Monday, October 6, 2014

10-6-14 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

This has been a great week for me. I had the opportunity to spend time proselyting with some of our missionaries. It was great to learn from them and experience the joy of teaching and testifying of Christ in a more up close and personal way. I am so grateful for your courage, dedication, faith and skill. As I observe you in action, I am better able to appreciate the great work that you do and also the areas in which we can improve.

One of the things that really helped me this week was more careful management of my time and schedule. Time is something of which we all have a limited supply. As we carefully prioritize and set goals, we will accomplish more and resist the temptation to put things off. We should continually evaluate all that we do by whether or not it helps us accomplish our missionary purpose of 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. Our goals and plans should continually be focused on these important aspects of the doctrine of Christ.

In Preach My Gospel we learn that accountability is a fundamental part of Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. We will all stand before the Lord and account for what we have done with the opportunities He has given us. As you serve your mission, you can learn much about accountability that will benefit you throughout your life. As we feel an appropriate sense of accountability, we will be more motivated to do our very best each day. We should never use guilt to motivate ourselves or anyone else. The Savior did not use guilt to accomplish anything that He did. There are many instances when he “reproved… with sharpness” (D&C 121:43) but he was never manipulative or improperly motivated.

I was struck by something that I read in PMG this week as I was reviewing Chapter 8. “The quality of your personal and companionship study will improve your ability to teach by the Spirit…”(pg. 139). If we are earnestly striving to accomplish our missionary purpose, we should welcome every opportunity to improve what we are doing. I sometimes hear of missionaries who do not have effective personal and/or companionship study. When Elder Holland said that missionaries make or break their missions in the first few hours of every day, he was talking about personal and companionship study. If you need to repent and improve the manner in which you use your study time each day, I urge you to do so now. Do not delay!

A missionary recently wrote to me, “I'm always uplifted during companionship study when we share what we learned in personal study. I love the fact that we as a companionship have some time to discuss our own spiritual knowledge with each other and, in turn, build upon what we have learned. Every time we have a good spiritual discussion together I feel our unity growing just a little. Working, and sweating together as well as learning and listening to each other, I feel, brings us closer to the purity of discipleship.”
It is my prayer that we are all striving to experience the “purity of discipleship” as we go about our work each day. We are not merely trying to keep busy. We are disciples of Christ and servants of the living God, focusing on our missionary purpose to build the Lord’s kingdom on earth.

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of Pure Disciples of Christ

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