Sunday, June 8, 2014

President's June Calendar Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

I recently attended a gospel principles class in one of the many wards in our mission. The lesson was on the first principle of the gospel, faith in Jesus Christ. One paragraph in the manual recited a number of great miracles that were all wrought by faith in Jesus Christ. It is truly awe-inspiring to contemplate some of the miraculous events recorded in scripture, such as healing the sick, restoring eyesight, causing the lame to walk, or raising the dead.

For the past few weeks we have asked people to report a new key indicator: Miracles Seen. In our mission we refer to the many daily occurrences that represent the hand of the Lord in our work as miracles. These things are sometimes so small that some would call them coincidences. Because we know that this work is His work, and He guides and directs it, we can be confident that there are no coincidences in what we do.

Many missionaries have commented in their weekly letters to me that counting miracles has allowed them to recognize more fully the bounteous blessings that come so frequently as we consecrate ourselves and go forth each day, “Not knowing beforehand the things that [we will] do” (1Ne. 4:6). As we consciously look for, and recognize, the many blessings that we receive each day, we must “…always return thanks unto God for whatsoever things [we] do receive” (Alma 7:23). In the words of President Uchtdorf, “Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes” (Liahona, May, 2014, pg. 77).

I have always loved these inspiring words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, penned while a prisoner in Liberty Jail: “Dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”

As I pause to consider the miracles that are all around us everyday, I cannot help but feel immense gratitude for the greatest miracle of all: that my Heavenly Father could allow me, with all of my weaknesses and faults, to be a part of this sacred work. That through the Atonement, I could be cleansed from past mistakes, and given enabling power (grace) to become what He needs me to be. That I could be shown my weaknesses and, through faith in Christ and humility, my weaknesses could become strengths. That like the one leper of ten who returned to give thanks, I could not only be healed but made “whole” (Luke 17:19). It truly inspires me to “live in thanksgiving daily” (Alma 34:38).

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of Champions

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