President's Pen 9-28-15 (Mosiah 2-4)

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, receiving the 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!

Dear Elders and Sisters,

We love you!  We are excited to hear from living prophets and apostles in the 185th Semiannual General Conference of the Church this coming weekend.  We will see history, as two and possibly three new apostles will be called. Are you prepared to hear what the Lord needs you to know and more importantly will you act on it?

Imagine sitting with your family, your doors are faced towards the temple, and King Benjamin begins his timeless address directed at the many saints gathered to hear him.  You have understood that this will be a life changing conference, but you’ve heard his voice many times and you love and sustain him as your prophet. 

This amazing man begins to speak and he has clearly aged, he’s old and frail, but he is powerful, humble, and has dedicated his whole life to serving his Father in Heaven.  He speaks to you about how he has selflessly served, and then he shares his wisdom with you, teaching that when we serve others we are only serving God.  He’s not looking for you to thank him though; he wants all the praise to go towards God.  He tells you that God has created you, preserved you, given you life, and even your daily breath. 

He then teaches you that God only wants you to obey his commandments; that when you do, He’ll bless and prosper you.  He even tells you that when you obey Him, He will immediately bless you.  He teaches you that you desperately need God, that you are as as the dust of the earth, and that you will be forever in debt to Him because of His goodness towards you. 

He counsels you to remove contention from your life and to stay away from evil.  He pleads with you to stay clean from sin, to not openly rebel against God, and to always keep His Spirit with you.  He asks you to awaken your soul and to recognize that happiness will only come as you keep the commandments of God.  He promises that when you do you will be blessed, both spiritually and temporally, and that you can achieve a state of never ending happiness. 

In the first part of his address to you he has lovingly taught that you need God in your life and somehow his words are starting to change your heart. (Mosiah 2)

As he continues his talk he shares that he has come to declare glad tidings of great joy.   He tells you that in just a short period of time a Savior will come to the world; working miracles, healing the physically and spiritually sick.  He tells you that He will suffer for you personally, take upon him your pains, but then rise from the dead and stand ready to judge you.  He teaches you that through your repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ you will be saved!

He counsels you to listen to the prophets and not harden your heart.  He teaches you that the atonement saves you from the fall and that there is no way you can get back to God without the Savior.  He then warns you to put off the natural man, to be humble and submissive, patient, loving, and to become like a little child.  He bears his testimony to you that the things he’s teaching are true and that the Lord will judge you for your works; whether they be good or evil, you will be accountable for your actions. 

As he finishes this part of his address to you he has clearly taught that you need the Savior, even Jesus Christ and your heart fills with hope because you have felt that this is true. (Mosiah 3)

He then gives you a moment to talk about what you’ve learned as a family and you all recognize that you are nothing without God.  You want the mercy and atoning sacrifice of the Savior to come into your life, you want forgiveness and to be cleansed of your sins.  You want peace for your conscience and your faith is growing in Christ to the point where you are being filled with joy.

The great prophet then lovingly teaches you that you have felt the Spirit and that the knowledge of God has awakened you.  The Spirit has helped you know of God’s matchless love and his patience for you.  The prophet then teaches you that you must be diligent in keeping the commandments.   He tells you to believe in God, to listen to His wisdom, to recognize that you can’t understand all the things God has done for you. 

He continues to teach you that you need to repent, forsake your sins, humble yourself and ask for forgiveness.  He wants you to feel of His goodness, taste of His love, and have joy in your soul.  He wants you to remember these things so you can remain steadfast. 

He teaches you how to treat one another, love one another, and to succor those that stand in need of succoring.  He reminds you that you need God and that you are like a beggar, depending upon God for everything.  He warns you that you should share, and impart of all your substance so that all might be blessed. 

He tells you that you can do this and to be wise.  He let’s you know that God won’t make you stretch further than you are capable and that He will give you strength to return to live with Him again. 

He tells you to avoid sin, to watch yourself, your thoughts, words, and deeds and to keep the commandments.  He pleads with you not to perish, to have faith in the Lord and to remember these things for the rest of your life. (Mosiah 4)

He ends his talk and you have recognized the Spirit, perhaps like never before.  You have taken the time ponder what you’ve learned and you have believed every word spoken. The words have rung so sure and true that your heart has literally changed.  You feel so different that you no longer desire to commit sin; you want to do nothing but good for the rest of your days.  

You recognize God’s goodness towards you and His Spirit has worked upon you to the point that you see what your future holds.  You can see into the happy state that King Benjamin has spoken of.  You have so much joy that you make a covenant to do God’s will, be obedient to His commandments, and dedicate your life to God for the rest of your days.  You have taken upon you the name of Christ and have become His son or daughter because of the faith you have in His name.  (Mosiah 5)

It is an experience that has forever changed who you are, what you will do, and who you will become.  You learned that YOU NEED GOD, that YOU NEED the SAVIOR, and that the SPIRIT has worked mighty change in YOU!

Elders and Sisters, if the people of King Benjamin could have this happen to them, is there any reason it can’t happen for you?  You will be taught this weekend just like King Benjamin of old. The message will not change, the need for God in your life will not change, the need for the Savior in your life will not change, the need for the Spirit to be in your life will not change.  King Benjamin's talk will be heard again this Saturday and Sunday are you ready to hear it with new ears?

You too can have an experience like the good people from King Benjamin’s time as you prepare your hearts and minds to hear what God will tell you at conference this coming weekend.  Pray to know what God wants you to hear, pray to have your heart softened so you can act, and pray to have the Spirit testify to your heart and mind that God knows you and loves you.  Consider how the words spoken will effect your missionary work.  What will you do differently and how you will show increased devotion to God.  What a blessing it is for us to gather, face towards God’s prophet’s, and be instructed at their feet.  We love you!

Weekly Mission Update

Elders & Sisters, we had 32 souls enter the waters of baptism for a remission of their sins during the month of September.  Great work, we are heading in the right direction.  Please do all you can to retain these new members, work with the ward, teach them the follow up lessons, get them to the temple, keep loving them.  I sincerely believe we have only reached about a third of our potential.  As all companionships work towards baptizing one of God's children per month, we'll recognize that our Father in Heaven is truly hastening his work.  Let’s keep inviting and helping all we interact with come unto Christ, FEAR NO MAN!  We love you!

Saludos y abrazos, have a great week!

President Halll