Monday, November 8, 2010

Preach My Gospel for More than Missionary Work

It's been a while since I last posted. OK; it's been a long while.

But today proved to be a good time for a post, with another Young Adult Fireside by the Church Education System. The Nov. 7 address was from Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the LDS Church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles and head of the church's missionary department. Naturally, I assumed he would talk about sharing the Gospel. But his remarks took a slightly different turn (don't worry; there were still plenty of missionary themes).

Elder Ballard quoted many sections of the church's missionary guide "Preach My Gospel," but also applied them to life outside of missionary work, such as helping YSA's endure to the end (a difficult concept, as most of us are stuck in a family-oriented church with little hope of ever starting our own). But as we apply the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel (namely faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism and the sacrament, and using the gift of the Holy Ghost), the Lord will help us endure and resolve our daily challenges.

Maintaining faith in Christ can help us steer clear of Satan's grasp. "Unlike the fisherman that catches and releases, Satan will not let go of those in his grasp. His goal is to make us as miserable as him," Elder Ballard said.

Daily repentance turns our mind to God. It's a part of our baptismal covenant, which we are reminded every Sunday includes a promise to always remember the Savior. One of the greatest lessons learned by one of Elder Ballard's missionaries in Canada was the lesson to constantly think of the Savior, even as much as everything else in the world captures our thoughts. "I have learned to give the Lord equal time," the missionary said, reminding us to do the same thing with our daily routines. Daily prayer and scripture study also help us maintain focus on Christ.

It's also important for the YSA crowd to study the doctrines of the Gospel, because we will be the ones tasked with leading the church during a period of unprecedented growth. Even as the church has grown an enormous amount over the past 50 years, the new wards, stakes, districts and branches will need leadership as they continue to progress in the Gospel. "You are they; I'm speaking to them right now. You have to be ready," Elder Ballard told the crowd.

Feeling the Spirit, as I did strongly during the final hymn sung by the Logan Institute YSA Choir's stirring rendition of "Our Savior's Love," will also provide us with a taste of God's greatest gift — even the gift of eternal life. I want to be able to enjoy that gift. And to do so, I have to consistently apply the basic principles of the Gospel: faith; repentance; remembering my baptismal covenants weekly through the sacrament; and learning to recognize and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

As we do these things, we are sure to find joy in this life and eternal life in the world to come.

In honor of the Nov. 7 CES Fireside (viewable here), I'll post the YouTube video of Elder Scott's fireside a month ago, which you might remember left a stirring impression on my single-stricken soul. Come, listen to a Prophet's voice.