Monday, December 30, 2013

Making Changes and Being Redeemed




ANYone out there needing some changes in their life?  Or... am I the only one?

I am one of those people that thrive on the opportunity and moment of each new year, to start over with areas of my life that need an overhaul.  I know that I can actually do this anytime of the year, but for some reason my brain and heart don't respond as well unless it is the new year. 

So here we go!

I need some changes. Serious changes, and half the battle is convincing myself it can be done. Can I change?  Can anyone who wants to change, change?  Because it kinda seems like I keep making the same resolutions each year and have the same goals A lot!

All I really need is some convincing motivating words from our dear prophets, apostles, and church leaders that it can be done.  [Change] They speak in behalf of the Savior, and so, that motivates me quite a bit. I know that it is the Savior and His Atonement that brings about any change in ourselves.

 So I found this great talk. Actually my missionary daughter led me to it.  It was given to missionaries, but it is for all of us. Anyone who wants to change and wants to truly follow the Savior and become like Him, this talk is for you.  But you have to be ready for it. Ready to make changes and ready to try your hardest. I feel I am at that point. So here we go-

"As you consider the question of what kind of person you will become, you must understand the dynamic process of life. You not only can change but you do change all of the time. Sometimes people do not believe this. They excuse their failures and weaknesses by saying: "That's just the way I am." "I am just short tempered, impatient person." I can't get up in the morning. That's just the way I am." "That's my nature." Or, "I'm just shy. That's all. That's just who I am." "I am not really a spiritual person."

To believe that weaknesses and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the plan of salvation. You are not cast in stone. You not only can change but you do change all of the time. You are a dynamic, changing, evolving being. You are always changing. You never stay the same. You cannot stand still." (The Fourth Missionary, Lawrence Corbridge)

I personally, thought that was a powerful statement. And true. We are ALWAYS changing. Always.

One of my children came into the bathroom yesterday when I was getting ready for church, and made a statement of, "Oh just wish I could be 'like this'..."  Well, according to those paragraphs above. They can.  We can change anything about ourselves. We are not stuck a certain way, and we can change and be whatever we wish to be. 

"Jesus asked a similar question. He said: "What manner of men ought ye to be?" On this particular occasion he was speaking to his Nephite disciples and so he spoke in the male gender, but the question applies to us all, and so, He asks of you: "What manner of men and women ought ye to be?" Then answering His own question he said, "Even as I am."

Jesus Christ not only came to atone for our sins; He also came to show us the way. He is the Way. You not only may become like Him; everything is stacked in your favor to become like Him.

Think of this life as a path on which you never stand still. As you move forward, you incorporate into your being the characteristics and qualities of God. As you move backward you assimilate the qualities of Satan. 


Every challenge you face, every hard thing you confront, every bad thing that happens to you, every unfairness, every conflict, every sadness, tragedy, every disappointment and heartache, every temptation and every opposition happens for one purpose only: to give you opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus.


As you do so you are changed to become more like Him. If you were never presented with some advantage to be gained by dishonesty, such as recognition, or money, or a better grade on a test or avoidance of punishment or embarrassment, you could never develop integrity. If no one ever offended you, you could never learn to forgive or internalize mercy. Were you never wearied by the annoying behavior of another or the repeated failures of someone else you could never become patient. Were you never subjected to the appetites and passions of the physical body for food, for water and for sexual fulfillment you could not develop self mastery. Without opposition the plan would be frustrated, you could not progress and the purpose of life would be unachievable.

 

In short when you choose to follow Christ you move forward and assimilate attributes of light; when you do not, you move backward and acquire attributes of darkness.

Can you see, have you seen, who you want to be? What will happen if you don't plan. What will happen if you have no vision of who you want to become?

There are two ways of evolving: deliberately and accidentally. You can either decide who you want to become and deliberately work toward that end, or you can just go with the flow and become whatever life makes of you. In that event, you will become whatever the fickle circumstances and forces of life and society will make of you; whatever is currently considered to be popular or in; whatever is

easiest. But, whatever you become accidentally it will not be nearly the full measure of our potential. You will become just someone, somewhere in the middle." ((The Fourth Missionary, Lawrence Corbridge)
That was kind of a long segment, and I hope you stuck with me through it, because it has some great principles of really changing and drawing close to the Savior, which when we do, brings the best changes in all of us.

