Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Great Week

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Hey everyone...sorry that I didn't write you last week. It's been a crazy time out here in the mission and I guess I was REALLY surprised when I heard that Elder Burrows pasted away, so yeah it's still surprising and I don't think it's hit me yet. Ummm...this week has been another eventful week and we have been finding some people in our area to teach, sadly our area has been a dead zone for a really long time, so it's been difficult picking up all the pieces. BUT today I want to really just talk about the things that I have learned so far because I feel that it's important to tract our progress and see how we have grown. So here it goes:

Over the past couple weeks I have caught myself staring into the night sky whenever the opportunity arises and it has left me thinking of the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father, which leaves me with a question: how could this help me?

The theme for my spiritual thought comes from a scripture that I have read countless times, it says: "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may STAND AS WITNESSES FOR ME HEREAFTER, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions" (Mosiah 24:14). As we all know we are children of a loving Heavenly Father who has asked us to stand witnesses of Him and therefore has established His everlasting gospel to further aid us in our quest to perfection. We can witness this through a moral law that has been established from the beginning of time. C.S. Lewis said, "There is nothing indulgent about the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails. It tells you to do the straight thing and it does not seem to care how painful, or dangerous, or difficult it is to do." Even Jesus Christ, our Savior, counseled His twelve apostles on a similar topic, that this life would be no easy task. He said, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." So where do we find comfort through this seemingly challenging life: through our divine lineage and the promise that we will be saved after enduring to the end.

We are currently living in a time where challenges and adversity is thrown at us right and left and more often than sometimes we face it with a discouraged face. Sadly, I am guilty of this as well. Elder Dallin H. Oaks once said, "Consider the power of the idea in our beloved song 'I Am a Child of God' ...Here is the answer to one of life's great questions, 'Who am I? I am a child of God with a spirit lineage to heavenly parents. That parentage defines our eternal potential. That powerful idea is a potent antidepressent. It can strengthen each of us to make righteous choices and to seek the best that is within us. [Once we have established in our minds] that [we are a] child of God and [we will be] given self-respect and motivation to move against the problems of life." God made us to live off Him. He is the fuel for our spirits and until we put ourselves with that power - it is after that, and no second sooner, that He will begin to fill us with the energy we are meant to run off of. To do this we must think of the one who was sent to make everything alright, Jesus Christ. I take great comfort when I read the teachings of the prophet Isaiah, he said:

"4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."

Though we may be bombarded with an onslaught of tribulation may we stand strong against the adversary in knowing that we are a child of a loving Heavenly Father and that His "work" and His "glory" is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." That's us. His single desire is to bring His begotten children back to Him, just as any earthly father would want his wayword child back into his loving arms. I know that if we never forget that we are children of our Father in Heaven and never let the adversary convince us that we are somethig less, such as children of man, that we will be patient during our afflictions because we know the Lord's peace doesn't come without pain, but while we are in pain. So let us do the things that He would want us do with a joyful heart, for I also know that we cannot and will not be happy if we don't want to do the things that lead to happiness EVEN IF we are doing those very things and that's because it's based on our attitude. I love this gospel more than anything and it's my prayer that we all may find the comfort and peace in really knowing, not just believing, in our divine lineage. So the next time we look at the night sky let us think of the eternal glory of our Father in Heaven and say "I will be His witness at the last day."


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