Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thirty-eighth Week - April 13, 2015

Well, there goes another week just like that, how's everyone doing? 

There wasn't anything special that happened this week just sweating and working like crazy right now to find some people to teach.  But man, it's tough!  Sorry not much time today.  I had to go to Managua again (2 1/2) hours from Rivas, so I had to get up at 4am..  Then we got back around 2 and tried to take a nap, but I couldn't cause inside my house was over 100 degrees, so I just sat there and wept.  But it's all good, definitely a humbling experience. If anyone you know needs a humbling experience, this is definitely a place that can do that!
But this past week, I read an incredible General Conference talk, and I want to share some of it with you guys.

 "Through years of serving the Lord... I have learned that the difference between happiness and misery in individuals, in marriages, and families, often comes down to an error of only a few degrees" -Pres. Uchtdorf 

How can we avoid these small errors???

One thing that he was asked one time was, If i continue to live as I am living, will the blessings promised in my patriarchal blessing be fulfilled?  That really made me think about my own blessing...

-I bless you in your missionary experiences
-I bless you with the gift of tongues, that you tongue might be loosed
-I bless you with the interpretation of tongues that you might be blessed to know the innuendos of the language
-I bless you with the gift of wisdom
-I bless you with the gift of knowledge
-I bless you to be successful
-I bless you to have born unto you a family
-You will have the gift of understanding and knowing when angels are about you
-I can promise you that you will rise on the morning of the first resurrection and receive all that the Father has, because of your faithfulness.

Well, am I living the way I should for these blessings to be fulfilled or is there a little error that needs to be fixed?  What do I need to change to be on the right path for these blessings to be fulfilled?

I haven't ever thought of my patriarchal blessing in that way.  I kinda just expected them to come without me doing anything, but it definitely isn't like that.  I just realized that this past week.  I read my blessing from time to time but never with the intent of looking toward the blessings promised in the future and evaluating how I am living right now.  I am definitely not living in a bad way but it is an outcome of what is good and what is better for me.  Dallin H. Oaks said, "As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good.  Other choices are better, and still others are best"
How can we be sure that we are making the right decisions?

Principle 1:  We need to consider the options with the end in mind.  If we project the possible consequences of these decisions into the future, we can see with greater clarity the best path to take in the present.  Understanding who we are, why we are here, and what the Lord expects from us in this life will help give us the broader vision we need.
Example, Lehi, the great prophet of the Book of Mormon, dreamed a dream, and in his visions he learned of his mission to lead him family to a promised land.  "And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness... And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things" (1 Nephi 2:2,4).  Lehi remained faithful to this vision in spite of the difficulties of travel and having to leave behind a comfortable life in Jerusalem.

And what about us?  What does the Lord expect from each of us?  What is my story???
We don't need to see an angel to obtain understanding.  We have the scriptures, the temple, living prophets, our patriarchal blessings, inspired leaders, and, above all, the right to receive personal revelation to guide our decisions.

Principle 2:  We need to be prepared for the challenges that WILL come
The best paths in life are rarely the easiest.  
 Moses, Lehi, and Joseph Smith did not have easy journeys in spite of the fact that their decisions were correct.  Are we willing to pay the price for our decisions?

We are not here in this life just to waste our time, grow old, and die.  God wants us to grow and achieve our own personal potential.  He has a plan for us.

Principle 3:  We need to share this vision with the people we love   Lehi tried to help Laman and Lemuel understand the importance of it all, but they just kept murmuring.  Nephi, on the other hand, is an incredible example for everyone.  He was able to overcome the challenges of the journey and also lead his family when needed.  Just like them, we will have to decide TODAY which path to take.  Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve.

I know that the Lord has a plan for us in life.  He knows us.  He knows what is best for us. Just because things are going well does not mean that we should not from time to time consider whether there might be something better.  If we continue to live as we are living, will the promised blessings be fulfilled?

Elder Copeland

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