Monday, January 18, 2016

Seventy-eighth Week - January 18, 2016

So, Wednesday as a mission we went to La Playla de Gigante.  It was awesome!  We ate hamburgers. 

 (Elder Hartley and Elder Copeland)

 (Elder Kleiner and Elder Copeland)
 (Elder Hanson and Elder Copeland)

 (Elder Hanson, Elder Merrill, Elder Copeland)

Thursday, my convert from Granada got his mission call to Honduras, San Pedro Sula West, leaving March 30th.  SO awesome!  So proud of him!

This week I read one of the best General Conference talks ever, October 2010, "The Transforming Power of Faith and Character," by Elder Richard G Scott.

"When faith is properly understood or used, it has dramatically far reaching effects.  The exercise of faith is vital to Father in Heaven's plan of happiness.  But true faith, faith unto salvation is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord's anointed, faith in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life.  Truly, faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power.

"Faith in the future is demonstrated by a couple sealed in the temple.  They understand that by obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the plan of happiness of our Father in Heaven, they can have a joyous life together.  They recognize that when the challenges intended to be growth opportunities come, they will find ways, as prompted by the Holy Ghost, to overcome them in ways that are productive and character building.
Faith and character are intimately related.  Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in urgent times of need.  Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation.  That is when it is intended to be used.  Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character, fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith.  As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced.  The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith.  You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another.  Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine and obedience.

"We exercise our faith by doing.  "Faith is the principle of action and of power."   WE BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO BE BY CONSISTENTLY BEING WHAT WE WANT TO BECOME EACH DAY.  Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming.  Righteous character is more valuable than any material object you own.  In the next life, your righteous character will be evaluated to assess how well you used the privilege of mortality.  You can only undermine your own growing character through disobedience.

"Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life. Such choices are made with trust in things that are believed and when acted upon are confirmed.

"What are some of the empowering principles upon which faith is based?
- Trust in God and in His willingness to provide help when needed, no matter how challenging the circumstance.
- Obedience to His commandments and a life that demonstrates that He can trust you.
- Sensitivity to the quiet promptings of the Holy Spirit.
- Courageous implementation of that prompting.
- Patience and understanding when God lets you struggle to grow and when answers come a piece at a time over an extended period.

"Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:6).  Thus, every time you try your faith, that is, act in worthiness on an impression, you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit.  As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires.  Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage.  Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes.  That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow.

"Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to recognize the direction of the Spirit and to be obedient to it.  Your consistent exercise of faith builds strong character.
Your happiness on earth as well as your eternal salvation require many correct decisions, none of which is difficult to make.  Together those decisions forge a character resistant to the eroding influences of sin and transgression.

"Material things do not of themselves produce happiness and satisfaction and the joy of attainment of earth.  Nor do they lead us to exaltation.  It is nobility of character, that fabric of inner strength and conviction woven from countless righteous decisions that gives life its direction.  A consistent righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression.  Your faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His commandments will strengthen your character.  Your character is a measure of what you are becoming.  It is the evidence of how well you are using your time on earth in this period of mortal probation.  You get what you pay for in obedience. Your faith in Jesus Christ and diligent application to the truths you learn, what you get is the molding of character.  The growth in capacity and the successful completion of your mortal purpose, and to be proven and to have joy.   You become what you do and what you think about.  This mortal life is a proving ground, how well you meet its challenges determines how strong your character will be.  Your faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings fortifies your character.  I have personally verified that concepts like faith, prayer, love and humility hold no great significance and produce no great miracles until they become a living part of us through our own experience aided by the sweet prompting of the Holy Spirit. 

"A testimony is the very essence of character woven from threads born of countless correct decisions.  A strong testimony gives peace, comfort, and assurance.  It generates the conviction that as the teachings of the Savior are consistently obeyed.  Life will be beautiful, the future will be secure and there will be capacity to overcome the challenges that cross our paths.

"A testimony grows from understanding truth distilled from prayer and the pondering of scriptural doctrine.  It is nurtured by living those truths with faith anchored in the secure confidence that the promised results will be obtained.  Your testimony will be made strong by willing obedience to the law of tithing and by giving fast offerings, and the Lord will bless you richly for it.  As your testimony is fortified, Satan will try harder to tempt you.  Resist his efforts. You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker.  The devil will not triumph.  Even now he must operate within the bounds set by the Lord.  He cannot take away any blessing that has not been earned.  He cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions.  He has no power to destroy the eternal bonds forged in a Holy Temple between a husband, wife, and children.  He cannot quench true faith, he cannot take away your testimony.

- God uses your faith to mold your character.
- Character is the  manifestation of what you are becoming.
- Strong character results from consistent correct choices.
- The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith.

"If you have determined to live righteously, don't become discouraged.  Life may seem difficult now.  But hold tightly to that iron rod of truth.  You are making better progress than you realize.  Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey their commandments."   


Elder Copeland
(Meyling and her five kids and some friends.  We watched,  "The Restoration" and ate popcorn. Getting baptized soon.)

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