Dilligence and Miracles (5-12-2014)

Bom dia, queridos –

Filipe and Liria are married! And baptized! It was a week full of beautiful miracles. Also, a little hectic – lots of running and a missionary stress, but everything went well. And now…they’re baptized! Sister Woodman and I also had the opportunity to spend a little time with President and Sister Kretly and receive some inspiring counsel. One thing I learned is a principle taught in 1 Samuel 15 about selective obedience:

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (verses 22-23)

The Lord saw a lot of potential in Saul, and even called him to be King. But because he failed to give heed unto the Lord’s counsel and disobeyed his commandments, he fell short of great privileges. We cannot PICK and CHOOSE which of God’s commandments to obey, if we truly want to do His will, and find true happiness and safety in this life. Nao basta (it is not sufficient) to just obey 70%, or obey the parts of commandments that are convenient for us. If we want to want to reach our divine potential, we have to FULLY and COMPLETLEY obey. The commandments are truly for our good. They are instructions from a loving, kind, caring Heavenly Father. And our obedience brings blessings and true happiness.

We also had a Zone Training this past week, and it reminded me of something I’d been studying in Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel, Christ-like Attributes. For a long time, I’d questioned why it was that “Diligence” is one of the Christ-like attributes. Wouldn’t gratitude or self-mastery be more fitting? But a message from Elder Eyring really taught me an important lesson about diligence, and how the Lord is, as in all things, our perfect example of this attribute. He said:

From the cross on Calvary, the Savior announced, “It is finished.” 11  Then His spirit left His body, and His mortal remains were placed lovingly in a tomb. He taught us a lesson by what He did in three days in the spirit world, before His Resurrection, which I remember whenever I am tempted to feel that I have finished some hard task in His service and deserve a rest.

The Savior’s example gives me courage to press on. His labors in mortality were finished, but He entered the spirit world determined to continue His glorious work to save souls. He organized the work of the faithful spirits to rescue those who could still be made partakers of the mercy made possible by His atoning sacrifice. Remember the words from the 138th section of the Doctrine and Covenants:

“But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.

“And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.” 12 

Whenever we remember Him, it becomes easier to resist the temptation to want a rest from our priesthood labors. We must have remembered Him today, and so we are here to learn our duties, determined to do what we are covenanted to do, in all diligence. And because of His example we will endure to the end of the tasks He gives us in this life and be committed to do the will of His Father forever, as He was and is.

This is the Lord’s Church. He called us and trusted us even in the weaknesses He knew we had. He knew the trials we would face. By faithful service and through His Atonement, we can come to want what He wants and be what we must be to bless those we serve for Him. As we serve Him long enough and with diligence, we will be changed. We can become ever more like Him.”

How grateful I am for our Savior, Jesus Christ. His work continues to be hastened across the world. This is HIS Church, HIS work. Miracles continue because of His glorious, eternal and infinite sacrifice. Christ-like changes lives and hearts. How grateful I am to be His witness. I love Him. I know He lives. The gospel is true!

I love you all.

Sister Baldwin

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