Monday, June 15, 2015

6-14-15 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Exercising faith is fundamental to accomplishing the work that we have been called to do. Our faith in Christ is manifested in our actions and our daily lives. Our faith in Christ and the restored gospel has resulted in each of us responding to the call of a living prophet to serve as full-time missionaries. “Having faith causes us to try as hard as we can to learn about and become more like our Savior. We want to learn what His commandments are and then obey them” (PMG, 61-2). As we come to know the joy of living according to His teachings and the gratitude of receiving forgiveness of our sins, we cannot help but desire to share our blessings with others.

We arrive in our assigned areas of labor with lofty intentions to forget ourselves, sacrifice our comforts and desires, work diligently and be exactly obedient. We quickly discover that missions are more difficult that we had previously thought. As  we repent and sanctify ourselves, we realize that overcoming weaknesses and changing our nature is demanding. Moreover, distractions and temptations are all about us. We may feel overwhelmed at times, or that we just do not have the ability to do everything that needs to be done. I think missions, and life, were meant to be that way. Our loving Heavenly Father allows us to encounter situations in which our experience and capacity are simply insufficient if we rely upon ourselves.

The Savior revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that, “[we] should live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God” (D&C 84:44). What circumstances would best allow us to accomplish this task? I believe that as we confront things that allow us to experience our own faults and limitations, we are more likely to acknowledge our dependence on the Savior and our need for His divine assistance.  As we “cry unto him” (Alma 34:18) and “pour out our whole souls unto him” (see Mosiah 26:14) and “draw near unto him” (D&C 64:34), He blesses us. He gives us power to meet life’s challenges. He helps us change the desires of our hearts. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, and through actions that both demonstrate and increase our faith, He can heal us, both physically and spiritually.

What have you done differently, or how have you grown and changed as you have studied faith this month? “Faith is a principle of action and power” (Lectures on Faith, Joseph Smith, Jr.).

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of Champions

PS. We currently have 24 baptisms in June. Last week we had difficulty with rollovers: Week A to baptism 37%, Week C to B 53% and week D to C 54%. Rollover rates need to increase in order to achieve our baptism goals. Commitments and daily follow-up are essential keys to helping people progress towards baptism. 

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