Monday, May 23, 2011
Dear Sisters and Elders,
I have written a lot about setting a pattern here that will bring you peace, happiness and productivity in your education, in your marriage and family, in your career and in your service to your fellow man. I love each of you and I have so much confidence in who you are and who you can become. I am confident that he has placed us here as ordinary people together in this mission, at this time, for specific present and future purposes. My heart aches at the thought that I will not help you reach your full potential. My heart rejoices at the thought that you will increase your faith and your talents and go forth in His strength now and in your future lives. I was taught and I have taught you many times that, “A young man or young woman will seldom, if ever, rise in their lives above the PATTERN they establish for themselves in the mission field.” Many of you are setting a beautiful pattern here. I thought you would like to read of some of your fellow missionaries’ rejoicings:
“It has been so long coming and I am finally starting to see the fruits of my labors. I know that as we open our mouths to our friends and try to share our beliefs by inviting them to come to an activity, or listen to the missionaries or read the Book of Mormon that we will never lose a true friend. We can only gain an eternal friend, and they will be so grateful to us, and their families will be stronger. I can testify personally that the Book of Mormon has changed my life! As I read from it every day, I gain greater faith, hope and charity, greater strength to resist temptation, and just an overall peace that comes from knowing I am on the straight and narrow path to eternal life.”
“What an incredible adventure and gift we have been given. I believe sometimes that I am getting far more out of my mission than I am giving, and I am giving everything I can think of. But, I guess that is always the way the Lord works. When we follow and keep the commandments of God, He opens up the windows of heaven and pours out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
“I laid my hands on her head, and said the words at the beginning to seal the anointing, and then I just waited. I waited for the spirit to tell me what to say and the words came. There wasn’t even time for the words to register in my mind. They just came out of my mouth.”
Most of us have had or are having these types of experiences in the Florida Tampa mission. It reminds me of a quote from Elder Bednar, who reminds us of our capacity as ordinary people. “We should find great comfort in the fact that ordinary people who faithfully, diligently and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results.”
You have my confidence and affection. I love you.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Dear Sisters and Elders,
I feel much love and gratitude for you this morning. I love our Book of Mormon reading. Some of us accepted the challenge to ‘let virtue garnish our thoughts’ for one whole day. The Book of Mormon helps us do that. The Book of Mormon testifies: “…turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and …serve Him with all diligence of mind…” President Monson gave this prophetic promise in the April 2010 conference: “Brethren, fill your minds with good thoughts and your actions will be proper.”
I testify that there is no better way to fill your minds with good thoughts than daily feasting on The Book of Mormon. I repeat: there is no better way to fill your minds with good thoughts than daily feasting on The Book of Mormon. Please lay claim to the promise that “your actions will be proper” by daily feasting on The Book of Mormon. In the April Conference of 1980 we were taught these prophetic words: “The great overall struggle in the world today is, as it has always been, for the souls of men. Every soul is personally engaged in that struggle, and he makes his fight with what is in his mind. In the final analysis the battleground is, for each individual, within himself. Inevitably he gravitates toward the subjects of his thoughts.
Ages ago…was stated this truth: “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he”. If we would escape the lusts of the flesh and build for ourselves and our children great and noble characters, we must keep in our minds and their minds true and righteous principles for our thoughts and their thoughts to dwell upon…If we would avoid adopting the evils of the world, we must pursue a course which will daily feed our minds with and call them back to the things of the Spirit. I know no better way to do this than by daily reading The Book of Mormon.”(President Marion G. Romney) I know there is a power that comes into our day each and every morning that we feast upon The Book Mormon. This power allows us this very day to: do good, love and lift others, resist temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary and to stay on the straight and narrow path. This power insures that today’s actions will be proper. This power insures that today’s thoughts will be garnished with virtue. And if your actions will be proper this day because of your feast in The Book of Mormon, then why not make every day’s actions proper by a similar daily feast.
I know we are reading the Book of Mormon together at this time. I plead with you to continue to read it every day of your lives. I remind you to look for the promises in the Book of Mormon. Remember this: Read the Book of Mormon with those you teach. I believe in your capacity to act properly. I believe in your capacity to let virtue garnish your thoughts. I love you and I believe in you.