Monday, March 31, 2014

3-31-14 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Over 35 years ago, my mission president gave me some wise counsel. He encouraged us, as missionaries, to seek inspiration and be innovative in our work, but he also had two rules for designing and implementing proselyting activities: 1) they had to be dignified and, 2) they had to be effective. This is still very good advice for us today.

As we represent the Lord Jesus Christ, all that we do should reflect the dignity and honor of our calling. The duration of our full-time participation in this work is brief and will pass quickly: we cannot afford to use our time and talents in doing things that simply take up time without being effective in helping others come unto Christ.

Missionaries sometimes refer to going home as “dying,” their last area being the place where he or she “died.” This metaphor is an apt one and can help us endure in faithfulness as we serve. “For we must needs die, and are as water spilt upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up again…”(2 Sam. 14:14).

Fortunately we have a wonderful resource, prepared by prophets and apostles, to help us stay focused on the most effective and appropriate ways to accomplish this great work. It is Preach My Gospel. The introductory pages include a message from the First Presidency to each missionary that states, “Preach My Gospel is intended to help you be a better-prepared, more spiritually mature missionary and a more persuasive teacher. We urge you to USE IT DAILY in your personal and companion preparation…” (PMG, pg. v, emphasis added).

Recently I participated in a lengthy questionnaire from the Church research department inquiring about a mission president’s initial experience. One of the questions, regarding how often I personally study Preach My Gospel, left me with a deep impression. I was disappointed in my truthful response. I have resolved that if I am ever asked this question again, I will say that I use it daily. I urge each of you to have a similar commitment and desire to study this remarkable manual each day.

There are many in the world today who believe that if a desired outcome is good, then any method necessary to achieve that outcome is acceptable, the end justifying the means. In the work of salvation, the end and the means are inextricably intertwined. What we are trying to accomplish (help others come unto Christ), and the methods that we use (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end) are dependent upon each other.

Perhaps our most powerful statement on this subject comes from the Savior himself when asked by one of the twelve, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” How blessed we are to have His example, His teachings, His love and His atoning sacrifice. May we strive each day to improve and to become more like Him.

President Blickenstaff

Studier of PMG and Follower of Christ

P.S. It was actually President's suggestion to post his weekly letters on my blog, then he bugged me about it for about 4 days straight to get the post up, haha! Enjoy:)

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