Monday, 7 March 2016

4 months 2 weeks left

      This week was very good! We met some new investigators and they seem very prepared to receive the gospel. We had a very powerful lesson this week with an investigator named James. We shared a talk from a YSA Devotional by Tad R. Callister. It talks about what some of the necessary blueprints are for Christ's church. 
      Here's the link to this talk, it's very powerful I suggest you watch it.
      I was reading a talk this week that we recently studied for zone conference. In the talk we studied as part of our preparation for zone conference, "Why Do We Serve?" given General Conference in October 1984, Elder Dallin H. Oaks discusses six primary reasons people serve in the Church. The first two he described as "priestcraft" or selfish and self-centered reasons to serve:
     1. Hope of an earthly reward.
     2. Personal desire to obtain good companionship (to hang out with our friends)
The remaining four reasons go from good to better to the best reasons to serve:
     3. Fear of punishment
     4. Sense of duty
     5. Hope for an eternal reward
     6. For the love of God and his children
Reasons 3. through 5. are compelling reasons and each has it's own redeeming quality for serving. Each will motivate us -- to a point. But each still has a bit of selfishness attached to it and doesn't have the full power to motivate us like loving our Father in Heaven does.
      Loving our Father in Heaven is the first and great reason for all we do. This is what the Savior meant when asked which was the great commandment, he responded: 
   "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40)
     Elsewhere he taught:
   "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
   "If ye love me, feed my sheep." (John 21:16-17)
     These two themes -- loving God by keeping His commandments and serving others -- is found in some of the most powerful scriptures we have on power in our lives and service:
      "...if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you..." (Moroni 10:32)
      "Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God..." (D&C 121:45-46)
       My plea to all of you is; Let us serve because we LOVE OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN! It's the best and only way to do this work. We'll find the greatest joy as we serve for this reason. Obedience and consecration become easier. We'll have more power and the Spirit will be with us more. Our faith will be strong and we will see miracles! This is why the question of how we feel about the Savior is so important. If we LOVE Him and the Father we can do all things.
      That's why Moroni, speaking of charity, exhorted:
      "...pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ..." (Moroni 7:48)
      May you be filled with this great love -- with charity, the pure love of Christ. It will help you overcome all fear and doubt; all exhaustion and disappointment; all strife and contention; all obstacles and roadblocks to the work and help you realize the righteous desires of your heart and faith-filled efforts.
      Those are some of my insights from my studies this week. I hope they make your week brighter. I know that Jesus Christ lives, he is our Savior. I'm so grateful for Him because of what He did for me. I know that when we serve him out of gratitude and love for His ministry and sacrifice, we will see miracles in our lives.
       Have a great week!
             Elder Strate

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