I cannot believe I have already been out on a mission for 6 months. The time has flown by. This past week I really have drawn closer to my Savior. I really have learned so many things from being on a mission. Many things have contributed to the growth of a mission. President Hawks encouraged us to read a talk called "Quick to Observe" by David A. Bednar. I suggest everyone to read it. I will briefly explain of the of the insight I have recieved. Dealing with spiritual gifts, one of great value is descernment. Not only to descern the bad from the good around us, but to descern the good and bad within an individual, the good in others, and the ability to be prompt in heeding the spirit.
Although my thoughts are scattered, and I remember little of this past week, I remember reading a talk called "Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service" by Elder Robert D. Hales. IN this talk given at General Conference he said regarding Sacrament "I testify that the sacrament gives us an opportunity to come to ourselves and experience "a mighty change: of heart-- to remember who we are and what we most desire." I think of the covanents made in the temple, I think of ALL the marvelous blessings God has given us as long as we simply obey. I think of the opportunity to partake of the sacrament and experience a mighty change of heart, if we prepare. How can it be a powerful symbol? Elder Hales earlier stated, "For the sacrament to be a spiritually cleansing experience each week, we need to prepare ourselves before coming... We do this by deliberately leaving behing our daily work and recreation and letting go of worldly thoughts and concerns. As we do, we make room in our minds and hearts for the Holy Ghost." Think of Michael who later became Adam. Think of Saul who became Paul. The symbol of a name-- in essence is the reconstruction of one's very being! As we willingly and joyfully go to the alter and partake of the Sacrament, we symbolically change our essence. Our name may still be Matthew, Lawrence, or Stella, but our very soul is Jesus the Christ. The name of hope, charity, compassion, patience, endurance, obedience, humility, salvation and of service. What happiness can be found as we submit to the commandments of the Father.
As a living testimony I have literally and more importantly symbolically taken on a new name, the name of Jesus Christ, representing His church. I promise that when we covanent with God each week to bear his name in our hearts, we will be the people we want to be, we will be a standard to the world, and God will be pleased with us individually. We will "have an opportinity to come to ourselves and experience "a mighty change of heart" as promised by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ- Elder Hales. I have witnessed it time and time again, and I know this change can occur daily when we focus on our Savior and our covanents with Him. I have so much to learn, I have so many flaws. But I do have a patient, perfect Father who will teach me, you, and those who are willing to change. "
And it came to pass that he (Alma) said, unto them... as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another;s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life- Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, and keep his commandments, that he may pour our his Spirit more abundantly upon you? And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts." Mosiah 18:8-11
When we renew our covenant with God, do we rejoice? Do we clap for joy knowing that we have an opportunity to change?
I invite alll of you to ponder in your hearts the covenants that you have made and the desire of your hearts to know for yourself if you are true in your willingness to serve God.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen