Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Our Gifts

“For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.” - Doctrine & Covenants 46:11

I am filled with gratitude for the special and wonderful gifts that my Heavenly Father has given me. My eyes have been opened to all the gifts God has given me throughout my life and throughout my mission. I love the Christmas season and the time we have to think about the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

These are some blessings I have received in my life:

My family and friends that love and support me in my life … I am so blessed to have such a great family and friends. I know my parents are the perfect parents for me and I am so grateful for them and for helping me stay on the path that leads to everlasting happiness. They both are Christ-like examples to me. I am grateful for my four sisters that shine with the Light of Christ and virtue. They are my four special lights that I will always keep close to me. I love my family.
I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that, because Jesus Christ came to earth and suffered for me, I can let go of my past and look into a future filled with hope and light. I know I can repent daily and be forgiven of my sins. I can live a life full of happiness and joy. Now that I have a strong testimony of His Atonement, I have no desire to sin and to do evil. This is the greatest gift God has given to man … His only Begotten Son. How grateful I am to know that I can be free from sin through the Perfect One, Jesus Christ. 

I am grateful for my mission. These last 16 months have been the greatest months of my life. I have learned how to recognize the Spirit and how to love all those I come in contact with each day. My mission has changed me forever and I look forward to the rest of the time I have left. I know that God has a plan for me and for every one of you. I know that what I bring to everyone as a missionary is true. I know that the true church of Jesus Christ has been restored and put back on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he did see God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that every page of The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and his ministry to the people here in the Americas. I know that ANY person can know of its validity by reading it and through praying sincerely to know if it is true. I know all of these things because it has been given to me directly from my Heavenly Father. It is pure knowledge and pure intelligence, because it comes from Him. I am grateful for my testimony.

I am grateful for all the talents and gifts that God has bestowed upon me in this life. I know that when God gives us spiritual or temporal gifts he expects us to share them with everyone. I know that it is up to me to decide how I use my gifts in this life. I want to use my talents to serve God until the end. I know that through my talents and gifts I can inspire others and help others come unto Christ. I know that it is through our own talents and gifts that we can help others see and develop their gifts and talents.  

"God knows our gifts. My challenge to you and to me is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us. But most of all, I pray that you will be inspired to help others discover their special gifts from God to serve. I promise you that if you ask, you will be blessed to help and lift others to their full potential in the service of those they lead and love. I testify to you that God lives, Jesus is the Christ, this is the priesthood of God, which we hold, and God has prepared us with special gifts to serve Him beyond our fondest hopes. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." -President Henry B. Eyring 

I know we all can change the world one step at a time. One small act of kindness through this Christmas season can change someone's life for eternity. I invite you all to be a light in someone's life this holiday season, and to always remember the true meaning of Christmas. Remember the greatest gift that was ever given to us was Him.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not meant to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unceasingly give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." 

Los Amo,

Elder Spencer Guy Vance

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