President's Pen 12-25-17 (Prepare Him Room)

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 that teach repentance and baptize converts and the best missionaries in the world!

 Dear Elders & Sisters,

I love ya!  Merry Christmas! I hope and pray that the experiences you’ve had as you’ve #LightedTheWord and given #MasQueNunca this Christmas season will forever be cherished memories.

Today the heavens and nature sing, the Lord has come!  We sing “Joy to The World” as we celebrate the birth, life, ministry, and Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ.  He lives, He reigns, and He is our King.  He is the center of our message, it is He whom we represent, and it is He who serves with us in the vineyard each day. 

I love the wonderful words expressed as we sing Joy to the World, “let every heart prepare Him room.”

In a Christmas devotional, President Monson retold the story of the innkeeper in Bethlehem and encouraged all to not let the opportunity pass by to make room for Christ in our lives.  He said, “The innkeeper missed the greatest opportunity that an innkeeper could ever have had. Years later it would not do him any good to say, “If only I had known who they were.” Some homes today have rooms for eating, rooms for sleeping, play rooms, sewing rooms, television rooms, but no room for Christ.  Do we experience a pang of conscience as we recall His own words: ‘Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head’ (Luke 9:58)? In our busy lives, with ever so many others competing for our attention, it is essential that we make a conscious, committed effort to bring Christ into our lives and into our homes.”

How do we follow President Monson’s counsel and prepare our hearts to make room for the Savior?  I believe it is in the planning, the readying, and preparation that makes the difference for each of us.  It will be found in the time we make, prioritize, and set aside to prepare room when the world and its trappings come calling.  As missionaries, we are creating celestial traditions to make sure there is always room for the Savior in our hearts and minds.  Here are a few thoughts on how to prepare Him room…

  • Prepare Him room through mighty prayer – Every morning and night you have a mighty prayer, giving gratitude and thanks, asking for divine help, and recognizing the hand of the Lord in your life.  Always having a prayer in your heart keeps you mindful of the blessings that come from the Savior and His Atonement.  A heart that has prepared a room, is a heart that is prayerful.
  • Prepare Him room through scripture study – Each morning you are blessed to treasure up the words of eternal life.  This celestial tradition will help you come to know, understand, and increase your faith in the Savior.  Through the scriptures we come to know His attributes and the infinite nature of His Atonement.  A heart that has prepared a room, is a heart that feasts upon the words of Christ.
  • Prepare Him room through daily repentance – The invitation to become as He is requires a heart that is always changing.  Our willingness to repent prepares room for the goodness only He can bring into our lives.  A heart that is open to change is a heart where there is room for His attributes to possess us and bless us.  A heart that has prepared room, is a heart that is broken and changing.
  • Prepare Him room by making and keeping covenants -- As we partake of the sacrament each week we open a room for us to remember Him, take upon His name, and keep His commandments.  We open a room as we keep our temple covenants to obey Him, sacrifice for Him, live His gospel, remain virtuous and pure, and consecrate our time and talents for Him.  Covenants remind us of promises He is bound to give us and is desperate to give.  A heart that has prepared a room, is a heart that rejoices in covenant making and keeping.
  • Prepare Him room through selfless service – We are in the service of our God when we serve His children.  We see the needs of others and act on spiritual prompting to bless them.  A heart that has prepared a room, is a heart that is turned outward. 
  • Prepare him room through…  What would you add here that will help your heart prepare more room?

Elders & Sisters, singing Joy to the World is a wonderful expression of our love, hope, and belief that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  To receive and accept His priceless gift, we must prepare room in our hearts for the enabling and healing power of His Atonement.  We must make the time to prepare Him room.  As the Savior taught, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt 6:21)  Do you treasure the Savior and what His birth, life, ministry and Atonement means to you? 

I invite you today to evaluate the kind of room you are preparing.  It is a room that you ready each day?  Is it a room that is given with your heart?  I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, that the room the Savior has prepared for us is far beyond what we can understand.  As Paul said to the Corinthians, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  Let us serve the Savior with all our hearts, let us prepare more room, and let us reap the blessings that come to those who love him! Love ya!

President Hall