect being striving to be the best me.

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