President's Pen 3-26-18 (Faith Lifted)

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! Thanks for another great transfer and for your ongoing faith, obedience, and diligence to do the Lord’s work.  Have sufficient faith to know that your success is truly manifested in who you’re becoming and in your effort and commitment to teach repentance and baptize converts!

He is risen!  This coming Sunday we celebrate the one thing of most importance; the Savior has come to do the Father’s will and that His matchless love, mercy, and infinite Atonement has been extended to all.  I testify and know He lives, that He is my Redeemer, my Savior!  There is no more important message we can share than that of His birth, His life, His ministry, His suffering in the garden of Gethsemane, His death, and His triumphant resurrection.  All things are centered in Christ and this message, we are His representatives, and how blessed we are to teach of Him and of His gospel. 

Elder Neil L. Anderson said the following in the 2016 Missionary Broadcast, “As a missionary, always keep His name on your lips, and be prepared as the prompting comes to testify of Him. I know you talk to everyone who will listen to you. Wherever you are—in a bus, on the street, in a teaching situation, or in a home with a member—if you are ever unsure of what to say, speak of the Savior. Testify of Him. Speak of His doctrine, of faith in Him, of His Atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. This is your purpose. This is your charge.”  I love his simple words as he reminds us to always have the Savior in our hearts, our minds, and on our lips.  Regardless of what we do, we always can remember that the reason why we open our mouths is to testify of Him, to invite others to come unto Him, and to help them do so. 

Elder Anderson further taught, “Your first responsibility is to help lift the faith of a man, woman, or child from wherever they are to a greater faith in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement. I love this statement in Preach My Gospel: “As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase.” Ask yourself, “What do I really believe about the Savior’s Atonement? Am I personally experiencing every day the Atonement?” By increasing your own understanding of the Atonement, your effectiveness as a missionary will increase. Do you see why this is so important?”

Elder Anderson’s teaching and invitation is critical for all of us to keep in mind.  Our first responsibility is to lift and increase the faith in the Savior and His Atonement.  We personally prepare to do this through our personal worthiness, our obedience, our effective planning, our focused personal and companionship study, our teaching by the Spirit, our commitment invitations, and our continuous follow up.  If our responsibility is to lift the faith of others, what are we doing, as Elder Anderson teaches, to understand the Savior’s Atonement in our own lives and are we personally experiencing it?  We can only lift others if we are higher than where they currently stand.  As the Savior taught His Apostles, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Is your faith in the Savior where you want it to be so you can lift others?

I am often asked, “How do I increase my faith in the Savior, or how do I come to know Him better?” These are two wonderful questions and we can find answers from the Lord’s chosen prophets and apostles.   If you will study the two talks below, I promise that you will find answers for yourself and for your investigators. 

Finding Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – Elder Robert D. Hales (What do you learn from Enos’ experience and what pattern can you follow to increase your faith?)

If Ye Had Known Me – Elder David A. Bednar (What things can you do today that will help you come to know the Savior better?)

Elders & Sisters, this coming weekend you will hear prophets, seers, and revelators testify that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, and our Savior and Redeemer.  They will lift our faith and increase our understanding of His Atonement and love for each of us.  I invite you to ponder the following questions as you prepare to watch conference… How can I increase my faith in the Savior and experience His Atonement more fully in my life?  How can I lift the faith of those I teach to have greater faith in the Savior and in His Atonement?  If you will ponder these two questions, spiritually prepare to be taught by the Holy Ghost, and prayerfully seek the answers you desire, the spirit of revelation will bring feelings to your heart and thoughts to your mind.  Of all that we study and desire to know, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement, is the most important thing for each of us. (Alma 7:7)  We are faith builders and faith lifters and it is incumbent upon each of us to be prepared to always teach and testify of Him.  He has come among His people to save and redeem us and He will come again.  I testify that you are His representatives, honor His name, wear it with courage, and testify boldly that He is risen and that He lives!  I love ya!

President Hall