Monday, July 21, 2014

7-21-14 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

As of this moment we have 27 baptisms in the month of July. We have 10 week A baptismal goals. There are two more Fridays and one more Saturday this month. If all of our week A’s follow through and get baptized, we will still fall far short of our goal of 60 baptisms this month. We need to do all we can to help the hasten the work at a greater pace. We need more faith. “Brethren [and Sisters!], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage [people]; and on, on to the victory!” (D&C 128: 22).

Let’s increase our faith in our area. Our area is a sacred assignment from the Lord. We can be like Ammon who, when asked by King Lamoni if he wanted to live among his people, answered, “Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die” ( Alma 17:23).

In the spring of 1831, the Saints began to gather to Kirtland, Ohio. A member named Leman Copley agreed to allow a group from Colesville, New York, to stay on his farm in Thompson, a short distance from Kirtland. The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith: “And I consecrate unto them this land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide for them otherwise, and command them to go hence; And the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall turn unto them for their good” (D&C 51:16–17).

Much like missionaries assigned to a particular area, these Saints knew they wouldn’t be permanent residents on the Copley farm. At some point they would move on. Yet no matter how long their stay would be, they were to act as if they would be there for years.

When we “act upon this land as for years,” we begin to recognize opportunities we may not have seen before. We may also see that some of these opportunities may never come our way again. Then we think, “As long as I’m here, I’m going to get involved, do the best I can, and choose to be happy. I’ll continue to hope for the future, but in the meantime, let me do some good here.” It’s the difference between treading water and actually swimming. It’s the difference between waiting for the new move call hoping to be transferred and “thrusting in your sickle with your might.”

Let’s eliminate from our thinking and our conversations all our negative thoughts and murmurings regarding our area. It is an assignment from the Lord and He has prepared people for you to find.

Love your area. Love the people. Desire to be among them. Believe that the Lord can and will help you. “…the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them….That they might not be hardened against the word…but that they might receive the word with joy”(Alma 16:16).  Such was the faith of Alma and Amulek. Let it be ours too.

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Champions

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