Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus

This week was the best week ever!! Not even kidding. I can't imagine how it could have gone better. Everything about it was just lovely and wonderful.
Reason #1:

We got to go to the temple!!! This is the district. This picture pretty much captures everyone's personalities as well. We're kind of like a mini-zone because we're all spread out and in the middle of nowhere, but we're still super close. It was also really windy that day (Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains!).

And this is my comp and I. Aren't we cute, even though we're sideways?
Reason #2:
So remember that former investigator that randomly showed up at church last Sunday? Well, we met with him on Tuesday, he stopped smoking and drinking that night, he bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday, and we're setting a baptismal date tonight! It's been so CRAZY fast, but I've never seen so much determination and real intent in anybody. Most of the time we have to make multiple reminder calls to get people to keep their appointments, but Cody is looking through the window waiting for us to show up. His faith really inspires me to improve.
This week I've been thinking a lot about the New Year and what I want to do with 2014. I'll spend all of 2014 on my mission, so I thought it would be good to get a vision of what I want to accomplish/become this year. I got a copy of "The Fourth Missionary" from my companion, and read it a few times. It made me think a lot about consecration, not just as a missionary, but also in the scope of my whole life. We are told to serve God with all our "heart, might, mind, and strength" (D&C 4:2) and this applies to anyone who wants to serve God. So if you want to serve God, this applies to you.
How do we serve God with all our "heart, might, mind, and strength"? I think the best way to do that is by following our Exemplar, even Jesus Christ. He was the one perfect servant of the Lord. He says "I came into the world to do the will of the Father" (3 Nephi 27:13). Therefore, the best way, the most Christlike way, to serve God is to give Him our will and do His. After all, no matter what we sacrifice, all we are doing is giving God back what He gave us. The only thing He doesn't have is our will. The Lord said (paraphrasing C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity):
"Give me all. I don't want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your works. I want You. All of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather, I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfitall of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me and I will make of you a new self in My image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart."

This is how we fulfill our divine nature and potential! The natural man must cease to be any part of us. Only then can we become like our Father. We were not meant to be mundane. We were not meant to be worldly. We were meant to be divine.
How do we do this? How do we change our natures to become like the Father? The best way is to follow the example set by the Son. In Preach My Gospel chapter 6 there are 8 Christlike attributes that missionaries are encouraged to study and apply. As we learn in the scriptures, the greatest of all of these is charity. Therefore, to consecrate ourselves to God we should seek to develop charity.

What is charity?
  • Sincere concern for others, rather then oneself (1 Corinthians 13:5)
  • An awareness of the worth of souls and the desire that none shall be lost. This desire also leads to action. (Mosiah 28:3)
  • Perfectness and peace--something we should desire above all else. (D&C 88:125)
  • Prevents a multitude of sins, but really all sins (1 Peter 4:8, see JST in footnote).
How do we develop this charity and therefore consecrate ourselves to God? Luckily both the Gospel Principles and Relief Society lesson were on this subject, so I have a pretty simple list. It all starts with your desires. Strive to desire what the Father would desire. (John 3:16, 2 Nephi 26:24) Then:
  1. Study the life of Jesus and keep His commandments. Do what the Savior would do in a given situation.
  2. Pray for greater charity when you have uncharitable feelings (Moroni 7:48)
  3. Learn to love ourselves (Matthew 22:39)
  4. Avoid thinking we are better than others.
Really, the simplicity of the Gospel is charity, trying to be like Jesus as the primary song says. If we have charity we have everything. If we do not have charity we have nothing. As we seek to follow Christ and His example, He will change us. He wants us to be like Him. He wants us to improve!
I hope that as we go forward into the new year we can all set goals and make plans to improve personally as well as as a family. I know that the Lord will bless us as we continue to move forward, always repenting and improving. I love you all, I love this work, and I love being a missionary! It's been the biggest blessing in my life.
Have a lovely week!!
Hermana Holloway
PS: another great thing to read and study is this talk. I remember watching it when it happened, but I didn't really get it until I studied it recently. It's SO GOOD! 

No comments:

Post a Comment