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Monday, September 15, 2014

The Opportunity to hear from 3 apostles

I had a unique opportunity yesterday (Sunday) that I just had to blog about (even though it will push my Conference Predictions back a post or two). I heard from 3 of the Lord's special witnesses. This post will briefly highlight what I learned from each of them.

First, Elders Russell M. Nelson and Richard G. Scott spoke at a regional conference attended by all who live in Utah and Wasatch Counties. It was great to hear the inspiring addresses from these two men. Elder Nelson spoke of the ministering of angels, and particularly the role they played in bringing about the restoration of all things in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. He talked of the ministering of angels as a very personal thing. What interested me most about his address is that he has had a personal experience with ministering angels. Many of you will recall an incident that happened four years ago in Mozambique. Elder Nelson was there on a church assignment when he and his wife, along with two other couples, were attacked and robbed while dining one night. Elder Nelson mentioned to us something that the news outlets didn't report--apparently there was an attempt to kidnap everyone. Through the providence of God, they escaped with merely only scrapes and bruises. In fact, news outlets reported that Elder and Sister Nelson continued their assignment in the region as scheduled after this incident. I admire their courage. I'm not sure I'd have the courage or strength to continue to fulfill an assignment after being attacked and robbed. How grateful I am that the angels were on duty to protect Elder and Sister Nelson! Elder Nelson called on his wife to speak, and she spoke on the importance of doing indexing and temple work, which was something I needed, but didn't want, to hear. With as much as I've got going on in my life, it's hard to be told I need to make time for one more thing. But then I remember the blessings I saw come into my life as I was involved in extraction and frequent temple attendance, and I can't deny that these are blessings I want back in my life again.

Elder Scott spoke on the subject of personal prayer. He has spoken on that subject a lot.  I have heard him say the same things about it over and over again, but perhaps that's because it's something I still haven't grasped and that I needed to hear again. Lately, I'm ashamed to admit, my personal prayer record has been spotty at best. I still try to pray every night before going to sleep, but I only average praying in the morning about 2-3 times a week nowadays. This will come as a shock to most people who know how religiously I used to do it. I'm ashamed to admit I've been allowing other things to get in the way of my relationship and regular daily conversations with my Father in Heaven. I know He's just waiting for me to return in prayer regularly to Him. I know it's something I need to get back to doing regularly. Definitely need to work on that.

Then tonight was a CES fireside for young adults. I missed the live broadcast but was able to watch it later on The featured speaker was Elder D. Todd Christofferson. He talked of losing our lives for the gospel's sake. Yet another thing I need to work on. I have been neglecting my daily study of the scriptures and regular study of my patriarchal blessing. I'm lucky if I take time to thumb through the Church magazines, let alone sitting down to read them. I have let worldly things take the place of heavenly things far too much in my life. I took Elder Christofferson's talk as a personal call to repentance. I know that I'm not necessarily an evil person, but I do give in to the natural man far too much, especially lately. If the Savior were here, He might very well give me the rebuke He gave Peter when Peter suggested He didn't have to suffer and die for mankind. That's a sobering thought. I'd better shape up. Thank goodness for second chances! Thank goodness for the miracles of repentance and forgiveness! I will be eternally grateful for the gift the Savior has given me of His Infinite Atonement, through which I can change and become better if I am willing to make the effort and take the time to. And how blessed I feel knowing that even if after all I can do, I fall short, if I have done my best, He will make up the difference. That is the miracle of it. I testify that He is truly our Advocate with the Father and also our merciful Judge. None of us is too far gone. As long as there's life, there's hope.

How grateful I am for the messages of these three servants of the Lord. I testify that the words of the scripture are true: "...whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." I joyfully and gratefully testify of the principles of ministering angels, prayer, and losing our lives for the gospel's sake, and I do so in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.