Dear Sisters and Elders,
At the beginning of the year 2011, I want to echo the words of our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. “Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed--------The courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny. I plead with you to make a determination, right now, not to deviate from the path which will lead to our goal: Eternal life with our Father in Heaven.” I make that same plea for you.
So Sisters and Elders, what choices shall we make this year? Have you determined your course? As you partook of the sacrament yesterday, did you make a conscious decision to choose to be better? Did you say, “Ye shall observe to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33
Have you chosen to truly accept that you are a child of God—that He loves you—that He has power to help you?
Have you chosen to put everything---literally everything---on the altar before Him?
Have you chosen to put yourself in a position to have experiences with the Spirit of God through prayer and in scripture study?
And have you chosen to believe in and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ? And accept the Savior’s forgiveness and then forgive yourself? Because of His sacrifice for you, He has the power to Remember your sins no more. You must do likewise.
And finally another quote from President Monson, ”We are engaged in the work of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We, like those of olden times, have answered His call. We are on His errand. We shall succeed in the solemn charge: ‘Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord’”
Thank you for all that you do and for all that you are. Thank you for your faithful service. Thank you for the love that you express in your words and your actions. Thank you for the study, prayers, planning and work that you devote in helping others come unto Christ. I love you. I love serving with you in the Florida Tampa Mission-the best mission in the church. I love serving you. With all of my heart I believe you will make courageous choices. I truly believe in you. “Courage for the Lord is on our side!”