Date

October 10, 2016

Area

Buena Vista

Companion

Elder Arnett

Don't.......you..........dare! Don't give up! Keep going!

There are those moments where one doesn't want to keep going. You ask how can one suffer so much pain and suffering? Some begin to wonder what is the point if the world is getting worse why should I try? The real question is why shouldn't you try? Why would you want to choose to give up? I ask you to whom would you go? Who would accept you? This world is becoming more corrupt as we know it. Men and women have turned their will over to the flesh. They have become vile, cruel, and evil.

So I ask you are you willing to stand up and fight it? Are you the one willing to weather the storm? To work out the trials of life? Are you willing to follow the Savior? Who else provides the healing you seek? Who else can help you when you fall? I ask each and everyone of you who read my letter do you know our Savior? Do you trust in him?

I have been pondering and meditating this week on the talk "Lest thou forget" by Ronald A. Rasband. He reminds us of something very powerful that each and everyone of us is a child of God. Do you understand that? I want you to ponder that in each one of your hearts. You are important to him and you mean the world to him. I don't think you possibly know how many life's you affect and how many people you have changed. Now some of you may feel like you haven't done much good or changed the lives of people around you. Let me tell you how big of a lie that is. Satan is the father of all lies and if you believe that you are nothing you are dead wrong.

Sometimes we feel like we can't do it like we did. We aren't the same person. Don't listen to him who you are and who you are meant to become are not based on him. Satan cannot force you to do anything he can try as hard as he can to tempt you into doing the wrong thing, but in the end you have the ultimate decision. I want each one of you to look back at the person you were and realize how great a person you are. I know from my own experience that I have improved greatly and that the lord is putting me through certain trials so I can know how to succor his people.

The truth is we cannot give in and we cannot give up. I echo Elder Hollands statement from last April's General Conference. "No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. … He will [always] stand by us." He will always stand by us even if we are weak or faltering, but he has always provided a way.

Another talk that makes me think is "God shall wipe away all our tears" by Elder Schmutz. God allows us to suffer sometimes because he knows it will make us better. Think of that! Why must we suffer? The answer is, it is the only way we can improve. He doesn't hate us or wish to push us to the edge of the abyss of misery. That is what Satan wants us to do. He wants us to be drown in our sorrows and afflictions. He wants that we become miserable as he is. The reason being, that he can never improve and never progress. He is a miserable man and will always be miserable.

I refer to Elder Nelson's talk "Joy and Spiritual Survival" our purpose here on earth is to have joy. Now for me it seems so far away this joy that Elder Nelson talked about, but he explains it simply. He says, "Saints can be happy under every circumstance. We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year!" Now the question one might have is how is this accomplished? How can one have joy when everything is so dark around us? He continues on to say, "When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening--or not happening--in our lives." What an amazing promise!

I ask each and everyone of you do you believe that? