Sunday, March 22, 2015

2015-03-23 President's Message - "Time To Grow Up"

“Time To Grow Up”

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Thank you so much for your love for the Lord and your love for the people you serve. Thank you for your great efforts to represent our Savior Jesus Christ to these wonderful people.

Today I have an invitation for you. It is an invitation that I know you have already heard from the Spirit. It is the invitation to become a mature adult. It is an invitation to become a man instead of a boy, to become a woman instead of a girl. It is an invitation, not just to be an man or woman, but to become a Man of God or a Woman of God.

Paul said, in 1 Corinthian 13:11, after giving one of the most beautiful discourses in all of the scriptures about having charity: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Why does he say this right after his beautiful thoughts about charity? Because, in order to have this Christlike, selfless love we need to eliminate from our lives the selfish, time-wasting, worldly things of the past. As soon as we do, the Lord can use us to bring great joy to others and He will fill our own lives with great joy.

Think of the Prophet, Joseph Smith. He was only 14 years of age when his mind and heart turned to serious things. He studied the scriptures and prayed to Heavenly Father. He received a great vision. But he was not yet a man. In Joseph Smith History, verse 28, he says that "...I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth..." He felt "condemned for my weakness and imperfections" and decided to pray to God for forgiveness and guidance. He was then visited by the angel Moroni and directed to the place where the Book of Mormon record had been hidden for centuries. He went to the place, unburied the plates, but he was still not yet mature. The angel told him that it would be another 4 years before he was ready to take the plates and translate them. Finally, at age 22, he was ready to be a man and take on the responsibilities and calling that were his. He became the Prophet of the Restoration and a true Man of God.

The prophet Mormon was 10 years of age when the prophet Ammoron talked to him and gave him his calling. (Mormon 1:2-3) He instructed him to begin his calling when he became a man. In his case this was age 24. He took all of the Nephite records and abridged them into the wonderful record we have today.

The woman Abish, in the Book of Mormon, had been converted to the Lord when she was young, but she had never made it known. When the time came that Ammon shared the gospel with the king, she had the courage to share it with all of her friends and neighbors. (Alma 19:16-17). That was the day that she became of woman--a Woman of God.

Every great person reaches the time in his or her life when they "put AWAY childish things" and "put ON the armour of God." Sadly, some people never grow up. They are constantly trying to find ways to avoid responsibility, avoid work, avoid change and avoid becoming selfless. We see this in the mission field sometimes where a missionary wastes time, plays games, breaks rules, gossips and lives like the immature teenager of the past. We see it when a missionary quietly goes along with others as they break the rules or waste this precious time as a missionary.

Our mission theme says that "Now Is The Time." Elders and Sisters, NOW is the time to make your decision. You cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). You cannot follow the childish things of the world and also be a true disciple of Christ.

Now is the time to do as Paul exhorted the Ephesians to do (Ephesians 6:10-19):

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts o the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel."

I invite you to prayerfully look at your life and eliminate all of the worldly, childish, selfish things that hold you back from being a Man of God or a Woman of God. I invite you, as Christ invited Peter when he asked: "Lovest thou me?" to put away childish things and Feed His Sheep. Stand up for what is right. Teach with power and conviction. Now is the time.
My prayer is that each of us will be like Moroni: "...if all men [or women] 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."

May the Lord bless you my dear friends and fellow disciples of Christ, as you become Men and Women of God.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg D. Ostler