Sunday, June 11, 2017

2017-06-11 President's Message: "Most Wanted Criminal"

Dear Elders and Sisters,
Thank you for your faithful service. Thank you for dedicating this part of your life to the service of the Lord. You are a great blessing to many.
Many police agencies throughout the world have a list of the "Most Wanted Criminals."  These criminals are ones who have committed serious crimes and considered to be very dangerous to society.
Today I want to share something about one of the "Most Wanted Criminals" on my list. He is a fearsome thief. He steals precious belongings. He steals dreams, goals and hopes. He steals the beautiful future of many people I love. He sows heartache and disappointment wherever he goes. And, to add to the problem, this robber never breaks the law when he steals!
The thief I am talking about is Procrastination. Procrastination is delaying or putting off something that needs to be done.
Procrastination is the thief of goals, dreams and potentials. Procrastination costs more money than all bank robberies in the world combined. Procrastination discourages and demotivates millions of people.
Even our eternal salvation can be stolen by the thief of Procrastination. Alma 34:32-35 states:
"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors...I beseech of you that ye DO NOT PROCRASTINATE THE DAY OF YOUR REPENTANCE UNTIL THE END; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold,ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his..."
We should never let a day go by without repenting of any sin or misdeed. If we procrastinate, we are in danger of losing what is most valuable to us: eternal life, our families.
Procrastination also steals other valuables.
"Procrastination is one of the most common and deadly of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy." (Wayne Gretzky)
"Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage." (Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby)
"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." (William James)
"Procrastination is opportunity's assassin." (Victor Kiam)
"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." (Abraham Lincoln)
"One of the most serious human defects in all ages is procrastination-an unwillingness to accept personal responsibilities NOW..." (Spencer W. Kimball)
As you know, we show our faith by our ACTION, not just by our thoughts. The best way to get something done is to begin.
Is it time for you to change? Do it NOW.
Is it time for you to apologize? Do it NOW.
Is it time for you forgive someone? Do it NOW.
Is it time for you to stand up instead of "going with the flow?" Do it NOW.
Is it time for you to put away childish things? Do it NOW.
Is it time for you to become the missionary you always wanted to become? Do it NOW.
Do you have a prompting to help someone? Do it NOW.
"Be ye therefore DOERS OF THE WORD and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22) We deceive ourselves if we say that we follow God but we put off our actions to follow Him.
"To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing." (Eva Young)
"Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait...the truth is, there are only two things in life, excuses and results, and excuses simply don't count."
What holds us back from taking action in our lives?
1. Fear of criticism by others
2. Fear of failure
3. Lack of trust in the Lord
4. Waiting for OTHER PEOPLE to change
5. Lack of confidence in our own abilities
6. Feelings of guilt for our past mistakes
7. Fear of success
8. Waiting for conditions to change
9. The habit of laziness
These fears and weaknesses have held back millions of people from reaching their potential...and from helping millions of people in need. NOW is the time to put aside those false fears. Now is the time to exercise faith in the Lord and in ourselves.
Joseph Smith learned through hard experiences to follow the simple motto: "When the Lord commands, do it."
When a family member as asked about the difference between Thomas S. Monson and any other, regular grandpa, he said: "When President Monson receives a prompting from the Spirit he always follows it. ALWAYS."
Invitation: Elders and Sisters, I invite you to prayerfully look at your life. Ask yourself: "Am I procrastinating anything that I know I should do?" If the answer is "yes", change it now. Do it now. Do not delay.
I hope that it will be said of each of us: "When he receives a prompting from the Spirit he always follows it. ALWAYS."
Mahal ko po kayo,
President Creg Ostler