Monday, September 26, 2016

Pray Always

Victoria Fitisemanu

We had another powerful Monday morning devotional today.  Oh how I have loved the messages we hear in these short meetings that start every new work week!

This time the speaker was Victoria Fitisemanu.   She based her remarks on three scriptures in 2nd Nephi, Chapter 32.

 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?

 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.
(emphasis added)
Victoria talked about how there are a lot of good people working here in the Pacific Area Office who have much knowledge and experience.  However, with all that we may know about our particular areas of expertise, we need to remember not to get in too much of a hurry in making decisions.  We should not depend solely on our own abilities, no matter how good we may be at our jobs.  We need to remember to council with the the Lord in all things rather than depending on our own wisdom.
OH how those words rang true for me.  .   At the beginning of our mission we HAD to rely on the Lord for every single thing because we didn’t have a clue what we were doing!  But over the past 22 months we’ve learned a lot and had so many powerful experiences.  These last few months there have been times when it would have been all too easy to rely on our own skill and knowledge that we have gained.  But we’ve seen time and time again how as soon as we begin to think we have the right answers without consulting the Lord first it quickly becomes VERY apparent that we have made a big mistake.
As I prepare to return to "Civilian" life,  I want to be sure I remember this lesson so I will stay close to the Lord in ALL that I do.

During April Conference last year,  Elder Russell M. Ballard gave a talk titled  The Greatest Generation of Young Adults.   While much of those remarks were geared to the young elders and sisters, what he spoke about most definitely applies to me too  He said:
“RM” doesn’t mean “retired Mormon”! As a returned missionary, you “should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of [your] own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.”2
Please use the skills you learned on your mission to bless the lives of people around you every day. Do not shift your focus from serving others to focusing exclusively on school, work, or social activities. Instead, balance your life with spiritual experiences that remind and prepare you for continued, daily ministering to others.

We have had so many deeply personal "tender mercies" and some outright miracles on this mission.  I wish those feelings would be the same when I go back to the world, but I don't really expect that to be the case.  I CAN, however, do my part to keep the spirit of the Lord with me where ever I may go.

I remember the scripture that tells me to continue to pray at all times and in all places:
In the book of Alma, Amulek reminds us that our Heavenly Father is deeply interested in all aspects of our lives, but that his guiding power comes fully into our lives only as we seek it. “Exercise your faith unto repentance,” Amulek teaches, “that ye begin to call upon his holy name. …
“Humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.
“Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
“Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
“Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. …
“Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
“Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
“Pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness” (Alma 34:17, 19–22, 24–26).
I want to live my life in such a way that even without a badge there will be no doubt that I am a follower of Jesus Christ and that I include Him and my Heavenly Father in all I say and do.

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