April 14, 2014
Hey hey hey!
I hope I find everyone in good spirits this fine day! I know I am! Update on transfers: I got a new companion, Sister Hall, from Clearfield, Utah! And oh my goodness do I love this sister! She’s wonderful, she’s smart, she’s quiet, but she’s a bundle of fun! She’s kind of like me… I hope that doesn’t sound conceited… Ah well. She’s fantastic! We’ve got some fabulous plans on how to make this area even better and find more people to teach and bring closer to Christ. It’s gonna be a GREAT transfer!
Second item of business is this link:
It’s great. Click on it, or type it in the address bar and watch the video(s), read the message, share it with EVERYONE! It’s a wonderful message that everyone needs to hear. Seeing as Easter is just next week, it’s the perfect thing to flood Facebook (or other social media pages) with this week. 🙂 Whether you’re a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faithful member of your own church, not really interested in organized religion, or even just not sure about God, this is a message just for you of who our Savior is and what He is all about. Watch it, read it, share it, LOVE IT!
Alrighty: This week was full of craziness. I spent Tuesday in Brewer with Sister Cowley (fellow sister from Colorado!) waiting for both of our new companions. Then on Wednesday, our district meeting was in Belfast… The complete opposite direction of where we needed to be in the afternoon (Ellsworth). So that day was spent with a lot of driving. THEN on Thursday, we drove for an hour and a half down to Augusta for a Sister’s Conference (just for the sister missionaries in the eastern half of the mission). Which was awesome! There was a lot of laughter, especially at lunch. Why? A couple reasons. 1) I SAW MY MOM!!!! …. Not my real mom. My missionary mom! Sister Buxton! I was really happy to see her and laugh about memories we have from serving six months together. It was great! She’s dying this transfer (going home) though so I’ll have to wait a little while to see her again. 😛 and 2) President Stoker… I REALLY wish I’d gotten a picture of this, but sadly, I’m not sure anyone did. We were doing a group picture when he jokingly lays down on his side in front of all the sisters. Funniest. Thing. Ever.
Anyway. Yesterday, Izzy FINALLY came to church!!!!! Which means, she can be baptized! Well, she’s got to come two more times, but still! She came and it was great. Oh also, let me describe to you our wake-up call yesterday.
Imagine yourself laying in bed, just starting to come to. It’s 6.19 when you hear a beep, which means someone is either calling or you got a text. Since the alarm hasn’t gone off yet, you ignore it. At 6.30, the alarm goes off and you check the phone. There’s a voicemail from the Branch Secretary, so you listen to it, thinking there might be a message about Branch Council being cancelled or something similar.
“Hey Sisters. I’m sorry to ask you this and it was horribly poor planning on my part, but can you both speak in church today? I thought I had some other things lined up, but I got my weeks mixed up. Give me a call, or let me know at Branch Council! Thanks!”
-.- <—Sister Hall and I both looked like that, I’m sure. Church starts at 9.30. He gave us all of three hours notice for that. COOL! Honestly, though, I don’t mind speaking in church, so we both decided it was fine. Interestingly enough, we both spoke about the Atonement. We didn’t talk about it. I don’t think either of us knew what the other was planning to speak on. So someone needed to hear about the Atonement at church. It was really cool. I’m really grateful for how much we study and prepare lessons so that if we are asked to speak with such short notice, we can and it goes fairly well! 🙂
Okay. I’ll continue with my thoughts on the Plan of Salvation. Last time, I’d talked about having an interview with God and how this life is a time for us to prepare for that. Have you thought about how you need to prepare? I hope so! That’s something each of us needs to constantly be thinking about.
Imagine that you make a mistake in life, a mistake that the person interviewing you would find out about and it could put the job you’re hoping to get at risk. There’s no way to erase it. It’s there forever. Because of this mistake, you might be out of a job. What do you do? What do you say? How do you explain it? Do you plead with the interviewer to just give you a chance? Do you beg him to forgive what you’ve done and let it go? What happens?
Now imagine that this mistake CAN be erased. You make the mistake, and in your preparation to be interviewed, you have the chance to erase what you’ve done. Would you erase it, or would you wait until you were in the interview to try to get it erased?
What is the eraser?
It’s the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ’s main purpose in life was to perform the Atonement, to pay for our sins. Heavenly Father is a just God. That means that the ends of the law need to be answered somehow. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and break the law, whether accidentally or on purpose, at some point in our lives. Without the Savior, we would be the ones to pay that price, which means there would be no possible way to gain eternal life. We’re taught that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God (1 Nephi 10:21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Without repentance, we can’t be cleansed. 2 Nephi 2:6-7 says: “Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.”
So we can have our mistakes erased, or paid for through the Atonement of Christ. He is our advocate; He is the one who goes before the Father and pleads for us to receive eternal life. But there’s something we need to do. The Father has asked a price to be paid for our sins, and Christ is willing to pay that price. He’s already gone through what is required to pay the price. In all senses, the price is already paid and there is no debt to the Father. But because Christ is the one who paid it, He is the one who we need to repay. His price covers the resurrection and salvation – all will receive a perfect, immortal body and all will live in a kingdom of glory, but unless we pay the price that Christ has asked of us, we won’t live in the kingdom that He and the Father live in.
So what is that price?
Jesus Christ has given us His gospel – Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and enduring to the end. That is His price – that we do our best to have faith in Him and Heavenly Father. That we repent, or change, to become better and more like Him. That we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the proper authority, and after we’ve done all that… We keep doing it. We change our ways to love and serve others. And we never stop striving to be perfect. We never stop trying to change our natural human ways. We always look to God and do our best to show our love for Him and His Son. If we have an open, willing, broken heart and a contrite spirit, we can do it. If we learn to submit our will to His, just as Christ did, we can do it. Whatever we do, if we have faith and trust in the Lord, He will help us to achieve our goals. God’s ultimate goal is to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39) All They want is for us to live with Them again. They’re not asking us to do much, really. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. And it’s 200% worth it.
In addition to checking out the above link, I’d like you to study Matthew 26:37-44. Luke 22:42-44, Luke 23:34, Mark 14:33-36, Mark 15:34, and Alma 7:11-13. What do those scriptures mean to you, for you? How have those verses changed your life? What did Christ go through just for you? How was He feeling? How would you feel in His position? What are you now going to do to pay the price that Christ has asked of you?
I know the Atonement of Christ is real. I use it all the time to gain more strength every day. I use it to change. I use it to be better. You can, too. The Savior loves you and knows you. He wants the price He paid to cover anything you’ve done. You have to let Him. You have to open the door that He is knocking on. Let Him in. Let Him heal you. Let Him forgive and erase what you have done, so that when you stand in your interview with Heavenly Father, He can say that the price He paid includes you.
I love you all. Thank you for your love and support. Keep striving to be like Christ. Blessings and miracles come from it. 🙂