Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016-04-4 President's Message

Dear Elders and Sisters,

For many of you this coming weekend will be the first general conference of your mission. You will notice immediately that there has been a huge change in general conference! The speakers will be more inspired than ever before. The Spirit will be stronger. The music will be more uplifting. Many of the messages will be designed just for you. You will fill the pages of your notebook with diamonds that will be a great blessing to you, your family and your investigators.

You will be surprised to know that it is not general conference that has is you. You have become much more spiritually absorbent and prepared to receive. You pray all the time. You study the gospel every day. You exercise faith and teach and work to serve the Lord. Your study and service have prepared your mind and spirit to receive the word of God.

By the way, for the rest of your life, general conference will be a test of your spiritual level. If the messages from the prophet and other leaders touch your heart and bring you closer to the spirit, then you will know that your spirituality is strong. If you are casual about conference and the messages seem to be the same old thing, this is a warning sign about your spirituality.

Here is how to get the most blessings from conference:

1. Make a list of at least 3 questions you want to have answered to help you be a BETTER MISSIONARY.

2. Make a list of at least 3 questions you want to have answered that will help you in your LIFE AFTER YOUR MISSION.

As you listen to conference, pray to be able to receive what you need. I promise that the Lord will give you the answers you seek. Remember that sometimes the answer is:

--An invitation to ELIMINATE something from your life.

--An invitation of ADD A NEW HABIT.

--An invitation to REPENT of something in the past.

--A DIRECTION and not a destination. (Nephi was commanded to build a boat and set off for "the promised land" but he really had no idea where the promised land was, only that he needed to start in a certain direction and follow the compass/Liahona the Lord had given him.)

I am excited about conference. As you know, general conference actually happened April 2-3, but it is re-broadcast in the Philippines on April 9-10. Missionaries are to attend ALL sessions of conference (only sisters attend General Womens Meeting and only elders attend General Priesthood Meeting). Because I have internet access every day I have watched some of the talks already. I want to share with you three of the diamonds from the priesthood session:

Stephen W. Owen, YM General President: "The world teaches that leaders must be mighty. The Lord teaches they must be meek. Worldly leaders gain power and influence through their talent, skill and wealth. Christlike leaders gain power and influence "by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned." Jesus sets the perfect example of every imaginable leadership quality. He follows His Father perfectly in all things. In God's eyes, the greatest leaders have always been the greatest followers."

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "Pride may be a common human failing, but it is not part of our spiritual heritage. And it has no place among holders of the priesthood of God."

President Russell M. Nelson: "Too many men have been given the AUTHORITY of the priesthood but lack its POWER because the flow of power has been blocked by sins such as laziness, dishonesty, pride, immorality and preoccupation with the things of the world.  I earnestly plead with each one of us to live up to our privileges as bearers of the priesthood. In a coming day, only those men who have taken their priesthood seriously by diligently seeking to be taught by the Lord himself will be able to bless, guide, protect, strengthen and heal others. Only a man who has paid the price for priesthood power will be able to bring miracles to those he loves and keep his marriage and family safe, now and throughout eternity."

May the Lord bless you to receive the answers to your questions and the strength that He wants to give you.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler