President's Pen 8-10-15 (Binding the Lord)

As missionaries in the Texas Houston South Mission, we know our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We do this through our constant efforts to find, teach, invite, retain, and activate God’s children; we love it, we live it, and we do it! We begin with the “End in Mind”, and see God’s children as he does. We are Disciples of Jesus Christ and the best missionaries in the world!

Elders & Sisters, we can’t wait to be with you this week for zone conferences! I truly wish I could see and be with you every day. Your goodness rubs off on me and I am blessed to serve you.

As you prepare for zone conference this week you will notice a pattern I am trying to implement that we were taught by Elder Bednar. Meetings shouldn’t be just meetings; they should be revelatory experiences... How do they become revelatory experiences? Elder Bednar teaches that as we prepare to learn (our study and preparation before the meeting), we come ready to interact and edify (learn from and strengthen each other) that we will then be invited to act (go and do) as the meeting comes to a close.  I have given the Zone Leaders the information you should review and study before for the conference. Please take these steps seriously.  You will find that the Spirit will prepare your heart and mind for a revelatory experience vs. just another meeting!

Your zone leaders should have also shared with you a new twist that I will be introducing at these conferences. We are one Church, one missionary effort; with that in mind I have invited all ward and stake leadership to attend if they are able. This is not a requirement for them, but an open invitation to come and learn with us. Will you please invite them to join us for whatever time may work for them? This includes YW, YM, Elders, Relief Society, Primary, and other auxiliary presidencies. I would also like you to invite a member, less active, or investigator to join us at 9am so our role-plays become more effective. Yes we will role-play and we will love it!!! I hope you like the new format, I’m excited; pray that we will all be inspired to act and become. (Please be in your seats by 7:45, we’ll start promptly at 8am)

As I was reading some of the good instruction from the MHB & PMG this week a thought crossed my mind... D&C 82:10 teaches that “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”

Have you ever thought what it really means to bind the Lord? God holds himself accountable to all eternal laws and gives us a perfect example of obedience.  He is required to bless you when you do what he says! Where else in life can you find this kind of guarantee, warranty, assurance, and commitment? How often are we let down when we rely upon the arm of flesh and in so doing feel disappointment, mistrust, and deception.

We can have a perfect assurance that when we follow what God wants us to do he will bless us. I once served with a bishop that described it this way… God has dump trucks full of blessings ready to pour down upon us, but sometimes we look up at Him and say, "sorry Lord, I’m just going to do my thing for now, I don’t want your blessings". Have you ever found yourself unwilling to receive the blessings the Lord has ready for you because you don’t have enough faith to trust Him?

When I apply these principles to missionary life I wonder if we bind the Lord as well as we could. The moment you walked into the MTC I’m almost positive one of the first lessons you received was on obedience, and if we understood what was being taught, we learned how to bind the Lord. Most of us listened and desired to become exactly obedient; we would follow the daily schedule, we would set goals and plan, we would OYM, we would study, we would love our companion, lock our hearts, etc. etc..

For some, you have done everything you can to bind the Lord. For others, it’s been more of a struggle. Ultimately, this life is a test of your willingness to submit your will to God’s.  Your success as a missionary depends on your total surrender to what God wants you to do, the question for you to answer is are you willing to do it?

I was studying in Helaman 10:4-5 this week and I found a new love for the Prophet Nephi… Nephi is so good that the Lord blesses him with great power. Why? Because he has completely submitted his will to God. Read these two versus and ask how they might apply to missionary life and how you can bind the Lord to bless your work.

An invitation to all of us this week is to bind the Lord as we keep our promises. Will you accept the invitation? If you’re doing well, keep up the great work! If you need to improve, then consider what blessings you might receive if you made the adjustments required.

We love you, love you, love you! As I share with you often, you’re easy for me to love, because I know who you are and who you are becoming.

For this week will you please report to me on the following...

1. What will you do to bind the Lord and his promises to you in your work this week?

2. What will you do differently in your personal preparation for zone conferences?

Message from Sister Hall

I want to add my witness of the blessings (promises) that do and will come when we follow the words of the Lord found in D&C 82:10. This is one of my favorite scriptures from my youth. When my “rebellious, natural woman” questions a commandment, standard, rule, or even Church calling given me, I refer to back to this scripture. Often times I want to do His plan in a way that is convenient for me. Have you ever felt like you want to have your cake and eat it to? I know I have. I have to remind myself not to ask “Why” is this asked of me, but “How” does the Lord want to bless me. I invite each of you to trust in the Lord and the promised blessings he has in store for you. Love you all, Hugs.

Weekly Mission Update

For the month of August, 13 souls have come unto Christ to receive a remission of their sins through baptism. Please ensure that you help all of our new converts stay faithful and directed towards the temple (retain). During our zone conferences we will be introducing a new approach to our “standards of excellence”.  I have felt that some of our standards need updating to reflect our full purpose (find, teach, invite, retain, activate) as missionaries. I look forward to sharing them with you and know that as you come to recognize your full potential, we will help many more of God’s children receive the blessings prepared for them.  I will leave you with a question… What did you hope to accomplish as you came on your mission?

Saludos y abrazos, have a great week!

President Hall