Monday, September 22, 2014

It's a good day!

Good Morning Family & Friends,

According to the dictionary a commandment = a command = an order or direction. President  Monson once said "Commandments aren't suggestions- they are commandments!" God gives us commandments for our benefit. They are instructions from a loving Father in Heaven to help us have happy lives. He also gives us agency, or the ability and opportunity to choose between good and evil. When we obey God, we follow the influence of the spirit and choose to conform to His will. Obedience to the commandments brings us peace in this life and eternal
life in the world to come. Obedience shows our love for God. Heavenly Father knows our weakness and is patient with us. (But as President Marston says "God will not let us use our weaknesses as an excuse!") As we keep His commandments He is able to bless us.

In 1 Nephi 3, Nephi and his brothers are commanded to go get the Brass plates from Laban, in verse 7 it says "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." I love this scripture! The Lord doesn't give us any commandment that we can't accomplish!

"The Lord commanded His followers to preach the gospel in all the world, giving every person the opportunity to accept or reject it. When we are baptized, we make a covenant to always stand as witnesses of God. We are commanded to share the gospel with those who have not yet received it. As we live the gospel faithfully, we should set an example, showing our family members and friends the great blessings that come from living the gospel. We should also take advantage of opportunities to answer questions, share printed or audiovisual
materials, and invite others to learn more about the message of the restored gospel. We should pray for those who are not members of the Church. We should pray for missionary opportunities--to serve those who are not of our faith and share what we believe. The Lord promises to help members know what to say and do as they share the gospel."

President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 167).

In this world today there are so many warning signs but, there are people out there ready to change, trying to find what they are missing, and spiritually hold "help wanted" signs. Linda K. Burton, the General Relief Society President said "Imagine with me some of the possible spiritual “help wanted” signs related to the work of salvation:
• Help wanted: parents to bring up their children in light and truth
• Help wanted: daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, and true friends to serve as mentors and offer helping hands along the covenant path
• Help wanted: those who listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and act on impressions received
• Help wanted: those who live the gospel daily in small and simple ways
• Help wanted: family history and temple workers to link families eternally
• Help wanted: missionaries and members to spread the “good news”--the gospel of Jesus Christ
• Help wanted: covenant keepers to stand firm for truth and right
• Help wanted: true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ
• Help wanted: rescuers to find those who have lost their way" *2

Many of you have participated in treks to experience and appreciate the dramatic rescue of the Wille and Martin handcart companies.

" In October 1856, during a general conference, President Young learned that two handcart companies, the Martin company and the Willie company, were traveling late in the season and would face harsh winter weather on the plains of the western United States. He stood at the pulpit as a prophet of God and declared: “Many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with hand-carts, …and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them. … This community is to send for them and bring them in. …“That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess, it is to save the people. …“I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the celestial kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains.”
As a result of President Young’s call to action, wagons with teams of mules, men to drive them, and flour and other supplies were immediately sent to rescue the people stranded on the plains." *3
Elder M. Russell Ballard said " Today we are not called to pull handcarts through the snow-swept plains of Wyoming. However, we are called to live, foster, and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our privilege to invest our means and our time to bless others. Each one of us must do all we can to preserve our Latter-day Saint way of life. A vital part of this preservation is a willingness to set aside personal desires and replace them with unselfish sacrifice for others."
Family and friends, the Prophet still calls and commands us to sign-up for the rescue party. There are still lives to brighten, hearts to touch, and souls to save.

I am so thankful to be serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints. It is truly a blessing to be here in California with these amazing people. Here are a few highlights from my week.

~A...craziest lady I've probably ever meet. We went to her house this week for a lesson and she said, when we sat down to the table, "So if you see a little critter running aroud, my cat dragged it in and I havent found it yet." Sister Gibbons held her feet up the entire lesson. Sure enough there ran "the thing". We thought it was a little squirrel was black and white....and had a rat looking face. Critter for sure! It sat in her cat dish and ate the entire lesson. She didn't even care.
~We did alot of service this week.
~I never realized the impact I have made on the people here until I said goodbye to one of the less-actives here (just in case I do get transferred). As I said goodbye she broke into tears. It was such an uplifting experience for me. 
“Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things.
“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” D&C 14:6-7
I love you all! Thank you for your support!
Sister Elli Reber

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