Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hope you had a great spring break

Hello everybody! I hope you had a great spring break and general conference. I will watch general conference next week. 

This week I wanted to talk about the role of the Holy Ghost. It's hard to know where to start, because the Spirit has so many roles. I like to think of it very simply, though, in the context of the gospel of Christ. When we are baptized and confirmed, we are commanded to receive the Holy Ghost. Why?

We know that baptism is our commitment to follow Christ, because Christ is our hope for returning to Heavenly Father. We must draw close to him and make him our foundation. We cannot see Heavenly Father or His Son, though. So how do we draw close to Him? How do we experience His love and blessings? Through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the third member or the Godhead, and we are promised this in 3 Nephi 11:

27 And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.  

Thus, we are assured that by drawing close to the divine being whose presence we can feel and receive, we are drawing close to Christ, and by drawing close to Christ we will draw closer to His Father. We are baptized in the name of all three - each of them plays a foundational role in our salvation. 

Our task can be seen very simply, then. If we want to become more like and draw closer to our Father in Heaven, we need to follow and draw closer to our Savior. In order to follow and draw closer to our Savior, we need to do things that invite the Spirit. We know what these are - scripture study, church attendance, service, prayer, obeying the commandments, and more. These things are supporting principles in, as Elder Bednar put it, "an overarching spiritual quest to fulfill the mandate to receive the Holy Ghost." 

In all that we do, we ought to seek the Holy Ghost. The promises for doing so are immense, one of my favorites of which comes from D&C 43: 

16 And ye are to be taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken.

The Spirit strengthens us, teaches us, enlightens us, prompts us to do good, fills us with joy, cleanses us from sin, brings revelation, answers prayers, grants wonderful gifts, draws us closer to our Savior, bears record of truth, warns of danger, gives righteous desires, and much more. Ultimately, the Spirit is what allows us to become born again and become more like our perfect Father in heaven. I would encourage everyone to go about their daily prayer, scripture study, and every other aspect of the gospel with sincerity and humility and the intent of receiving the Holy Ghost. I promise if you do this you will receive greater knowledge and joy. The Spirit will answer your prayers and righteous desires. Above all, you will become more like Christ and receive joy you had previously never experienced. 

Thank you all and have an awesome week!

As for some of the questions you asked - 

The last mission president, President Christensen, was called to the Seventy. I never met him, though. Our mission president right now is President Sonksen, and I will have him for my whole mission. 
The country life is great! It really warmed up last week, which was actually a little unfortunate because we still have to wear suits. After general conference, which we will watch next weekend, we don't have to wear suits and can wear short-sleeve shirts until next general conference. It doesn't get super hot in Taebaek like it does in Seoul, so that's good. The best arrangement would be to be in Gangweondo (the district of which Taebaek is a branch) during summer and Seoul during winter, so it seems like it's working out pretty well so far. 

The talk last week went well. I was really blessed to be able to speak. I'm learning that gifts of the Spirit, like the gift of tongues, come as the Spirit itself comes. The Spirit's role, among other things, is to testify of Christ. By the Spirit, we draw closer to Him. That is actually the only way to truly draw close to Him. Thus, when we seek to invite others to Him and testify of Him, the Spirit is there. What I have learned is that the Spirit, to me, always feels the same, regardless of whether we are studying the scriptures, praying, or receiving revelation. It is joy, enlightenment, clarity, strength, and many other things to us. So, when we receive the same Spirit again and again, we receive power to do whatever it is that the Lord wants us to do at that moment, including miracles, prophesying, healing, testifying, overcoming weakness or temptation, serving, or, in this case, teaching. This is how the Lord leads and guides us, and it's the means by which we learn of things that are spiritual. The only person qualified to teach us these things, after all, is the Lord, and He does so every day. 

Sounds like you had an awesome trip, Nichole! I wanna hear all the details. Send lots of pictures!

I sent a close-up of some pig feet we ate to Nichole. Here is the table situation: 

Elder Barr, Elder Welling, Elder Dye, the restaurant person, and me

I'm not sure why this meat get thrown away in the US... it was quite delicious. ​

Love you all! Have a great week! Suguhaseyo! 

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