It seems recently that we've been hearing a lot about the tornadoes out in the mid-west. I don't know if I understand the magnitude due to no pictures or seeing stories on the TV but I do feel sorry for those families involved. We've heard here that the missionaries in the area are no longer proselyting but are full service missionaries. It seems recently that crazy things are happening all over the world. Here in Idaho even there are some serious scares of flooding. The snake river is super full and the falls by the temple aren't really falls anymore because of the amount of water that is flowing down. We've heard that there is still loads of snow that is in the mountains that hasn't melted off yet which is really scaring people in IF and Firth especially. We've been told that the last major flood was in the mid '90s and we have more snow pack in the mountains this year than that year that it flooded. The citizens in Firth are already lining sand bags to prepare the even higher raise in snake river. The palisade's reservoir has been lowered down to only 10% in preparation of the snow melt. Crazy!
On Thursday we traveled to Pocatello for a leadership training meeting at the institute of ISU. I really really really enjoyed this training meeting because the focus was on faith and developing faith in missionary work. I may have shared this with you in the past but at the last interview President Colton told me, "we can have an obedient missionary that does all right things but without faith in Jesus Christ that missionary is useless." I think this is why we are in a slump right now in the zone because we have become complacent in our faith. What I'm about to share with you is what I learned in regards to missionary work but can still be applied to all aspects of living.
In Jacob 5 we learn the parable of the Lord of the Vineyard. President expounded this chapter to us and taught me a very important principle of the gospel about the Lord and missionary work. He said, "the Lord is always working in our area but He works specific parts of it daily." He encouraged us to pray and ask the Lord, "where are you working today? I will meet you there and labor with you." I love what President Faust said, "this is the Lord's work, we should let Him to a little bit of it." He said that when we, members of the church, were doing too much and not letting the Holy Ghost do His job. Anyway, we have seen much success from doing this and especially have seen how prepared people are when we meet them because they have already been prepared by their Savior to receive us. The important part is knowing that the Lord is working and preparing our brothers and sisters to receive us. So I invite you to do the same thing, ask the Lord where He is working that day and then go labor with Him. President Eyring said, "you are never alone in the Lord's work."
Another point of the training meeting I wanted to share was what Elder Peterson, one of the church's scholars on Joseph Smith, taught us about faith. He taught us what the Prophet Joseph taught in regards to faith. He said faith comes in three ways:
- Have an idea that God exists
- Have a correct knowledge of the attributes, characteristics, and perfections of God
- Knowing that the path you pursue is in accordance to the will of God
These three things are what brings us to have full and complete faith in our Heavenly Father. The more we come to know Him the more faith and trust we'll have in Him. Faith is the first principle of the Gospel because it leads us to act and to change. Faith is necessary if we are to receive revelation which is the only way to actually know God. When we say we believe in Christ that is because it has been revealed to us by the power of the Holy Ghost and this belief is the driving power to all joy and happiness which comes from the principles and ordinances of the Gospel.
This morning I read in Alma chapter 26 and I love verse 22, "Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing-unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God...yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance."
The work of the Lord is wonderful and always will be. Our greatest joy comes from bringing an individual into the gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfilling the purposes of God.
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker