Sunday, September 7, 2014

September 2014: President's Calendar Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

It’s hard to believe that September has arrived. By the end of this month the temperatures will cool off and the best of the mangos will have to wait for another summer. It seems like we were just having the mission Christmas activity a few weeks ago. In reality, we are all working against a clock our entire lives. However some experiences, like a mission, for instance, allow us to feel even more powerfully how the passage of time is a constant backdrop and influence on all that we do.

Many of us have for many years looked forward to the day that we could serve as missionaries. We tried to imagine what it would be like and dreamed of the great things that we would accomplish in the service of the Lord. When the day finally arrived that we could begin our service, it was filled with excitement and anticipation. We soon realized, however, that missionary service is challenging and demands our very best at all times in order to be successful.

Sometimes it is tempting to ease up and do less than our best. Everyone has moments when we do less than we are able, do not use our time wisely, or desire to rest from the burdens we bear. As we recognize our weaknesses, we naturally turn to the Savior for strength, comfort, direction and help. We will find that the Savior of the world understands our every need: indeed, he has “borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). A mission has many experiences that are calculated to cause us to fall on our knees and cry out for His divine help. What a great series of lessons to learn while yet “in [our] youth” (Alma 37:35).

“Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the [zones], inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation—that the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled” (D&C 101:63-64).  Ask yourself, “Am I willing to be guided in a right and proper way? Am I doing all that I could/should be doing to fulfill my sacred commission as a representative of Christ? What could I do better?”

September is the beginning of harvest time. As we think about the great harvest of souls in which we are engaged, we should remember that we are accountable for the ways in which we use our time and our talents. “Accountability does not come only at the end of your mission. It is a principle that influences how you begin, how you think and feel about the responsibility the Lord has given you, how you approach your work, and how well you endure. The attitude you have toward your mission experience is a reflection of your love toward your Heavenly Father and His Son, and your respect for the priesthood” (PMG, pg. 151).

Let us all press on!

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Champions

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