Thursday, April 18, 2013

Choose You This Day

This past week Elder Mahoney and I were able to help President and Sister Alba with four zone conferences. It was a lot of work and preparation but we learned so much as we helped train and teach the missionaries in the mission about how they could become even more effective as servants of Jesus Christ. I was able to see former companions and ward members that I have served with during my mission, and it brought back some great memories of special times in those areas.

During one of the zone conferences, I learned that when we obey God's commandments the Lord is bound to bless us, but when we disobey His commandments we are bound to the consequences of our mistakes and bad actions.  I know in my own life I have been richly blessed because of the decisions that I have made to do all I can to keep God's commandments. I am not nearly perfect, but I have strived to do what is right, and for that the Lord has blessed me. I know that our Heavenly Father waits to bless us but can only do so when we follow and keep His commandments. I have seen two types of people on my mission … (1) those that are striving to keep God's commandments and (2) those that think they can do whatever they want. It is interesting because I have seen that those who strive to do what is right are blessed and are happy; and those that don't find themselves wrapped up in sin, sorrow and unhappiness. 

We were talking to a less active member last night that thought God's commandments were restrictive and kept us from achieving true happiness. I remember saying, "We know that God loves us and He wants us to be happy, and that is why He gives us commandments. Commandments do not restrict us; they liberate us. They free us from sin and from the filth of the world. For example, there are so many celebrities in the world that "have everything", but in reality have nothing. We know that most of them are unhappy and probably have more problems than you and I combined. It is because they are breaking God's commandments and giving into the temptations of the Adversary. It is because worldly happiness for them is measured by money, cars, or the latest iPhone. True and lasting happiness is measured by how well we are doing in keeping God's commandments and living the gospel of Jesus Christ. You don't have to wait for this happiness. You can have it now." He paused and said, "I can have it now?" We told him that he could have it if he was willing to start keeping the commandments in his life. It was a cool experience for me because I saw that you cannot serve two masters. In our lives we are either moving towards God or farther away from Him and closer to Satan. We need to choose TODAY who we are going to serve.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lordchoose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. - Joshua 24:15

This is YOUR life … are you who the Lord wants you to be? Remember that we are all:
1) Sons and Daughters of a loving Heavenly Father
2) Disciples of Jesus Christ
3) Healers of Souls
4) Heirs to all that He has

If you are not keeping God's commandments, I invite you to change and get back on the path God has made for you. If you already are there, I invite you to reach out to those around you who may be struggling and help them get back on track. Thank you all for you love and support. My mission is helping me see how important it is to put God above everything else. Choose TODAY whom ye will serve.

Los Quiero,

Elder Vance 

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