Letter to President Augustin,
The Cost- And Blessings- of Discipleship… Elder Holland April 2014
“You will one day find yourself called upon to defend four faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse simply because you are a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”
I can’t be more happy with being a representative of Christ. The Lord really did call me because I wouldn’t have come if it were up to me. But, I do get the blessings of truly being able to defend my savior and his church.
“Sometimes it’s hard being a missionary because right then I wanted to go back and grab that little man and say, “EXCUSE ME! But I didn’t.”
Here is a moment of truth- let us be honest, I didn’t appreciate my things being stolen. And I would often find myself plotting what I would have done if I had walked down to my car the moment I saw the thieves…. Pretty sure I would have chased them down and hit them with my car! (NOT a Christ- like thing!) I also don’t appreciate that I was able to give the cop EVERYTHING that he needed to find the thieves and HE DIDN’T EVEN CARE ENOUGH TO SUBMIT A REPORT… I know if I wasn’t on a mission I would have handled that situation completely different, but I didn’t. I went on. I took a couple of days to get over the feelings of violation and inconvenience, but I learned an important lesson. FORGIVENESS…. The things that were taken are temporary and replaceable. The Savior lost friendships and went through humiliation. My trial wasn’t nearly as bad and his. And yet he said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” That phrase went through my mind many times. They didn’t know how hard it would be for me to get a new I.D. or the hoops I would have to jump through because I couldn’t just call my mom (Something I wanted to do so baldy.) They just didn’t know. One day they might but that doesn’t matter. Everything is being made right. My GPS has been replaced; I bought a new purse and wallet so I can hold the GPS wherever I go. I got a new home debit card and church card. Apparently, a new I.D. is in the mail! I know I learned a valuable lesson that I had to learn out here because I KNOW if I wasn’t out here I would have been a wreck!!
“From time to time these same messengers are called to Worry, to warn, and sometimes to weep.”
Last transfer when I got to Clovis our teaching pool was at a complete mess!!! Nobody on it was progressing. There was a lady, her name was Sheila, (her daughter is a member in Utah.) Sheila had a bunch of church materials so great. The sister found her and had been teaching her for weeks, she would come to church but for some reason wasn’t progressing. On the first meeting I had with her I asked her to pray. She refused. I tried to figure out why and she said, “In 5 minutes you girls will be leaving (I look at my watch… she was right). She continues, “Not because your time is up but because I am going to ask you to leave…” I quickly changed the topic…. 2 lessons later we had no idea what to teach her so Sister Scott and I prayed and we felt IF SHE PRAYS WITH YOU THERE SHE WILL GET HER ANSWER. So I knew I couldn’t invite her to pray. And Sister Scott wasn’t super bold so we role-played all morning long about how we would approach this lesson! So we get into the lesson and Sister Scott just lays the law. She said, “At the end of this lesson, I am not going to pray, Sister Dawes is not going to pray, and Sister Fulton is not going to pray. Either you are going to pray or we will leave without a prayer.” Right away she refused. We shrugged it off and started teaching. At the end we asked her to pray. She said, “No.”
Warn: As soon as she said that the spirit took over me and said, “If you don’t pray right now with us here it will be YEARS until you get an answer.” She didn’t take too that well… “Because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. Because I have spoken the word of God ye have Judged me that I am mad.” We can conclude we left without a prayer and were absolutely devastated because we KNEW if she would have exercised a particle of faith to pray she would have gotten her answer. I testify that the painful part of discipleship is to WORRY, WARN AND WEEP. But how great is your calling when they listen… sadly we left Sheila’s house Weeping L.
“ If people want any gods at all they want them to be Gods that don’t demand much, comfortable Gods. Smooth Gods who not only don’t rock the boat but that don’t even row it. Gods who pat them on the head, makes us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick Marigolds.”
I see this in effect often. The other day we were going over to see a family. One of them was saying, “We are going to Faith Christian Family Church tonight.” We asked them to tell us what goes on at the church. This is how it was explained to us by a 14 year old. “We just go and chill for a while, then go hear a sermon then go and chill some more.” A few days later we drove past that church and it had a light up sign on the church that seriously looked like a carnival!!! If that is not a god that doesn’t ask us to do much then I don’t know what is. There is a church in Lubbock a member went to with a friend and he came back and reported… “It was like a BON JOVIE CONCERT!”
One of my favorite parts of the talk said, “And what of those who just want to look at sin or touch from a distance.” That is pretty darn BOLD! SIN IS NOT ACCPETABLE! STAY AWAY! Particularly at home, I could see friends who just wanted to watch sin. Then it just escalated from there. Oh, how much pain could have been avoided had they simply KEPT THE COMMANDMENTS!
This leads me to 1 Nephi 8 :24-28
It talks about people clinging to the iron rod… finding spiritual joy… but then just looked on sin from a distance and found the temporary joy laughter and partying more desirable. WE CAN’T LOOK AT SIN AND TOUCH FROM A DISTANCE BECAUSE THAT THOUCH TURNS INTO A HOLD… THEN ENGULFS YOU IN AGONY!
“If your eye offends you, pluck it out. If your hand offends you, cut it off. Let go and leave those sins. Partake of the fruit and ENDURE THE END. THERE IS NO OTHER JOY!
I WILL ALWAYS STRIVE TO HOLD FAST THE ROAD AND BUILD UNSHAKABLE FAITH- So when the devil shall send for his mighty winds. Yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea when all his hail and mighty storm shall beat upon me it shall have no power over me.
I love the scriptures and I know they are the word of God.
I loved when Elder Holland so boldly stated his certainty of the priesthood keys. I remember that overwhelming love I felt as he said, “ I am more certain that the priesthood keys have been restored to the earth today than I am that I stand before you today!!!
I am so grateful to be a missionary in the Texas Lubbock Mission.
Here are my thoughts! J Have such a great week!!!