Sunday, May 8, 2016

5-9-2016 President's Message

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Stop for a minute and think about the huge importance of your calling. You have been called to invite others to come to Christ. Why is this so important?

--With your help, they can be cleansed from their sins so that they will receive the Savior's mercy on the day of judgment.

--With your help, people can experience a true change of heart, and can have a "sincere, lasting change of thoughts, desires, habits and actions."

--With your help, people can find peace in this difficult world.

--With your help, people can learn to live in love and harmony with their families.

--With your help, the doors of the celestial kingdom are opened for them. They can live with God again.

What could be more important than your calling? Nothing. The work you do is of highest importance. Your work is sometimes difficult. It sometimes takes more courage and patience than you have ever imagined before. The work you do is a hero's work.

In Brandon Mull's book, "A World Without Heroes," young Jason is setting off on a difficult quest. In his conversation with the king, he expresses his doubts about himself:

"Can I be honest with you? I'm not sure I'm cut out for something like this. I'm a pretty regular guy. All this stuff you've been telling me has almost scared me out of my mind. I don't think I'm what you are looking for. You need a REAL HERO."

The king teaches him:

"So many misconceptions surround the notion of heroism. Far too many categorize a hero as a champion on the battlefield, a commander of legions, a master of rare talent or ability. Granted, there have been heroes who fit those descriptions--but many men of great evil as well. Heed me. A hero sacrifices for the greater good. A hero is true to his or her conscience. In short, HEROISM MEANS DOING THE RIGHT THING, REGARDLESS OF THE CONSEQUENCES. Although any person could fit that description, very few do. CHOOSE THIS DAY TO BE ONE OF THEM."

Thomas S. Monson: "Courage comes in many forms. "Courage is not limited to the battlefield...or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are inner tests, like remaining faithful when no one is standing alone when you are misunderstood." I would add that this inner courage also includes doing the right thing even when we may be afraid, defending our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed, and maintaining those beliefs even when threatened with a loss of friends or social status. He who stands steadfastly for that which is right must risk becoming at times disapproved and unpopular."

The Savior said: "...Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God." (Luke 12:8-9)

Peter said: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation..." (Romans 1:16)

My dear elders and sisters. You are my heroes. You show your faith and courage every day by doing what is right, even when no one else will know. You show your faith and courage by talking to many strangers every day, inviting them to learn and sharing your testimony with them. You are my heroes because you allow nothing to stop you from your sacred mission--neither heat, nor rain, nor rejection, nor homesickness nor laziness--none of these stop you. You move forward day after day, putting your faith in God and in His promises. You keep your covenants. You are my heroes. The world needs heroes like you.
Remember: "Your calling gives you authority; keeping your covenants gives you power." (Preach My Gospel)

May the Lord bless you to stand boldly and courageously as "a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in..." (Mosiah 18:9)

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler