Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27 2014

Salutations, Brothers and Sisters from warm, sunny, humid, Findlay Ohio. 

 So the biggest event that happened this past week was the personal appearance of Elder Jeffery R. Holland, and President Donald Hallstrom in the Ohio Cleveland Mission. It was a truly an amazing experience. It would be difficult for me to properly sum up everything Elder Holland talked about, fortunately probably 55-70% of his talk is almost word for word out of other talks he has given to missionaries. The talks to look up are 1)Missionary Work and the Atonement, 2)Feed My Sheep (the one given in the MTC not the one given in general conference) 3)The Miracle of a Mission. Those offer a lifetime of inspiration for pretty much any missionary. Elder Holland also talked about teaching with power and authority, the fact that we are representatives of the Almighty Lord and as such we can invoke that authority when we are teaching someone about the Gospel. It was awesome, Elder Holland is truly an amazing man, as well as President Hallstrom. Much of President Hallstrom's address was focused on the fact that when Christ called the 12, it was a lifetime calling, and so it is for missionaries. The call to the ministry is not over when one returns home but rather it is a call that extends throughout time and eternity. So I am sending a repeated call out to every person that has served a full time mission to find your name tag and then look at it for a minute, ponder about what your mission meant to you, think about what happened to you during that time. Then get down on your knees and pray for the Lord's guidance about how you can continue to serve Him. Our lives are not our own, our souls were redeemed for a price, and our bodies will be perfected for a price, that price was the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel, the Great I AM, was what it cost for us to have the privilege or repenting, the joy of being baptized, and the opportunity to experience the love of the Holy Ghost, and to begin to understand the love the Saviour has for each of us. In return Christ has said he wants us, every part of us, everything we care about, everything we love, everything we hate, every little last imperfection, Christ wants us to lay on the altar of sacrifice so that he can begin the process of fitting us for the life above, and in the end that is all that really matters. Something Elder Holland talked about repeatedly was that in a swimming contest the blue ribbons aren't given out after the first couple of feet, everyone does remarkable for the first couple of strokes, but that the reward only comes at the end. It doesn't matter if we start out on the path of overcoming our anger issues, or start out to do missionary work, or begin the trek of discipleship, if after the first hour or so we decide that we have come far enough, it is just good enough to look over into the promised land without enjoying its fruits, if we decide we will follow the Saviour's example right up to the gate of Gethsemane but we decide we are too scared to go any farther. If we don't decide we are willing to go through the process of Calvary we will never be able experience the joy of Easter Sunday. We aren't asked to pay the price the Savior did but we will be asked to go through soul stretching experiences that will test the very fabric of our being, and the very core of our selves. The question becomes will we pay that price, does our faith in the Lord extend to the point where we are willing to give up our lives and wills and let them be swallowed up in His? Do we trust in the Lord and his promises that we are willing to turn everything we desire over to what His desires are for us? Fortunately God has given us the promise throughout the entirety of the scriptures that His grace is sufficient. Nephi promises that "the Lord giveth no commandment unto the the children of men save he shall prepare a way that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." So it comes down to our choice, the same choice we faced in the pre-earth life, the same decision. Will we follow the Plan of Salvation and say to the Father "thy will be done". Or will we choose to be children that felt the mud pie of their own limited imagination they had made in the sandbox was of greater worth than the feast their Father the King had prepared for them in his royal mansion above? Joshua 24:15
Elder Hunter D. Poe

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