Sunday, November 16, 2014

11-17-14 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Our prayers have been answered! In case you have not heard, we will receive 21 new missionaries this week. We will have a transfer day this Friday, November 21. I was so grateful to receive word they were coming. To me it was a very direct answer to prayer. I had previously decided that if new missionaries did not come by this Friday we would need to close down most of the areas where we are currently using short-term missionaries. As you know, closing down areas is a real setback to the work, even if they are re-opened a few weeks later. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father knows our circumstances and our needs, individually and as a mission, and gives us the specific blessings that we need.

As I read the last few chapters of Alma this morning, I was impressed that the armies of Moroni and Helaman received additional men and supplies each time they really needed them (see Alma 57:6, 58:8). At times their situation looked bleak and it appeared to them that they would be overwhelmed. We can learn much from their response to such circumstances. “Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength” (Alma 58:10).  The Lord’s answer to their pleas for help is equally instructive, “the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith” (Alma 58:11).

I imagine that Moroni and Helaman and their soldiers expected to receive more men and supplies in response to their earnest prayers for help. Instead the Lord gave them a feeling of peace and allowed them to have “great faith.” As you serve your mission, and as you live your life, there will be many times that you will fall to your knees and plead with the Lord for help and strength. It is a tremendous blessing to be able to face challenges and trials with the knowledge that all will be well, and that you have the strength and capacity to deal with your circumstances. Ultimately we need to “go forth with all our might” (Alma 58:13) after receiving assurances and answers to our prayers.

If we do our very best, after all is said and done, that will be enough. We should remember what the Lord said to those who marched in Zion’s camp, “I will fight your battles” (D&C 105:14). We are privileged at this time to be part of the great army of the Lord. We are preparing the world for the time when He will come in power and great glory. At that day, “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess” that Jesus is the Christ (Mosiah 27:31). It takes great faith to bow and confess prior to His coming. It will mean much less to kneel when it is no longer possible to stand up! Shall we not press forward in so great a cause?

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of Champions

PS. Please arrive early to our mission tour meetings. Look your best and come prepared to be spiritually uplifted. Remember to read JSH 1-20 and memorize verbatim in Chinese the brief rendition of the First Vision and the baptismal invitation as found in the first lesson in PMG chapter 3.

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