Have I done any good in the world today? If not, I have failed indeed! Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above.
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Friday, February 14, 2014

The Lighthouse Of The Lord, Part 1

I have always thought of lighthouses as representing sacred places. Growing up in North Carolina, I often visited the coastline and saw the enormous structures overlooking the water. Each time I see these beautiful towers I am reminded of the verse in
Doctrine and Covenants 87:8.

"Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen."

What could be more immovable than a lighthouse? At least to me these giant structures do not seem like they can be easily moved. The waves of the sea can beat upon them and the winds can try to knock them down, but very seldom are these lighthouses harmed by the natural buffetings. Just as the lighthouses along the seashore stand strong against things trying to harm them, we too can face the storms of life by standing in holy places. In a General Conference talk by President Thomas S. Monson, entitled "The Lighthouse Of The Lord," he gives us hope to help us be spiritually protected in a world filled ever increasing wickedness.

“Is there a way to safety? Can someone guide me? Is there an escape from threatened destruction? The answer is a resounding yes! I counsel you: Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety; this way to home.”

His prophetic counsel still applies today when seeking spiritual safety. There is a way to protect ourselves from the harm Satan would wish to inflict on you. President Monson said we must "look" to the lighthouse of the Lord for spiritual preservation. But I would like to take his words one step further.

The verse mentioned earlier says you must "stand in holy places." Looking is not enough. You must not just look to the Lord's lighthouse, you must enter it. And once you're in, you must shut that door tight. When you shut that door, lock it. Put a few deadbolts on it and then seal it shut with cement. Okay, not really. But I hope you get my point.

Don't you let him in. Don't even open the door.

"What does a lighthouse do?"

Lighthouses are beacons of light, shining brightly to warn ships at sea. The lighthouses can help ships know where the safe land is through the fog and other obstacles. Because He loves us, Heavenly Father's lighthouse is there to save our spiritual ships from sinking.

Christ is our anchor. (Ether 12:4)
In Helaman 5:12 we read, "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

We see that it is upon Christ we must build our foundation, or our testimonies. We must stand in His holy places so when the whirlwinds come we will not fall when temptations or trials come along.

Did you know everywhere you go can be a holy place? In 1 Corintians 6:19, the Apostle Paul says our bodies are the temples of God: "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

We learn more about standing in holy places from Psalms 24:3-4:

3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

If you keep the commandments and try your best to keep yourself clean and pure, you will always have the presence of the Holy Ghost to guide and protect you. That's a promise from me, from the scriptures, from the prophets, and from Christ Himself. Heavenly Father loves us. He will not let us fall if we rely on Him, and He will most definitely never fail us.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go

For some time now, the hymn I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go has been a favorite of mine. My former companion, Elder Minam Choe, said at one point, "The two most often played songs in our apartment are If You Could Hie To Kolob and I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go." His observation was correct. As I have done with other hymns, I would like to take this hymn line by line and break it down and share my thoughts about it. The story of If You Could Hie To Kolob is another story for another time!

Possibly before you read this blog post, watch this video on LDS.org. It's one of the things which inspired me to write this post. It will bring a wonderful spirit to wherever you are as you read my post.

1. It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.

"It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me."

I am serving my mission in Utah. We are on the mountain height, and we are on the battle's front. And we many not have a stormy sea anywhere close, but the Great Salt Lake touches the border of our mission. The Lord has need of us here! There is a special work to do.

"But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go."

Concerning my mission, my patriarchal blessing said (and I paraphrase): "You will receive a mission call to the far ends of the earth where no one has ever heard this gospel." Getting this line as a 16 year old young man, I was pretty scared about where I would have to go on my mission.
But they sent me to Utah. And guess what? Heavenly Father did call me by the "still, small voice" to paths that I did not know, and led me to people who have never heard of the gospel. Although scared, not knowing where I was going or who I would be teaching, I answered the dear Lord with my hand in His, "I'll go where you want me to go."

To get to Utah, I had to fly near about over the whole country to get here. I traveled over mountain, and plain, and sea to get to the Salt Lake. I've said what He wanted me to say, and I've been who He wanted me to be.

2. Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I’ll say what you want me to say.

"Perhaps today there are loving words
I’ll say what you want me to say."

My pathway has been dark and rugged. But the Savior and my Heavenly Father were my guides. Again, I paraphrase my patriarchal blessing: "Do not fear or be concerned, because your Heavenly Father will be there to help you along the way." They did help me in times when I needed their blessings. And because of that, I am saying what He wants me to say.

3. There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth’s harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor through life’s short day
For Jesus, the Crucified.
So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I’ll be what you want me to be.

"There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
For Jesus, the Crucified."

Let's face it: I'm serving on the West Side. A few ignorant people out there would consider some of my areas "lowly." But I have gained a special and fond love for the areas and people I serve. I have felt just a small portion of the Savior's love for those I have stewardship over, but the love I have felt for them was incredible. I can never repay the Savior for anything He has done for me. I have labored for life's short 18 months so far, and I will love to do it for the next 6 months.

"So trusting my all to thy tender care,

Will you trust our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ? Do you know that They love you? If so, show that love and trust by doing the Lord's will for you: Be what He wants you to be.

I would like to invite all young men everywhere to serve full time missions if circumstances allow. If you are unable to serve a full time mission due to health or other similar reasons, serve a church service mission. The Lord has need of you! Not just any young man, but you specifically. You have many special talents and abilities the Lord has blessed you with. He expects you to use them!

Sisters and seniors, although it is not your duty to serve missions, I would ask you to sincerely ponder and ask Heavenly Father in prayer if He would have you serve. Know that not every sister or senior should serve a mission due to numerous reasons. Know that no matter where you go, your Heavenly Father loves you, and has saved you specifically for this time, and has prepared people so you can change their lives. To the sisters especially: You are special in His sight. You are one of His daughters here upon the earth who He loves and wants to be happy. If you do choose to serve a mission, you will be blessed eternally.

I know this work is real. I know the Lord is walking and working along side me here in my mission. It has been the hardest 18 months of my life so far, but I don't regret any of it. I love this work. If I could be a missionary my whole life I would be. I love the Lord (click the link).

The Lord has come to earth to do what Father asked Him to do. What did He do for us? As we read in the hymn He Sent His Son, "He sent His Son to die for us, and rise with living breath." Everything Jesus did, He did for us. If He was willing to do that for us, are you willing to go where the Lord wants you to go?

I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord!