Saturday, June 14, 2014

6-9-14 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

The work in which we are engaged is a work of love and consecration. It must be done in the Savior’s way or we will not accomplish what we have been called to do. Recently a missionary wrote to me, “It's a work about love, about caring. We are not just teaching people what we know, but we preach His gospel because we know God loves them and cares about them. Without love, I am just a preacher. I am working on being a missionary with love.”

In Preach My Gospel, page 10, we read that one of the ways that you can know you are a successful missionary is when you “love people and desire their salvation.” Do you love people? Do you care about their salvation? Perhaps a standard that we could all aim for is to have the same love and concern for our fellow man that was manifested by the Sons of Mosiah. “Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble” (Mos. 28:3).  Can you envision the great things that would be accomplished if we were to hit this standard each week?

We will also be more effective as we fully consecrate ourselves to this work. Another one of our missionaries wrote, “Lately in study I've been thinking about the difference between full consecration and not. It may not seem like a huge difference from the outside but inside yourself you can feel the difference between giving your heart to Heavenly Father and not. I feel that choosing to give your all is probably the hardest, longest, and most rewarding decision. What we are trying to do on missions is what we will continue trying to do after we leave. The difference is that here we have an incredibly spiritual environment to speed up the process of change and to prepare ourselves to overcome the distractions of life at home.”

I am pleased that so many of you have participated in Project Purification not only once, but several times. Do you find that you are continually striving to “give up” the same things? Or is there a “progression” where, as you become more fully consecrated, you are more sensitive to the “little things” impeding your ability to become sanctified that you might not have previously noticed? I believe that there should be a sense of progression as we consecrate ourselves to the Lord. It is something that we do “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2Ne. 28:30).

Yours is no small calling to represent the Lord. What we are doing has eternal consequences. Let’s remember this great counsel from President Eyring: “You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. His work is to bless His Father’s spirit children with the opportunity to choose eternal life. So, your calling is to bless lives…. Just the way you smile or the way you offer to help someone can build their faith. And should you forget who you are, just the way you speak and the way you behave can destroy faith” (General Conference, October 2002). May we strive to keep our baptismal covenants to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in….” (Mosiah 18:9).

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of Loving and Consecrated Champions 

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