Have You Learned for Yourself?

Elder Moe, Elder Hodges, Elder Shepherd
We said good-bye to an assistant this week, Elder Shepherd, and welcomed a new one, Elder Hodges. These young assistants learn and grow at a very fast pace while they serve and lead other missionaries. Elder Pearson taught our missionaries last month that their missions are meant to teach them to be powerful leaders. It is a joy to watch as missionaries learn the skills necessary to lead. It is profoundly remarkable to see them lead by the Spirit and do as the Savior would have done. As I have watched this happen for so many of them, I have come to a greater understanding of why God chose a 14-year old boy to be the Father of the Restoration. These young hearts are easy to touch and influence. They listen a little bit better than those of us who are a little older. Once these young missionaries determine that they are going to give their entire will to God, heavenly direction comes in fascinating ways.

There is something instructive in Joseph's words as he visited with his mother immediately following his visit with the Father and the Son. When his mother asked what was wrong, he replied, "I am well enough off." And then this statement that should teach each one of us something profound, "I have learned for myself." God has not put us here on this earth to follow blindly; that was Satan's plan. We have the opportunity to choose good or evil, life or death, happiness or misery. In order for that choice to hold real meaning, we must learn for ourselves. While God's plan is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man," He has an individual plan for each of us. We agreed to and chose to come and follow that plan and path, but if we don't learn for ourselves we will never receive all that He has for us.

Elder Hodges, Elder Moe, Ashleen, Elder Shepherd

We were blessed to watch a young woman find her path and God's plan for her. Ashleen was baptized yesterday morning. She was taught the Gospel by Elder Moe and Elder Shepherd. We were privileged to have her in our home for one of her lessons. She spoke at her baptism and shared that she had many years of experience with the Church. She attended Sunday meetings for a long time, participated in many activities, and had many friends who were members.  It wasn't until she wanted to learn for herself that she understood God's plan for her. She shared that the Book of Mormon changed her life; she now really understood what the Gospel, the Church and God could mean in her life. Once she learned those things, the path was clear.

"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma 5:26) It is through that mighty change of heart, Ashleen learned for herself. It is the same for each of us. If we want to learn for ourselves we must seek and ask. It is required of us to find God again; to awaken our memories to that which we knew before we came here. He know us each, He knows our names, He stands ready to guide us if we will do the work necessary to learn for ourselves. What a joyous message it is. He came to offer life and safety and peace.

"When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us." Joseph Smith

PS Stayed tuned next week--our version of #ShareTheGift.

No comments:

Post a Comment