October 4th 2010
Well as always, I miss you. I pray for you daily. I know life isn't perfect and that each of you have your own set of trials and daily stresses to deal with. But I am emailing you today and feel strongly impressed to tell you, Be of good comfort and cheer. Be not dismayed by the challenges of daily life. Stay true to your selves and hold to the iron rod. Nourishing our testimonies DAILY, by constant scripture study and prayer, is the only way our faith can pull us through the hard times. Remember that Heavenly Father is so very uniquely aware of each and every one of you. He loves you. He will not leave you alone in your greatest hour of need. Our Savior is there for you too. The Lord took upon him every trial, sickness, and sin and it is only in and through His infinite Atonement that we can be saved.
I am often reminded of the song that changed my life, titled, "Where Can I Turn For Peace?" I do not have all the words memorized, but there is a line in that hymn that reads, "Where can I turn for peace, when other sources cease to make me whole, who, who can understand? He only one." I would invite you to read the lyrics for yourself, but that song has a lot of deep and personal meaning for me. Throughout my life, I too have faced challenges. Moments when I have felt my faith weakened and my heart burdened with distress and grief. At times, life has not been easy. And even while I've been out here on my mission, I have experienced the healing power of the Atonement take deep root within every fiber of my being. As it was mentioned by one of the Seventies during conference, I do not have a perfect knowledge of the things of God. I do not have a perfect understanding of how exactly the Atonement works. But what I do know...is that it DOES. It takes great faith to remember to rely on the Atonement daily and to stay true to our covenants we each made at baptism. Although some of us were young, and may not remember it perfectly, when we were baptized we took upon ourselves the name of Christ. We made a promise to always remember him and remember to keep His commandments. We also promised we would ENDURE to the end, no matter what life's challenges decided to present themselves down the road. SO my question I ask is how do we endure to the end? How do we turn to the Savior for peace? How can the healing embrace of the Atonement take place in each and every one of our lives? Well....as simple as it might sound....it all begins with Prayer!
Prayer is another interesting topic. Sure as members of the church, we know that we are commanded to pray always. We know that prayer is the essence and the beginning of our faith. But in taking a few moments now and making time for a little introspection, are we really doing all that we could be doing when it comes to prayer? Are we sincere and humble when we pray. Do we talk to our Heavenly Father as He is our Father. DO we pray vocally when we are alone? Do we open our hearts and give our worries and griefs over to the savior through prayer? Do we ask for guidance, but not really listen for the answer. Do we expect immediate answers to our prayers or do we wait patiently for the Lord to answer in His own due time? Do we have enough faith to pray every morning, night and day...individually and as a family? Could we maybe improve our prayers and aline our will according to the father's? Well, of course these are all questions we can ask our selves. And not to be discouraged if we realize that we could be better at praying. Something I do know is that Heavenly Father does hear our prayers! And HE ANSWERS! He answers from the littlest things, like from knowing where to find the car keys to receiving direct guidance on a path our lives should take. SOme answers take TIME and patience...all the while we are still nourishing and proving our faith. I have seen many answers to my prayers since I have come on my mission. I have seen miracles. And every day for the past 6 1/2 months, I have seen how the consistent study and prayer has nourished my faith to be as great as it is now! I now understand the great importance each and every one of us have to OURSELVES to strengthen our own faith. We cannot expect an increase in our faith if we are not willing to do our part. We must read and pray always. We must endure to the end. And we must remember who we are as children of God, and that our whole purpose and time we have on earth is a time of probation and testing. As many of the conference talks this weekend were about using our agency and nourishing our faith, I echo the warning voice they sounded. We must use our agency TODAY and choose to follow our Savior and obey his commandments. It is a commandment to read the scriptures and to pray always. It is a commandment to renew our coventants weekly by partaking the sacrament. And it is a commandment to have faith and endure to the end. Jesus Christ is the ONLY person who can provide safety for the soul and who can lead us through this life to reach our eternal destinations. We have the gift to choose! And we must remember that the choices we do make, eventually decide our futures. How great is our faith?
In life we are always striving to progress and improve. If we are standing still, then we are regressing. I feel very strongly that not only would family scripture study bless your individual lives, but it will bless the lives of our entire family. It will bless me, even while I am out here on my mission, serving the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I know the Lord will bless you and that there will be an outpowering of the SPirit in our home. Do we have enough faith to believe and follow the counsel of the living prophet? DO we have enough faith to patiently wait for the blessings when we are faced with trials. I assume so yes and I believe in each and every one of you! You mean the world to me! I love you.
There is power that comes from a missionary's prayers and so I know that Heavenly Father is watching over you and protecting you every day, because I am praying for you.