Now we are moving on to who the FOURTH missionary is, if you haven't read the talk yet yourself. I know you are super curious who these missionaries are. Well, let me give you a hint...these missionaries, are us. They are all of us. Different versions of ourselves depending entirely on the changing we are willing to do....  I don't know...do you have a calling in the Church?  Are you a mother or father? Are you a husband or wife? Are you a son or daughter of God? Do you have a job? ....Are you a person?  You get the idea. This is for Everyone!


Missionary
#1
#2
#3
#4
Characteristics
*Disobedient
*Does what he want to do
*Disobedient
*Does what he want to do
*Serves his entire mission
*Obedient and Worthy
*Does his duty
*Serves faithfully, but withholds his heart
*He does what the Lord wants, but he wants to do what he wants to do
*Sacrifices his will for the Lord’s will
*May strive to be the best
*Measures success by comparison to others
*Obedient and worthy
*Total surrender
*Consecrates himself
*Charity
*Disciple of Christ
*Measure of success from within
*His predominant desire is to do what the Lord wants him to do
Consequences
*Either is sent home, or goes home
*The good he would have otherwise done, goes undone
(fruit)
*Shame and misery
*Impairment of faith
*Hard to fit in
*Inactivity or unproductive
activity in Church
*Is not changed by mission
*The good he would have otherwise done, goes undone
(fruit)
*Forgoes development
*Regret
*Impairment of faith
*Forgoes development
*Misery
*Is not changed by mission
*Does great good
*Enjoys the Spirit
*Has faith
Conforms his behavior
*Frustration and discontent
*Gains little or no knowledge
*Is not changed by mission
 
*Does great good
*Enjoys the Spirit
*Has faith
*Nature changed
*Content and happy
*Benefits immensely from and is changed by mission
*Gains great knowledge
*Redeemed
 
(The Fourth Missionary, Lawrence Corbridge, go to the talk to read more)


Are you speechless, like I am after reading that chart? Pretty amazing. And true.

So I am ready to make some changes to work towards the qualities of that fourth missionary. On a personal side note, my daughter has become that fourth missionary while on her mission.  She'll be home in 3 weeks....

So the whole point is that last point of the chart....letting our [mission] life and experiences changes us. Not keep us the same, but change us.  Or as the fourth missionary ends....REDEEMED. 




I love the principle of being redeemed.  A great illustration is found here: Teaching the Atonement Using Comparisons.  When the Savior redeems us, He makes us better than we were when started. So a redeemed missionary, or a redeemed Bishop, or primary teacher, or Young Women leader, or Sunday School teacher, or mother, or wife, or daughter or son of God....is one who is markedly changed by their experiences.  We can compare that to our lives. We want to be redeemed. We want to be changed. Only the Savior and His Atonement can do that. 

I love these thoughts.  I hope it strengthened you as well.


 


 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"The Fourth Missionary": My Next Great Read



Here is the latest talk I am studying:   The Fourth Missionary  by Lawrence E.Colbridge.  It was given June 22, 2002 and is an A-m-A-z-I-n-G talk. 

My missionary daughter told us about it when we Skped with her over Christmas.  This talk changed her as a missionary, and as I have read it, I realize, this is for EVERYONE who wants to be great. Anyone who wants to and is ready to change and be better.  This is the talk.   Download it and read it, it is great.  I printed it off (24 pages) and will be studying it in depth.  It is that good. Want to join me?!

What intrigued me was what Amber told be about it just briefly during our Skype.  She described the 4 different types of missionaries there are (from the talk)

Missionary #1: Disobedient.  He does what he wants to do.  Does not complete his mission.
Missionary #2: Disobedient. He does what he wants to do.  Serves his entire mission.
Missionary #3: Obedient and worthy. Does the duty and serves faithfully, but not with his whole heart. Is not changed by his mission.
Missionary #4: (the one we want to be) Obedient and worthy.  Serves faithfully, with his whole heart, and gives EVERYTHING to the Lord.  Overcomes weaknesses, submits His will to the Lord. His mission changes him.

This is not just about missionaries. This is about us.  All of us and our submission to the Lord's will. 

Let's read this talk!

  I can't wait!