Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017-01-22 President's Message

Dear Elders and Sisters,

We love you! Thank you for your amazing service and sacrifice.

When Jesus was twelve years old, he went with his family to Jerusalem to celebrate the passover feast. After the feast days, his family left to return to Nazareth. After they had been on the road for a day, Mary and Joseph realized that Jesus was not with them. When they anxiously returned to look for him they "found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers), both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers." When they began to chastise him for not staying with the rest of the family, he asked them a question: "How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" In other words: "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I need to do the work Heavenly Father sent me to do?" (Luke 2:46-49)

At a very young age, Jesus knew that he had important, serious work to do. He knew that his Father in Heaven expected him to spend his time in His service. Likewise, you have important, serious work to do.
One of the hallmarks of a true disciple of Christ is someone who is focused on "our Father's business."

We see this characteristic in the young prophet Mormon who was selected to be the keeper of the sacred records of his people when he was only ten years old: "Ammaron said unto me: I perceive that thou art a sober child, and art quick to observe." (Mormon 1:2)

In your missionary call letter, which was signed by the prophet of God, it says: "You will also be expected to devote ALL YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION to serving the Lord, LEAVING BEHIND ALL OTHER PERSONAL AFFAIRS."

In the Lord's great revelation to all missionaries, recorded in Doctrine and Covenants section 4 we learn: "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with ALL YOUR HEART, MIGHT, MIND AND STRENGTH..."

President Brigham Young taught: "If you go on a mission to preach the Gospel with lightness and frivolity in your hearts, looking for this and that, and to learn what is in the world, will go and return in vain...Let your minds be centered on your missions." (Missionary Handbook, p.7)

Christ taught: "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 10:38-30); and "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62); and "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36)

The missionary work you have been called to do is extremely important. It is urgent. You only have a few short months to serve. Every minute counts.

I have some questions for you. You do not need to send me the answers but please ponder and pray about them.

1. Are you devoting ALL of your time and attention to serving the Lord?

2. Are you always mindful of the fact that your mission time is not your time, but the Lord's time?

Think about the way you used your time during the past week...

At church...How did you spend your time?

1. Did you spend some time talking with other missionaries or did you spend all of your time with your investigators or getting to know the members? (Sundays are not the time to talk to other missionaries...except for your companion.)

2. When you were talking with the members, were you hanging around the teenagers and young adults and enjoying talking with them or were you spending 90% of your time with the ward leaders and other older members getting to know them and setting appointments to visit them and enlist their help?

3. Were you taking pictures, talking about worldly things and joking around or were you kind, loving, but serious about your calling?

While you are out working...How did you spend your time?

1. Were you greeting and talking to people everywhere you go, including inviting them to learn more about the church? (In most areas, our goal of inviting 15 people per day is a small goal.)

2. Were you planning your time wisely and following your plan?

3. Were you spending extra time visiting members and others who are not making progress or not helping you with your important calling?

Do you feel the urgency of your calling? Do you wake up every day with a burning desire to bring the saving message of the restored gospel to the world?

Elders and Sister, I invite you to review your service. Ask yourself these questions but also ask the most important question: "Am I serving the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind and strength?" If the answer is "no", now is the time and this is the place to make the change.

I invite you to "be about our Father's business."

I promise that the Lord's words are true...if you will lose your life in the service of the Lord, you will find your life...and more important, you will help many others find their way to the Lord.

Now is the time. This is the place.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler