|Some of the men that have made a huge influence in my life - Mike Stapleton, Ryan Andersen, my Dad, and Scott Holt|
|Most of my family - Chloe was in Spokane at her cousin's houses|
|August 5, 2016|
|The temple was filled with loved ones.|
|Uncle Kelly and Aunt Annie|
|Just me and my dad|
|I couldn't stop smiling.|
|Uncle Ryan and Aunt Emily|
|Mom and Dad|
|Then that evening I had the privilege of baptizing my little sister, Chloe.|
|We've always had a special bond.|
|Many of who came to celebrate with us all weekend!|
|Uncle Luke came to visit for two weeks prior to be leaving to the MTC - we had a great time together!|
|LOTS and lots of family and friends came! Saturday we spent just hanging out, playing games, and eating. It was relaxing and special to spend so much time with everyone.|
|Aunt Tavia and Uncle Vaughn came from Idaho with their kids.|
|Game night with Grannie.|
I am humbled to speak today as a servant of the Lord, about to serve Him with all of my heart, mind, and strength for two years in the beautiful country of Romania, apparently pronounced Romania in romanian!
A few facts about the call to serve a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: A mission is totally voluntary, but for young men of the church, is a commandment from God. We read in in Matthew 28:19 that Jesus commanded his disciples to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, and so is the call extended to all worthy and able young men of these latter days.
We believe that each missionary called in this church is by revelation from God through his apostles. What wonderful and comforting fact this is- that God has called me to this mission because this is where he can use me the best, and where I can grow the most. I look forward to seeing evidence of this throughout my mission.
In Romania, there are 3,043 members of the church in a country with 20 million people- that means 1/10000 of the population is Mormon! There is much work to do in this nation, and I feel so humbled to be in the forefront.
Story of not wearing crampons (define) walking across the side of an icy steep hillside and unable to walk across successfully, had to use ice axe to inch my way across (my boots were slipping). Thinking how miserable and scary it was
“Humbled” ourselves and put on our crampons. Because they were old, they took a while to get them fitted on my boots just right. After beginning the next traverse, I immediately felt the aid of the crampons, and climbing the mountain
Had we not humbled ourselves and put on our crampons, climbing up the mountain on our strength would have been dangerous and near impossible for us.
The Lord taught us in the BOM how to recognize our weaknesses and make them into strengths.
Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
The same principle is taught by Paul teaches who us that it is only through God’s grace that we can be made perfect like Christ!
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
My experience hiking brought this principle to light, manifesting to me the importance of not relying on my own strength to cover my weaknesses, but to humble myself and use the proper equipment to get up the mountain, or in spiritual terms, using the grace and power of God to help me overcome my weaknesses, and become a better disciple of Christ.
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing… I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Why is it so important to make our weaknesses become strengths?
Moroni 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
… To become perfected! That is the beauty of Christ’s atonement -it is not just to cleanse and console, but also to transform- and that takes patience, humility, and endurance- Just like we are taught by Paul and Moroni.
As we neared the summit of the South Sister, the mountain face got very steep, and each step required faith that those metal spikes of the crampon would give me enough traction to hike up the final stretch.
Like each metal spike in the crampon which give us traction to the icy sides of a mountain, there are several actions that we can take that will allow us to improve ourselves in following Christ’s plan for us, ensuring continual progress in becoming like our older brother.
- Following the prophet’s (something I love about this church is that we believe in a modern day prophet who receives revelation from God)
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
When we follow the prophet’s council, we are following Christ, for through the prophet “God revealeth his secrets”, or speaks to YOU AND ME. I know that when we follow the prophet we cannot go astray. Although it is easier said than done, it takes humility to follow the teachings of the prophet. When we do though, we are submitting ourselves to what the Lord wants for us!
- Submitting ourselves to the Lord’s timing. When we do this, we are showing God that we love him and trust him enough to let Him bless us in his timing. (Just like Moroni and Paul learned) Sometimes the blessings or strengthening of a weakness may take longer than we would like, but always remember that the Lord knows best!
- Another spike is repentance. When we repent we are humbling ourselves from our tendencies of the natural man and showing our desire for bettering ourselves and becoming like Jesus Christ.
Talk about dating experience (relates to all three spikes)
Although many other spikes, the final one I would like to speak about is constant nourishment from the Words of Christ.
2 Nephi 32:3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
I love the last part of this scripture. The words of Christ will tell you all things we should do! As we continually study and ponder all words of Christ, our testimonies will burn strong and we will be humble enough to do God’s will.
Share experience of developing a habit of constant nourishment from the scriptures.
So many more
These 4 metal spikes- Following the prophet, trusting in His timing, repenting, and feasting on the words of Christ- have been essential for preparing to serve a mission. It is amazing to see the blessings that have come from humbling myself to the Lord’s will, and I look forward to seeing what the Lord will do with me as I continue to strive to do better at these things.
Evening Open House...