December 27 2010
Dear Sisters and Elders,
Thank you so much for all of your Christmas President’s letters. They were so uplifting and full of the Christmas Spirit. I am overwhelmed by the beauty and the sincerity of your service. Thank you so much.
Well, Christmas is past and we begin looking to the New Year and thinking about resolutions –about throwing away the bad and starting anew with the good and better things. At this time of year, I wish to warn you of something that will destroy your motivation and effectiveness as a representative of Jesus Christ. The adversary is very crafty in his use of this specific temptation. He makes this temptation look innocent. He can convince you that it is not evil. But, I repeat, yielding to this temptation will destroy your motivation and effectiveness as a representative of Jesus Christ. This destroyer of motivation and effectiveness is called: “distraction”. A distraction is anything that diverts our attention from your purpose of Finding, Teaching, Baptizing and Retaining those individuals that the Lord has prepared to receive His Gospel in your area. When you accepted your call to serve you agreed to: “devote all your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs.” You have committed to serve Him with “all your heart, might, mind and strength.” Your consecration of all your heart, might, mind and strength insures that you will receive the Promise of: “more happiness than you have ever experienced.” I ask you the question: “Are you enjoying more happiness than you have ever experienced?” Could your mind and attention be distracted from Finding, Teaching, Baptizing and Retaining? I loved his sentence from a former General Conference: “…a distraction does not have to be evil to be effective.” The adversary knows that if He can distract your attention from your purpose, he can cause the Spirit to withdraw and you will be left dull, listless and without motivation. You will wonder why you are not motivated and happy when you have done nothing evil. Remember: “..A distraction does not have to be evil to be effective.” In a prior letter I quoted from President Eyring and I desire to say it again. “We are to act in all diligence, never being lazy or slothful. The pattern is simple but not easy to follow. We are so easily distracted…sitting down to rest can be more attractive than making appointments to visit those who need our priesthood service. When I find myself drawn away from my priesthood duties by other interests and when my body begs for rest, I give to myself this rallying cry: “Remember Him.” Elders and Sisters I hope you are “remembering Him” by memorizing and internalizing, “Remember This” found on the back page of Preach My Gospel. This will be our Rallying cry and our Title of Liberty for the New Year. Elders and Sisters I warn you to keep your thoughts, hearts and actions centered on your mission because distraction will destroy your motivation, your effectiveness and your happiness as a Representative of Jesus Christ. Please devote all your time and attention to serving the Lord. I promise as you do this: more happiness than you have ever experienced.” I love you and I believe in you. We can do it. We will do it!