Wow! Easter was amazing!! I love this holiday so much!! :) I wanted to share some things I've learned over the weekend, as I've listened to modern prophets and apostles of God. :D So much of it has helped me understand more and more about Christ, and how much he and my Heavenly Father love me, and how much they want me to succeed. They haven't put me here on this earth without help. I haven't just been left alone. I have my parents, I have my family, I have my priesthood leaders, but especially, I have the privilege and blessing of hearing from the Prophet of God, and the Twelve Apostles, every 6 months! I'd like to just share some things that really stuck out to me over this last weekend as I listened to the leaders of the Church.
First little jewel from this weekend: Many of the things you can count, don't count.
Second little jewel from this weekend: Dance steps of the gospel are the things we do. The music is the happiness we feel. The joy of the dance will only come when we hear the music. We are "peculiar" to those who can't hear the music, and those who don't do the dance.
Third and last jewel from this weekend: The Atonement of Jesus Christ has anticipated, and has made arrangements for, all injustice and unfairness in this world.
I have the blessing of hearing from these prophets and apostles every 6 months! It's so incredible! I also have the opportunity of reading the scriptures, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, daily! As you can tell, I've never been left alone, and I'd like to share something for those who DO feel alone. It's from the book of Proverbs, in the Old Testament. It says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV)
This scripture has come to mean so much more to me here on the mission than it ever did before my mission. On the mission, I've experienced so many different things that have tested and tried me so much more than most anything I had ever experienced before the mission. I've been alone (or so I felt), I've been frustrated, I've been upset, I've wanted to give up, I've wanted to go home, and of all things, I have not wanted to trust in the Lord. There was my problem. I wasn't willing to let go of my stubbornness, I wasn't willing to be dependent on the Lord, and especially, I wasn't willing to let Him direct my paths. Now, many of us have felt these things, but how do we correct it?? I'd like to share a few ways that I've been able to rely more on the Savior, and let him direct my paths. I hope they can help you.
1) Be humble. If we aren't willing to accept the help, we won't get anywhere. We have to be willing to be as humble as a little child.
2) Control your emotions. I'd like to particularly emphasize controlling our anger, but it is the same principle for all emotions. If your pulse is rising because of anger, or being anxious, or anything else, stop, and take a step back. You won't accomplish anything if your emotions are clouding your judgement. Keep your self-control and self-discipline.
3) Be willing to pray. If you don't feel like praying, there's the first sign that there's something wrong. Get down on your knees, and begin to pray. If we don't want to pray, we need to immediately remedy that by pleading to Heavenly Father to help soften our own hearts, and to help us feel better towards the rest of the world.
Now, to me, these feel really random, but I hope someone who reads this will understand. I want everyone to know, that I KNOW, beyond any doubt, that I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. Don't ever listen to the doubts that come into your mind, telling you that you aren't worthy of the love of God. That's Satan, and each of us know that he has no place in our minds. Get him OUT. Don't let him stay! When those negative thoughts come, tell them to go back to Satan, because that's where they came from. Don't allow them to pull you down. Allow God to help lift you back up.
I love y'all, and I hope y'all have a fantastic week!
Elder Conrad Hamilton