Monday, January 20, 2014

When we are blown off track

So these last few weeks have been super busy, however, ever since the carnivals ended nothing crazy has exactly happened. I have had some amazing lessons with amazing people. 

My favorite memory from the last few weeks would be from yesterday, Sunday. 

Yesterday I blessed the sacrament with Jorge Vidal. Someone I had the great opportunity to teach and help him along in his conversion and the conversion of his family. He received the priesthood last Sunday and blessed the sacrament, white shirt and all. It was amazing. 

Also I had my first baptismal interview. A little girl, 8 years old, named Alizon. She is awesome and is helping her family understand why they need the gospel in their lives. It’s an amazing experience to be the one to determine if someone is ready or not for baptism. 

Also these last two weeks I helped 2 kids fill out their paperwork to go on a mission. So awesome. 

Now this letter will be a little different as it will be a lot heavier in terms of doctrine. But I feel like it is adequate to both my own needs and those to whom read this letter. 

This week I’m going to talk about trials of our faith. 
“How do you remain steadfast and immovable during a trial of your faith?”

Let me tell you:

The Gospel does not ensure a life without trials:
It ensures a life where we can endure trials. 

Elder Hafin, an authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints stated:

“So if you have problems in your life, don’t assume there is something wrong with you. Struggling with those problems is at the very core of life’s purpose. As we draw close to God, he will show us our weaknesses and through them make us wiser, stronger. If you’re seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you are moving nearer to God, not further away”

Let me tell you a story, it’s found in the book of Ether:

There once was a man, he is commonly known as the Brother of Jared. 
The Brother of Jared was commanded to make boats and to put them in the sea to travel to the Promised Land, him and his people. 
The brother of Jared lived in the time of the Tower of
Babel and really had no idea how to make huge cross Atlantic boats, so they simply made spherical like boats with holes and stoppers to let in air and stop up the water when the boat was upside down. 
Here is a part of this story that I find very interesting, its right after they got in the boats and set off. 

“And it came to pass that the Lord caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters...and thus they were tossed upon the waves...and it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the Sea...caused by the fierceness of the wind.” 

Why, if they were doing exactly what they needed to be doing, would the Lord send something like this. The people probably felt incredibly scared, probably had motion sickness, and maybe at times felt completely helpless. 
Well there is a scripture afterword’s that I think gives the answer. 

“And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.”

At times in our lives we feel as if the wind is blowing furiously, that we are being tossed upon the waves, or maybe even “Buried in the depths of the Sea”. 
We don’t understand why things like this would happen to us, especially if we are just people. We follow the commandments. We try to always do our part well, so why would God permit something so horrifying like this to happen in our lives. 
The truth is found simply in the last part of the story. We are simply being driven before the wind towards where we need to go. We don’t understand always exactly where it is we need to go, we don’t understand the purpose, however we just don’t understand at this time. There is a great plan; God always lets these things happen in our lives for a purpose. 

We will have trials, however, simply keep going, with the knowledge that 
“the wind will never cease to blow towards the promise land”

An ancient prophet, named Nephi went through some very hard trials. He wrote something very interesting and around the time he had just lost his father, and his own brothers were planning to kill him and he probably felt very inadequate with his recent calling as a prophet. He wrote:

“I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins”

He felt trapped, his weaknesses and vulnerabilities are plainly in view. In a bleak desperate moment, his trial does not confine him, but his faith defines him:

“Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. My God hath been my support; He hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the water of the great deep.”

I love you all. 

Remember in whom you have trusted. If you have placed your trust in the right place, yes you will have trials, but they will drive us to where we need to go. 

We do have a great destiny in front of us. 
Are we willing to accept it? 
Are we willing to accept all that the Lord sends are way or permit to happen in our lives? 
If we move forward with this faith undeterred, with an eye on who we can become, we will find strength. 

Christ died for us all. 

He suffered not only for our sins but for our trials as well. 

When you feel as if you can no longer find your way. 
Find you knees. 
Humble Prayer. 

It was through prayer that the Savior atoned for all of our sufferings, and it is through prayer we will find strength. 

I love you all 
I hope you all have an incredible week. 

Know you are in my prayers

Elder Lyle

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