Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2015-10-12 President's Message

Dear Sisters and Elders,

We love you very much. We pray for you. We rejoice with you. We mourn with you. You are amazing women and men of faith and goodness. Thank you for bringing so many people to the waters of baptism. Thank you for helping those who are baptized to become fully active--with a calling, receiving the priesthood, meeting with the bishop/branch president and preparing names for the temple. Thank you for helping so many people to prepare to attend the temple. Thank you for lovingly inviting, encouraging and following up with all of the precious souls who are receiving their temple covenants for the first time. Maraming maraming salamat!

As we have conducted interviews this month, I have been so impressed with the great desire of your hearts to serve God. I have been deeply impressed with your testimony and with the sacrifices that you have made to come and serve the Lord.

Because I love you, I want to share something with you. It was something that Nephi taught his brothers while they were building the ship to travel to the Promised Land. His brothers had sacrificed a lot. They had left home and friends and comforts. But there were some small sacrifices that they resisted.

He shared with them the experience of the children of Israel during the time of Moses. The children of Israel had a great trial. There were thousands of poisonous snakes that were biting the people and the people were dying in large numbers. The Lord commanded Moses to make a snake out of brass and hold it up on a pole. Moses told the people that, if they would look at the snake, they would be healed. It was so small! It was so easy! Just look and be saved!

But the people of Israel were too proud to do a small thing. Nephi says: "they hardened their hearts, even has ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; AND BECAUSE OF THE SIMPLENESS OF THE WAY, OR THE EASINESS OF IT, THERE WERE MANY WHO PERISHED." (1 Nephi 17:41)

Elders and Sisters. You are doing the big things. You are serving the Lord as a missionary. You have given up home, family, boyfriends/girlfriends, school, work, etc. You are working every day, studying every day, praying every day, sweating every day. But there are many of you who do not understand that it is in the 'SMALL AND SIMPLE THINGS" that we truly show our Love for the Lord.

Some of you have the faith to serve a mission, but not enough faith to leave the apartment on time.

Some of you have the faith to serve a mission, but not enough faith to study diligently during companionship or language study.

Some of you have the faith to serve a mission, but not enough faith use cell phones appropriately, or stay in your area, or use time wisely.

The Lord said: "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the Land of Zion in these last days." (DC 64:33-34)

Elder Larry R. Lawrence, in his October General Conference talk, invited us: "I would like to suggest that each of you participate in a spiritual exercise sometime soon, perhaps even tonight while saying your prayers. Humbly ask the Lord the following question: "What is keeping me from progressing?" In other words, "What lack I yet?" Then wait quietly for a response. If you are sincere, the answer will soon become clear. It will be revelation intended just for you."

I invite you to ask the Lord this question. Show that Lord that you truly love Him. Show Him by doing the small things and the large things. As you do, you will feel great peace. As you do, you will be absolutely amazed at the miracles that will come to the lives of those you teach. Every week I receive emails from some of you where you say "I am amazed at what is happening in my area! I am amazed at how much the Lord is blessing us now that we are 100% obedient!"

I invite you to receive this blessing.

May the Lord sustain, protect and bless you.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler