Monday, July 7, 2014

7-7-14 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who directs the work in which we are engaged and is also able to care for and look after me. I am imperfect and have weaknesses and yet Heavenly Father has given me this opportunity to learn and grow and become better as I serve to the best of my ability. I think it is a pretty good way to allow me to become what He wants me to become.

I feel like I should resist the temptation to be satisfied with myself and what I have accomplished. There is always room for improvement. When we cease to strive for improvement, we will cease to look for inspiration and guidance. It is incomprehensible to me that Nephi or the Brother of Jared could build a boat in which they would trust their own lives and the lives of those they loved. If the Lord asked me to do that, I would be terrified. I marvel at the faith it must have required to not complain, seek inspiration, and follow the Lord’s direction. I love Ether 2:16, “And the Lord said, go to work…”

I believe that, collectively as a mission, we have not yet learned to do all that we can do. In a conference of the Church in 1831 the Lord told the saints, “Ye are clean, but not all…” (D&C 38:10). In the Book of Mormon we read, “the remission of sins bringeth meekness and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost”(Mor. 8:26). As we repent of our weaknesses and are sanctified by the Holy Ghost, our faith will increase. After Enos was told that his sins were forgiven, he began to pray on behalf of his family and friends for them to have the same blessings. He received an assurance for them from the Lord. “After I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord…” (Enos 1:11). As we develop unshaken faith in the Lord, He will allow us to accomplish more.

We need greater faith than we now have. I urge you to study and ponder this question: What do I need to do to have greater faith in Jesus Christ? As we, personally, and in our companionships, and as a mission, understand and act upon the answers to this question, we will be given greater power to serve others. We will be given insights (see Alma 12:3) into the needs of our investigators and we will know how to help them build their own “unshaken” faith in the Lord.

Please accept this letter in the spirit of encouragement and not as a criticism. It is my belief that we could have greater success than we now have in inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.. As we sanctify ourselves and attain greater faith, we will achieve greater success in our missionary purpose. We need to put aside our distractions and resolve our “jarrings and contentions” (see D&C 101:6).  We need to have faith in the members of the Godhead – that they will keep their promises to us if we do our part. This is their work and it is our privilege to labor in their vineyard for a season, perhaps for the rest of our lives (see Enos 1:26).  We have the potential to accomplish much more in the Taiwan Taichung Mission. Let’s go to work.

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Champions

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