Friday, July 15, 2011

Gratitude for my Blessings

I am just so happy right now in such rough times. Along with many of you, me and my family are going through some tough times but we are so very greatful for these challenges. These challenges are what builds our character. These challenges bring us closer together and show us who our best friends are and what matters most.

I am so thankful for my family first of all. They mean so much to me that there are no words to explain it. I am so thankful for my parents helping me to come on my mission and making it possible for me to be here to help God change peoples lives. My mission means so much to me. I would not give it up for any amount of money. I am so happy I was raised in a big family because it has brought so many great memories and such a big support group. I am thankful for being born of goodly parents in a home which has the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am thankful for my family and friends and all who encourage me to come on a mission. All those that encouraged me can truly be called friends. I didn't know why so many people encourage me to come on a mission but I sure know now. I always looked at it as giving up two years of my life. Now I look at it as two of the best years of my life. It is not the best two years but it is two of the best. The best years will be raising my own family one day. I have seen people change. I have seen families become more united than ever before. I have literally seen myself become a new person which I am very thankful for. I am thankful for my mission president and his family for all that they do for me. I am so very thankful for my former mission president who helped me get through my hard times. I am ever so greatful for the Lord sending an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ to me which prevented me from making the biggest mistake of my life and going home off my mission. I am thankful for his counsel and advice. I am thankful for this two magnificent years. There are no words to explain it. I am so thankful for my friends I have gained on my mission and their help and encouragment. I am thankful for my leaders as a youth who helped me stay on the strait and narrow path. I am thankful for the Gospel and the blessings and happiness which it has brought into my life. I am just so very thankful for all of the mercies and blessings God has granted to me; whether it be friends, family, trials and challenges, His strength and whatever else. I will never be able to repay Him. The closest thing I can do is keep His commandments and return to live with Him. I can also help raise His sons and daughters.

I am forever thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father! You can never glory too much in our God! "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and of His mercy, and of His long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." (Alma 26:16) I am honored to be on His errand. I am honored to wear the name of JESUS CHRIST upon my shoulder. There is nothing greater than this. It is a very sacred part of my life. I have never felt so close to my God. There is so much power if we do what we should during this opportunity. My mission was chosen by revelation from God. It was chosen by God through one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life." (3Nephi 5:13) For two years I set my personal life away voluntarily to do the great work of our Lord and Savior. I have set my standards to a higher level so I can be called His disciple. I want people to be able to look at me and say, "He truly is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ." I say this not for boasting but I say this in gratitude for my God. I want to be able to help move His work. It is one step at a time or you might look at it as one soul at a time. I do not come to baptize people into the church. I have come to bring the fold of God back into His arms. I want men and women to come and know their Heavenly Father. I want them to come to know of the mercies of our God through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

In the Book of Mormon the prophet Lehi sees a dream. In this dream he sees a large and spacious field which is dark. He sees a tree which shone very bright. He see fruit upon this tree. He sees a rod of iron on the bank of a river. He sees a river and on the other side of a river a large and spacious building. The large and spacious field is like unto the world. The tree of life represents Jesus Christ. The fruit on the tree represents the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The rod of iron represent the Word of God. The large and spacious building represents the pride of the world. The people in the building were mocking and laughing at them that partook of the fruit. As Lehi followed the iron rod he came to the tree and partook of the fruit. Those that partook of the fruit were ashamed at those who were in the building scoffing them. Lehi said of this experience,
Image"And it came to pass that I beheld a tree whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I have ever tasted... And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruits." (1 Nephi 8:10-12)

Brethren and Sisters in the Lord, I know that the Atonement makes one happy. I know that this fruit is desirable above all other fruits. This is why I have come to share this Gospel. I know that if you so desire you to can come to know of this exceeding joy. I am greatful for everything I have. I am most greatful for the knowledge of my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

I hope everyone is greatful for all that they have. I hope you thank God for those boulders and pebbles He puts in your path. We may not see the big picture now. We may not understand why this happens to us. We definitely should not complain about them because that is taking away from the growth you may have received in your character.Now we are not perfect but we can be through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Let us always look at things positively. Always remember how merciful the Lord hath been from Adam down until now.  I pray you may receive strength to conquer your challenges through Christ Jesus. I pray that God will watch over you and keep you close to Him as you do what He has asked. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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