Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014-10-19 President's Message


Dear Elders and Sisters,
Missionary works takes courage (katapangan). Living the gospel takes courage. The dictionary defines courage as "the ability to do something that is frightening" or "strength in the face of pain or grief." Good missionaries are courageous. They are courageous in many ways:
1. Beginning a conversation with someone on the street, in a jeepney or at the door of their house and asking them if they will listen to a message about Jesus Christ.
2. Asking an investigator to stop breaking the law of Chasity or stop breaking the Word of Wisdom.
3. Going out and working every day in the heat or the rain (unless it is flooding and then we stay in and study to become Master Teachers!).
4. Leaving your family and close friends in the care of the Lord while you serve Him on a mission.
5. Being obedient to mission rules even when others do not feel the same way.
I am very proud of each of you for the courage you show. I have great respect for you.
You will notice in your lives that the most difficult kind of courage is the courage to not please other people. For some reason, we too often give others the power to give us a grade on the kind of person we are. It is as if we were in a mathematics class and we told the teacher: "I don't want you to give me a grade in the class. I want the other students to vote on the grade I should receive."
However, there is only one "teacher" for the class of life. The only Teacher, the only one who will give us our grades or marks for this class, is our Heavenly Father.
In the last general conference, Elder Lynn G. Robbins taught about courage:
"...the true badge of courage is overcoming the fear of men. For example, Daniel's prayers helped him face the lions, but what made him lionhearted was defying King Darius...Courage is not just one of the cardinal virtues, but as C.S. Lewis observed: 'Courage is...the form of every virtue at the testing point...Pilate was merciful till it became risky." King Herod was sorrowful at the request to behead John the Baptist but wanted to please 'them which sat with him at meat.' King Noah was ready to free Abinadi until peer pressure from his wicked priests caused him to waver...Many of the New Testament chief rulers 'believed on the Lord but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:42-43)
Now is the time to have the courage to stand up for what we know is right, for what we know is true. You are wonderful disciples of Jesus Christ. You have in your hands a letter from the prophet of God calling you to serve a mission. You had hands laid on your head and you were set apart to do a great work. Now is the time to stop worrying about what anyone else thinks except for your Father in Heaven. Now is the time to share the gospel with faith and courage. Now is the time to have the courage to be a consecrated missionary.
There are two statements from prophets that motivate me to have courage:
"This great cause in which we are engaged will continue to go forth changing and blessing lives as it does so. No cause, no force in the entire world can stop the work of God. Despite what comes, this great cause will go forward." President Thomas S. Monson
"No unhallowed (unholy) hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." Joseph Smith, Jr.
Let us be like Moroni, as described in the Book of Alma (43:17):
"Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."
I pray that you will be filled with courage as you do the Lord's work.
With love and confidence in you,
President Ostler