Saturday, March 11, 2017

2017-03-11 President's Message - Your Tombstone

Dear Elders and Sisters,
It is the custom in many countries, including the Philippines, to place some words on the tombstone/gravestone (lapida) of a person who dies. These words sometimes say: "Loving father" or "Faithful husband" or something else about the person who has died.
Some missionaries joke about being "born" in the mission in a certain area and about "dying" in their last area before they go on to "the next life." But, joking aside, what if, at the end of your mission, the Lord made a gravestone for you. What if that stone had written on it a true description of you as a missionary? The reason I imagine the Lord writing on the gravestone is because ONLY the Lord knows your heart. Only the Lord knows your true strengths and weaknesses. Having your companions or investigators or mission president write it would not be accurate.
If the Lord wrote it, would your mission gravestone say: "I did it my way" or would it say: "Thy will be done"?
Would it say "She gave 100%" or would it say "She gave a lot but she always held something back?"
Would it say "He loved the Lord and showed it by his actions" or would it say "He loved the Lord most of the time, but sometimes he loved being accepted by others more?"
Would it say: "Humble, hardworking, obedient" or "Usually tried hard but never became truly humble or obedient?"
Would it say: "Great goals but never got around to accomplishing them?"
Or would it say: "True disciple of Jesus Christ: Selfless, loving, kind and fearless?"
The writer of the Book of Mormon described what could have been used as Moroni's gravestone:
"And Moroni was a strong and mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country...Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God...a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people. Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ...Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever..." (Alma 48:11,12, 13, 17)
Elders and sisters, I invite you to think about what the Lord would write on your mission tombstone.  What would He write? Since He would only write the truth, what would it say?
I invite you now to write what you WANT it to say. Write it in your journal. Maybe write it in your planner. After you write it, make it come true! With the Lord's help you can become whatever righteous person you desire to become! Make it come true!
I believe in you. I believe in your great capacity to become. "With God, all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)
Mahal ko po kayo,
President Creg Ostler