President's Pen 4-2-18 (Epic, Wow, Inspired)

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! Wow!  What an amazing general conference.  The Lord is hastening His work and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.  We are His hands, let us all continue to serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.

We’re you inspired?  What a historic conference, I’ve never seen anything like it and it was simply amazing! General Conference is always a feast and a reminder that God speaks from the heavens and that He loves each of us individually.  Like you, I always feel like specific messages are directed at me, as if I was the only person on earth that was intended to hear it.  Elder Hales shared the following as we are left to ponder on what we were taught from on high…  “We accept the Savior’s invitation when we ponder and pray to understand what we have been taught and then go forward and do His will. Remember President Spencer W. Kimball’s words: “I have made up my mind that when I go home from this general conference … there are many, many areas in my life that I can perfect. I have made a mental list of them, and I expect to go to work as soon as we get through.” 

As I pondered the messages we’ve received the last two days, here are a few of the thoughts the Spirit has brought to my heart and mind… First, I am a beloved son of God and that He knows me.  I am a child of God.  In my notes I wrote… The most powerful knowledge we possess is knowing our own identity and that God sanctifies us on our most difficult days.  The invitation I accepted was to seek God and His divine Son and to do so through the my continued study in the book of Mormon.  The promised blessing is that I will come to know God and more fully cherish my noble birthright.

I was reminded that mistakes are a fact of life, that they are temporary, and that perfection is gained line upon line and precept upon precept through the small and simple things.  In my notes I wrote…  Success isn’t the absence of failure, but going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.  I can repent and not lose enthusiasm because I know it is the plan and that through the Savior and His grace, I will be blessed as I keep striving.  I need to remember that my spiritual growth is best perceived with the passage of time and that growth will be found in looking backwards.  The small and simple things I do every day build a pattern for righteous living and my prayers, scriptures study, sacrament meeting attendance, and service will continue to strengthen me.  The invitation I accepted was to be thankful that the Savior offers countless second chances and that I need to do my part to keep learning, growing, and succeeding.  The promised blessing was that in time, my human heart will become divine through the Savior and His Atonement.  

I was taught the importance of continuing to improve upon my character and to develop the Christlike attributes that come as spiritual gifts.  In my notes I wrote… I will work on my righteous responsiveness, willing submissiveness, and stronger self-restraint.  This will help me develop meekness, a Christlike attribute that is strong, active, courageous, restrained, modest, and gracious.  The invitation I accepted was to become meek and to put God’s wisdom above my own.  The promised blessing is that I will become more like the Savior and enjoy the peace and blessing of living a purposeful life.  I want Christlike attributes to possess me so that what I do becomes who I am.

As I raised my arm to the square in the solemn assembly, and sustained President Russell M. Nelson as our prophet, seer, and revelator, the Spirit flooded my mind with peace and affirmation.  As President Nelson spoke throughout conference, the Spirit witnessed again and again that we are hearing the mind and the will of the Lord.  I was inspired as he directed us to sing as men of the priesthood, “Rise Up, O Men of God” following the announcement of how quorums will now be organized to bless others.  In my notes I wrote… The Lord desires to assist me and I need to pray daily for revelation and give thanks for what comes into my heart and mind.  I choose to receive the Spirit and it is up to me of how in tune I will become as I strive to receive the Lord’s direction.  I need to practice and practice the ability to receive revelation from on high.  The voices of the world will continue to get louder and louder and the more practice I have listening and responding to the Spirit, the more capable I am of surviving an increasingly wicked world.  The invitation I accepted was to continue to increase my spirituality to hear the voice of the Spirit.  The promised blessing is that the most important truth will be revealed to me; that Jesus is the Christ!  With this knowledge all things are possible in and through Him!

I am to minister! I was taught the higher law of making sure love and charity direct my actions as I seek to bless those I am called to serve.  In my notes I wrote… I need to better extend a warm hand of friendship and seek to continually strengthen the faith of others.  I need to care for others in bold, new, and holier ways. I also need to do this more fully as a teacher in my home, gather my kids more often, and minister to them more individually.  The invitation I accepted was to let the Spirit guide me in the way I minister one on one and to seek out the needs of those I serve.  The promised blessing is that I will feel the Lord laboring at my side and that my life and the lives of those I serve and love will be changed for the better. 

Of all the things the Spirit witnessed to my heart and mind this weekend, the one I am most grateful for is the reality of the Savior and of His Atonement for me.  The countless testimonies born of Him lifted my faith.  He has overcome death and sin and through his matchless love, I have the hope and assurance that I can overcome the natural man.  In my notes I wrote… The most important day in my life is when I truly learn to behold Him and bring Him even more abundantly into my life.  The invitation I accepted was to more fully commit to living His gospel and to create the only culture that matters, a Christ centered culture in my life and in my home.  There are more promised blessings than I can count, but my life will have greater meaning, joy, peace, and the hope of eternal life. 

Elders & Sisters, these are just a few of my thoughts as I reviewed and typed up nearly ten pages of notes.  I look forward to reviewing the talks again in the coming days.  What President Nelson taught on the pattern of seeking and receiving revelation was simply amazing.  Revelation will continue to flow if we return the words and counsel we just received.  President Monson once taught, “I encourage you to read the talks … and to ponder the messages contained therein. I have found in my own life that I gain even more from these inspired sermons when I study them in greater depth.” As President Nelson concluded he said, “I exhort you to study the messages of this conference repeatedly…  Your desire to obey will be enhanced.” 

I invite each of you to treasure up what you heard this weekend.  We have a prophet on the earth that will keep pace with the Lord and it is up to us if we want to keep up.  You simply can’t do what you’ve always done and expect different results, that was apparent in the inspired direction we received.   Will you be the same or will these teachings work a mighty change in your heart?  I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that we have heard what the Lord needs us to know, to keep us safe, to bless us, and to direct us on the path we should follow. God speaks from the heavens and We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet! Love ya!

President Hall