The downer of these Multi Zone Conferences is the fact that they will be my last. :( In our last Multi Zone Conferences, we always have the chance to give our `Final Testimony` to all present. That means that I get to see all 61 sisters and elders give their last testimonies! That`s a LOT. It also makes it very plain and clear that my mission isn`t going to last much longer. It`s hard to admit that...even harder to admit it and keep working hard! However, that`s the test these last couple of months of the mission!
These conferences have been focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been really impacted by a few points, and I would like to share those with you. The first one would be repentance. I have learned a TON about repentance this past week.
One of the things that President has really wanted people to learn is what is in Preach My Gospel. It says, `Our faith in Christ and our love for Him carry us to repentance, or to change our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.` I really love that word: change. That really means a complete change of heart, mind, and the vision that we have for the future. I`ve thought a lot about the vision that I have for the future. Part of my repentance process is to change that vision so that it will be in harmony with the vision that God has for me.
He believes that I can make it to the Celestial Kingdom. Do I? He believes that I can change lives and really be a representative of Jesus Christ in all times and places. Do I? He believes that I can live worthily in order to enter into the temple and be married for time and all eternity. Even more importantly, He believes that I can keep the promises I have made and will make in the temple and endure to the end. Do I REALLY believe that?
I think that our beliefs are closely linked to our repentance process. That`s way it says that it`s our faith that makes us want to repent.
The other thing that has really impacted me comes from Alma 11:40-41. The way President explained these scriptures just really hit me in the moment, and it`s just so clear to me that it makes me wonder how people can possibly believe that Christ will save ALL mankind, regardless of their actions or attitude. There`s also the belief that by simply being baptised, I can be saved! Or being married in the temple! That`s not true, and this is why:
40 And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else.
41 Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death; for behold, the day cometh that ball shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works.
We must BELIEVE and then we must have GOOD WORKS. Belief carries us to repentance, which carries us to making a covenant with God. It could be baptism, it could be investidura, or it could be eternal marriage. But that`s only the first part!!! If we don`t have good works, if we don`t truly change our very character, our very souls, then we will not be fit to enter into the kingdom of God.
The greatest gift that God has given us as His sons and daughters, second only to this life, is agency, and the ONLY gift that we are physically able to give back to Him is the decision to do His will, and not our own.
His will really isn`t that complicated. All you have to do is make the decision to follow ALL His commandments. All of them! I love the picture that came out in the Liahona. I`m pretty sure it`s in the Friend as well, but there`s a boat in the middle of the sea with the quote from President Monson saying that we don`t need to wonder where we have to go, obedience to God`s commandments gives us a very clear direction and shows us the way to go. If we decide to only follow 99% of His commandments, it`s not enough. He requires all of our agency, the only thing we can truly give Him.
That`s what I`ve learned here on the mission. I can only feel good, feel truly happy and successful, when I decide to turn it ALL over to God and do His will. I know that this will apply in the many months, years, and decades to come. I just have to keep working on changing this very hard heart of mine. :)
Love you all, and I hope that you have a great week!