Monday, July 28, 2014

What Manner Of Men Ought Ye Be?

Tortillas for the week: 15 

This week was a good ole rough week for us. We had our most positive family drop us, they called and said we have talked with each other (meaning the husband and the wife) and we have decided that we are not interested anymore. Boy did it hurt and I wanted to cry. The hardest thing is you can see in the wife’s eyes that she knows these things are true and that the husband has been touched by our message and then to have them say we are not interested anymore has been one of the hardest things on the mission, it killed. For the rest of the day I was down, it just hurt, and my heart ached but I just kept putting my foot in front of the other. So as of right now we don’t have anything, we have a teaching pool of two. There is so much work to be done and it seems no one wants to listen to the greatest message they will ever hear. The day after the family dropped us we went out to contact and at first I had bright spirits then NO ONE was answering and I was like you’re kidding. We went to a few more houses and people answered but did want to listen to us. I kept thinking what is happening. My answer came the next day. I was reading an epistle from Captain Moroni to Pahoran and these are the words he wrote (Alma 60:21), “Or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit upon our thrones and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?” Those words hit me and I realized I was contacting just to go through the motions, not with the faith or hope of finding someone; I was doing it just to get it done. In that moment I kept thinking why did I do that, why didn’t I have the faith or the hope, why? I don’t have that answer but I do know if we don’t put forth effort, the Lord is not going to help, He won’t truly bless us. We have to do our job before he can do His. He will bless us when we have done our part. It is the same with finding a testimony, you can’t sit in a chair all day and receive a testimony, you have to keep the commandments, study and pray to gain a testimony and then the Lord will provide a spiritual witness through the Holy Ghost that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s true church on the earth. It is funny and definitely not a coincidence because when we were teaching Joel he shared with us a story about God and a guy: There is a huge Tsunami and this guy prays to God to save him. The guy is standing there and a helicopter flies by and the pilot says, “Dude get in” and the guy says, “No God will save me.” Then a cop comes by and says, “Get in” and the guy says, “No God will save me.” And then an ambulance drives by and same thing words are exchanged, then friends come by, family members and a whole bunch of other people pass by and say the same thing and the guy says the same thing, “No God will save me, He will get me out of here.” Well the guy dies and now he is in front of God and he says, “God what happened? Why didn’t you save me?” And God responds with this, “I sent you a helicopter, a cop, an ambulance, friends, family and even strangers to get you out of there but you said no, so you can’t blame me because I gave you what you asked for and needed to be saved.” It hit me and made me think am I truly using what God has given me to preach, testify, to convert myself and others, am I using everything to save myself and others? It just made my think and evaluate the way I prepare, the way I teach, the way I love, the way I love Christ, the way I try to be like Christ. As I have been thinking about this I remembered this message,
All these experience has made me reflect on what manner of man I ought to be. Christ said, “Even as I Am.” As I have been thinking all week about this, on Friday I read the talk “The Priesthood Man” given by President Erying from this past General Conference. President Eyring shared this, “We all have heroes. When we choose heroes, we begin to copy, consciously or unconsciously, what we admire most in them.” As I read those words I thought about who are some of my heroes and I could see only two huge heroes in my life, number one is my Dad. As I look back on my life all I truly wanted was to be like my Dad. I even wanted to teach high school physics. I still want to teach but I am not sure I want to teach high school physics. I am seeing that I teach the way my Dad teaches. As I watched my Dad teach I knew he learned to teach from the greatest teacher of all time, this teacher taught the perfect way, He taught to come unto Him, to follow Him because He is honestly the one we can follow to receive eternal life. He taught us how to live; He taught us that He is the way, the truth and the life. He also taught us this and this is the way my Dad teaches, read and study first, your answer is in the Book of Mormon or as my Dad would say read and study the physics book, and IF you don’t find it come to me and I will guide you to your answer and as I guide you will receive the knowledge you need for your answer. Show me you truly want to know through study and prayer. That perfect teacher, Jesus Christ is my biggest hero. He is the greatest hero of all time. President Eyring says this about heroes, “I have observed three common characteristics of the priesthood holders who are my heroes. One is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to be honest.” All three of those characteristics are Christ. Christ should be the greatest hero in all of our lives. So I ask who is the real hero in your life?  
I know that Christ truly is the priesthood man and that this church has His priesthood. As we met with a menos activio (less active), who now is a pastor in another church, we talked about the Book of Mormon and the priesthood. At one time he was a priesthood holder and I asked him about that and he didn’t answer, all he said was I have accepted Christ and that is all that matters. I looked at him and said we have Christ’s authority, no other church has His authority, no other church has His authority to preach His gospel but we do, and I know it and right now I am preaching in the name of Jesus Christ because I hold his authority. And then I said stop denying Christ and stop denying the truth. He then said he had to go. The next day I just opened my Book of Mormon and read this cry form Mormon which is found in Mormon 7:5, it is a cry and invitation to the present day Lamanites. He says, “Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.” Mormon’s words are a great reminder of the responsibility and a heavy burden upon me to bring these chosen people back unto Christ. I have the responsibility and bare the burden that Elder Holland talks about in his talk, “The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship” He says, “In addition to teaching, encouraging, and cheering people on (that is the pleasant part of discipleship), from time to time these same messengers are called upon to worry, to warn, and sometimes just to weep (that is the painful part of discipleship)” to bear the burden of the Lamanites, the burden to bring the people of Ammon back to the one that sent Ammon. Boy is it a big burden but I testify with Elder Holland with his words, “In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall.” I know that is true.

Despite all the challenges and disappointments this week there has also been tender mercies. Last night was one of those tender mercies as I am witnessing one heart being changed. We challenged Joel to baptism. I asked, “Joel when you know the truth will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized in His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” He said, “No.” Then I said, “When you know that this is true?” and then came a smile, he said, “Yes, I will when I know this is true because it is from God.” So be strong everyone, take heart. And remember pure Christ like love flowing from true righteousness can change the world. I testify that the true and living gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth and you are members of His true Church. Have courage and be bold share His message of joy, love and eternal life.

What I love about Mom is that she still races to this day and what I love about Dad is our good ole days in the feed zone.

con much amor, ducks forever.
Elder Mcilmoil
July 21, 2014

Scripture of the week: Mormon 7:5 

“You can be a great model, an average one, or a bad model. You may think it doesn’t matter to you, but it does to the Lord.” President Henry B. Eyring

“We have been prepared for our time and place in the last days of that sacred work. Each of us has been blessed with examples of those who have made that work the overriding purpose of their time on earth.” President Henry B. Eyring

“The priesthood holder you want to be prays often and with real intent. In the evening you will get on your knees and thank God for the blessings of the day. You will thank Him for parents, for teachers, and for great examples to follow. You will describe in your prayers specifically who has blessed your life and how, during that day. That will take more than a few minutes and more than a little thought. It will surprise you and change you.” President Henry B. Eyring 

I bear witness of that gospel and that Church, with a particular witness of restored priesthood keys which unlock the power and efficacy of saving ordinances. I am more certain that those keys have been restored and that those ordinances are once again available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than I am certain I stand before you at this pulpit and you sit before me in this conference.” Elder Jeffery R. Holland 

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