February 10, 2015

Curious Workmanship

I've been studying the Book of Mormon with the question in mind "How
can I be a better missionary?" This is a question that does not just
apply to those of us who are set apart as full-time missionaries. We
have all heard the title member missionaries. I would like to add my
voice to the many others who have declared this truth. I know that at
baptism we promised our Father in Heaven that we would take Christ's
name upon us. In so doing we became representatives of Him. We do what
He would if He were in our place. Christ was the ultimate missionary.
He was always inviting others to come to Him and become whole. We must
do the same. Just like how Christ prepared for His ministry, we too
must prepare ourselves each and every day to face a world that is
focused more on itself than the glory of God.

When Nephi and his family were preparing to sail across the ocean to
the Americas they prepared themselves by gathering food and seeds of
many varieties. They prepared to do the will of God. In our daily
lives we want the example we set of living a life focused on Christ to
plant a seed in the hearts of those we come in contact with. This seed
is a seed of faith talked about in Alma 32:28. However, how do we
expect to plant these seeds if we first have not gathered them? How
can we help others if we are in spiritual distress ourselves?

It never feels like we are in distress, but I testify that if you are
not studying your scriptures and counseling  with your Father in
Heaven daily you are in distress. We are in need of daily spiritual
nourishment. We prepare ourselves in a way the is of "curious
workmanship" to the modern world. It is the way of God not of men.
However, just like the ship that Nephi tells of in 1 Nephi 18, the
product of following the plan of God is "good" and "exceedingly fine."
Truly the increase of the Light of Christ in our countenances is a
beautiful sight. We are a peculiar people but people recognize the
value of the outcome of our laboratory and are interested in how it is
produced. This is because the results cannot be replicated by any
other means.

As you do this, you will become more finely tuned to hear the promptings
of the Holy Spirit. You never know when this inspiration will come.
It may come in the middle of the night like Lehi when God told Him
that he must leave with his family the next morning in 1 Nephi 16:19.
What do you think would have happened if he had not been in tune?

I invite you to repent. Repentance is simply a change for the better.
It is not supposed to be negative in any sense but glorious. We have
the ability to repent daily to become a little bit more like our
Savior. Repent and make your scripture study a little more meaningful.
Repent and pray a little more sincerely. Repent and take advantage of
the enabling power of Christ's infinite Atonement.

I also invite you to start keeping a journal or notebook of the
spiritual things that you learn. We show our Father in Heaven how we
value the knowledge He gives us by what we do with it. Do we tell
ourselves that we will remember it, use it diligently, and then forget
it an hour later or do we write it down, read it again, and cherish
it. I know that when we record spiritual enlightenment more comes.

I know that God knows and loves you individually. He wants to teach
you and guide you back to His presence. Please let Him!
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