Monday, April 21, 2014

4-21-14 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

I very much enjoyed your letters last week, especially your thoughts about our most recent general conference. This was an outstanding conference and I also received much needed personal guidance. Conference time for me is a chance to check my bearings – to see where I have made progress, where I am going, and how I can improve. I am so grateful for inspired leaders who always seem to address exactly what I need. I am also thankful for the Holy Ghost, who teaches me the most important things in life. He “fills in the gaps” so that I hear and learn what I need to hear and learn. I know that my Heavenly Father knows and loves me and general conference is one of the many ways in which I feel His love.

Although I did not keep exact statistics, the two talks that were most frequently mentioned as being among your favorites were President Uchtdorf’s talk on gratitude and Elder Bednar’s talk about how the burdens that we carry give us traction to move forward. These great addresses, and so many others, have great relevance to what we are striving to accomplish as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It has been some time since I included excerpts from some of your letters. Here are a few that were especially inspiring to me last week:

“When hard times come, it is easy to forget to be grateful because things are not going our way. This is the time that we need to be even more grateful. When we show gratitude in the hard times, it shows God that we trust him and know that he just wants us to grow and be better.”

“President Uchtdorf talked about gratitude, and not just being grateful for our possessions, but being grateful in our circumstances. In particular, he used the phrase "gratitude will clear our vision." This really struck me, and I feel that as I work harder to be grateful for everything that I've been given, including my circumstances, I will find greater joy and excitement in the work and it will really help to provide a focus for me.”

“I am so grateful to be here in A with Elder B. I'm also so very grateful for the opportunity I had to be with Elder C in D. I got to see how obedience and a love for this work really changed my mission. I love these people I want to show them the truth of this gospel. I'm so grateful for all the inspiration I received during General Conference. 
Every companion I have had on my mission has strengthened my testimony so much. I'm so grateful for the Lord and his atonement that I can try to help improve myself each day.”

“I LOVED Henry B. Eyring's talk of our eternal heritage. When we choose to follow our savior, Jesus Christ, this choice not only effects us personally but all those who come after us. We CHOOSE to leave a GREAT inheritance for those who will come after us. One thing he said seemed to resonate in my ears, "that my children may imitate my example." Our example is our inheritance we leave behind. And the words "be someone worth following" seemed to light up on a billboard in my head. As I pondered these words and tuned back into what President Eyring was saying, he was testifying of the Savior, and the eternal inheritance of peace, joy, resurrection, and happiness that he has left us. I can echo his testimony and say I know we can depend on him and what he can give us, but it is a choice, a choice of righteousness. A choice to be like him.”

“My favorite conference talk was The Cost - and Blessings - of Discipleship by Jeffery R. Holland. I reflected on the impolite behavior from the man on that sister missionary and realized that we aren't here to have an easy mission. We teach "Hard" Doctrine in an area with lots of "Easy" Gods. We are rejected left and right, sometimes very harshly. I ask, "I am willing to endure it all for Christ's name?"

Elders and Sisters, I was deeply impressed by the comments and insights that many of you shared with me in your letters as you reflected on your experience of participating in general conference. I hope that you will always remember the powerful thoughts and feelings that come to you as you watch, listen and heed the conference messages. I hope that you will make time each April and October for the rest of you lives to participate in general conference. Remember: listening is not enough, we must go and do!

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of Champions 

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