Monday, May 9, 2011

Blessing after Blessing even Mothers

Monday, May 9, 2011
This past week has been amazing. We have been extremely blessed, more than we can even handle. Thank you so much for your prayers on our behalf for the work of the Lord. We have received about 20 referrrals over the past two weeks and that is more than quadruple of the number that the area has seen in many months. It is awesome to see how the Lord has blessed us through our diligent efforts to expand His loving hand towards the children of our Father in Heaven. I can't believe how blessed we have are. We had the opportunity to teach Jason again. He is doing better from what we can observe. It is amazing to see how the Lord blesses His children through their obedience. As he has read his scriptures and been more diligent in his prayers it never gets old to see how countenances change. It's amazing to see how the light can come to those who are truly seeking it. If only you could be in my shoes for a day. If only anyone could be in my shoes for a day. I know if anyone has gone about doing His work will know and will be able to bear witness that this is the work of the Lord. There is no way that this couldn't be for it bears good and Satan could not do things. I know it and I'm so thankful that God knows it too. Anyways we had the wonderful opportunity to go to two FHEs with the UCLA Ward. They were both really awesome and really spiritual. We went to the Institute for one on Monday and have tried to continue to build trust with them. Then for the second one it was with the entire ward. It was awesome. Had a great lesson by Bishop Davis and had some fun games. We got two referrals from them so it was great. We then visited some Chinese referrals at Pepperdine and one of them accepted a baptismal date. This week has been great!

Out of the many lessons that I have learned from my Mom, there is one in particular that I'm extremely thankful for, to always keep my promises. I cannot remember a specific moment where my Mom taught me this great and powerful lesson but I do know that I was taught to do such. As I was thinking about this I thought about all the Mothers that are sharing the experience of sharing their child with the world and how difficult it is for many. This lead me to think of a Mother in the scriptures who has shown the world the importance of keeping promises no matter what. We learn from the Old Testament of a woman named Hannah, a righteous woman who sought after one thing in her life: to have a son, a son who she could teach to change the world. As the years went by, after relentless prayers still being barren she found herself at the bottom where no person could be found, without a child and without hope for the thing that she desired most. In her humble state she falls to her knees, shedding tears of sorrow to offer her last petition in the tabernacle of the Lord. Feeling all to familiar she changes her plea to compromise that would change the history of the world. She covenants that if her Father in Heaven would grant her the one wish of a baby boy she would give him up to the very service she was partaking of. As she offered this solemn covenants with her loving Father a priest in the tabernacle, hearing her petition, was guided to her. He didn't know what for, he didn't know who he needed to speak to but he answered the call, the call to act. Continuing her prayer, the man Eli asks her what prayer she was uttering. She answered, "I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit... But have poured out my soul before the Lord." Discerning the intent of this worthy patron the Father in the Heavens answered her prayers through Eli, who said, "Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him." Her countenance changed with the new hope in life she traveled home to her dear husband who supported her plea for all these years. Time would tell if she would remember the Lord. The time came for her to conceive the pearl of great price, must rejoicing was offered on her behalf, preparations made for the new arrival, hoping the next minute would be the last minute of waiting. Overall they were grateful for the tender mercy that the had granted. At last the child was born. The preparations were set in place, the family gathered to discover this baby boy who would be named in the heavens as Samuel, for the Lord had remembered her prayer. Once again much celebration and rejoicing occurred bringing great joy to the new Mother and Father. The moral of the story could be patience is the greatest virtue of them all, humility to the will of the Lord brings life's choicest blessings, or even that prayer is the answer to all of our trials that may be set before us, but that would be short of the lesson that the Master would have us learn. Through those first blissful months of being a new Mother our Heavenly Father was waiting to see if she would answer the covenant that they made to bring this prophesied child into being. The months moved on, as if the were dragged on and on for her son and even those who watched the baby boy grow up, but for Hannah these months were nothing but the blink of an eye. Samuel came to the age of entering into the service of the Lord, he was accountable, but more importantly Hannah became accountable. Would she rise up and fulfill her covenant? Would she give up her dear child to the service of the Lord? Would she even remember? This valiant woman did. Hannah not only gave up her son to the humble service, but went above and beyond by taking him by herself, with three bullocks, flour, and a bottle of wine to the house of the Lord. She went up to Eli giving him the offering and her beloved child. No complaints, no regrets knowing that this was her humble duty to the Lord on High. May I express my gratitude to all the women in this world who do this very act when giving up their child to the service of the Lord. I applaud all of you who through your examples you have taught your children to follow the example of Jesus Christ through righteous doings and obedience to the commandments that He has set and because of this your children have followed after you. There are many kinds of righteous women in this beautiful world but there are none greater than those who make and keep their covenants that they have made with our Heavenly Father. I'm so thankful for all the Mothers who without regret or complaint, suppress their feelings of yearning to see their child, their tears that they cry every night, the empty hole that is in their heart and encourage their young man to be valiant representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ because they know this is their sacred duty and they know this is how they can aide in this work for it is already difficult enough. On this Mother's Day I'm extremely thankful to all these Mother's, who like Hannah, magnify their calling in life to be a Mother and raise their children to be sons and daughters of the Most High God, of which is no greater call and I'm thankful for Mother's who despite their displeasure of the plan of God teach their children to do likewise. You are amazing. You are the "regenerating force in the lives of God's children" as Elder Matthew Cowley once stated. My hope and desire is that all of you continue to do such. Continue obeying the covenants that you have made with your Father in Heaven to sustain the work of the Lord, for all of you, believers or not, are called to this great work. You make more of an impact than you can imagine and I pray that it is an impact that leads to good.

Elder Leavell


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