Monday, May 26, 2014
I now know why agency is so important.
I now know why agency is so important. Without agency, we can do nothing. As I have more and more trials here in the mission field, I am always confronted with choices. Usually, this choice has something to do with choosing to give up or to keep going. This is the root of the battle between good and evil. When Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior and Redeemer, Lucifer had to make a choice: humble himself before God, or to rebel. We know the choice that he and one third of our spiritual brothers and sisters made. Because of their rebellion, we have an opposition in all things: a common enemy bent on our destruction. Because they cannot progress, themselves, the forces of the devil will try everything to keep us from doing so. They would have us give up and turn against God, rather than keep going and returning to Him. In our daily lives, we are faced with frustrations, conflicts and crises. We can choose to give up or we can keep going. We can hold grudges or forgive and seek forgiveness. We can throw in the towel or we can continue working. We can curse our Father in Heaven or we can praise Him. It´s our choice. We can give in to the natural man and halt our eternal progression, or we can become saints through the everlasting Atonement of Jesus Christ. I can choose to be happy, despite the opposition. When I am tired, discouraged, sad, wanting to go home (be it our apartment, or the U.S.), frustrated with others, with myself, or with my situation; when negative thoughts come into my mind, I can choose to be happy. I can be excited, encouraged, rejoicing, grateful, and glad. I thank my Father in Heaven for all that I have had, that I have now, and that I will one day have, if I stay faithful. I read the scriptures, especially the passages meant for me. I read my patriarchal blessing, or my call letter. I turn to my God for forgiveness, comfort, and help in my day-to-day. I have my friends, companions, and mission leaders. And I have my family, and my Savior, and my agency. We can choose for ourselves to turn to, or away from, our God. He loves us and is perfect, and knows so much more than we do. His thoughts are higher than ours, and His ways higher than our ways. If we trust in Him, remember His Son, and do our best, all will be in our favor. We just have to make the choice for ourselves, because no one, not even God, the Almighty, can do it for us. What a great power we have been given. I thank Heavenly Father for giving us agency, and I am so proud to know that we fought to retain this gift, before the Earth was made. I know that God exists. I know that He made a perfect plan for us, which involves opposition from the devil, and salvation from the Redeemer. According to His plan, we can all be saved, according to our choices in this life. I know that Christ suffered for me, and that He knows how to succor all of us. I know that through Him, because of Him, I can be saved from sin and death. I know that Christ´s Church is the Church that I represent, and that it is the only true and living church, with prophets and apostles and the priesthood. I know that I am making a difference here, and that today was better than yesterday, and that tomorrow will be even better yet. I love this gospel, and I love my life. I am making the right choice. This has been confirmed to me through the Holy Ghost, who is also very real. I share these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. I love you all, and have a great week! Elder Richins --