This conference, Elder Holland gave an amazing talk entitled, "The
Cost-and Blessings- of Discipleship." Ever since I was a little kid, I
have LOVED listening to Elder Holland. There is no one else that can
deliver a message in such a powerful way, than him. That is why I have
chosen to blog about my thoughts from his conference address!
In his talk, he relayed a story of a sister missionary who had been
nearly attacked and ultimately had food thrown at her. From this
experience, Holland said, "To this devoted missionary I say, dear
child, you have in your own humble way stepped into a circle of very
distinguished women and men who have, as the Book of Mormon prophet
Jacob said, "view[ed Christ's] death, and suffer[ed] his cross and
[borne] the shame of the world."
I loved what he said after this story-most of what I will focus my
blog about today. He said, "And therein lies a message for every young
man and young woman in this Church. You may wonder if it is worth it
to take a courageous moral stand in high school or to go on a mission
only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against
much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion.
Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our 'houses'
left unto us 'desolate'--desolate individuals, desolate families,
desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations."
Serving a mission has not been super easy. In fact, it's been a lot of
hard work. So when he said, "...or to go on a mission only to have
your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in
society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion.", it
resonated with me. Everyday I go out only to put out what I cherish
most to the world. It is hard. It is vulnerable. When you love
something, you want to protect it, hold it dear to your heart. Because
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much, I have decided that I
should share it. I know that it makes me happy and so I want others to
be happy too. So I too would add to Elder Holland-- Yes! It is worth
it! There are blessings from doing so!
Almost everyday, my companion and I go tracting (knock on people's
doors). There is usually some one who is incredibly disturbed that we
are there. Sometimes we are yelled at to leave, sometimes people want
to stand there and tell me why I'm wrong, or some won't even give us
the time of day and slam the door in our face. This can be incredibly
discouraging. Elder Holland gave some advice. He said, "Friends,
especially my young friends, take heart. Pure Christlike love flowing
from true righteousness can change the world. I testify that the true
and living gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth and you are members
of His true and living Church, trying to share it."
So there it is. Take heart! Pure christlike love CAN change the world!
Sometimes we "are called upon to worry, to warn, and sometimes just to
weep." It's not easy putting you beliefs out there-but it is worth it!
As I have served a mission I have learned the truth of Elder Holland's
closing words, "In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge
unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow,
even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength
of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship,
you cannot fall."
I have begun developing unshakeable faith. There is no way that I
could go out, day after day, doing what we as missionaries do, without
faith in my savior. He is my rock. He is why we do everything that we
do. I experience "the winds" everyday as a meet incredibly rude
people. But it's all worth it when you bring even that ONE person
closer to Christ. And THAT is why Holland said YES! It is worth it! I
can add my testimony that if we defend our faith, The Lord will
provide blessings and even miracles in our lives. Never be afraid to
defend what you believe! NEVER apologize for the prophet, Joseph
Smith. He truly was called of God. He saw the Father and Christ. He
restored Christ's church. This is HIS true church on the earth today.
I know these things to be true! And I will always defend them!