Monday, November 3, 2014

From President Williams

Look to the Great Mediator ... and Choose Eternal Life


Russia Novosibirsk Mission

03 Nov 2014

President Williams

Dear Elders and Sisters,

We are still feeling the glow of having met with you last week, and with some of you again, since then! We love you, and we love to meet with and interact with you. The light of the Lord's own "perfect brightness of hope" shines through you, and we see it, and others see it.

I have found that a scripture in 2 Nephi has come forward in several interactions I have had with less actives and missionaries recently. As you will see, the nature of this doctrine is such that it clearly applies to all, not just those who are less active or who have not joined the Church, but also to us. In this chapter of 2 Nephi, the great prophet, Lehi, is speaking to his son, Jacob, who was also a prophet as spiritually strong as his brother Nephi:

-- First, verse 2, "...thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain." This reminds me of the verses in 2 Tim 2:1,3, which we shared before and which Sister Porter shared last week: "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.... Thou, therefore endue hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

-- Second, the first part of verse 5: "And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil." Both we and those we teach have the light of Christ. With the exception of those who are not accountable, all have sinned, and this is the reason we and they all must repent, and so we must be sure that is a daily part of our lives, and we must carefully help investigators and less actives discover, understand for themselves, and act upon the principle of faith in Christ unto repentance.

-- Third, verses 6-8: "Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

-- And finally, for purposes of my message today, verse 27 (in light of verses that precede it): "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."

So, this is the great truth, based on the eternal doctrine of moral agency: We must choose. It is our choice, no one else's, between liberty and eternal life or captivity and death. Please help investigators and less active members understand this, at the appropriate time, and make it clear that your role, as a servant of the Lord, is to invite them to do so by making and keeping commitments (PMG, Ch. 11), and to HELP them in any appropriate way that they are willing to accept.

And, as Elder Porter emphasized in a conversation with me the night before the zone conference, and as I mentioned last Monday, we need to gently caution those we teach that, because this is indeed the true work of God, the devil opposes it. Thus, they (and we) can expect to see opposition to what they are learning, in some form or another. But ALSO, that they need not fear this, when they CHOOSE to act with Faith unto Repentance and make (or renew) the covenant of baptism and confirmation. You will be there to help them! What a great thought that is to me!!

God bless you, elders and sisters! Sister Williams and I dearly love you with that love which God has placed within us, which magnifies any love we can muster into a powerful motive to pray for the best for you and to help you attain it.


President Williams

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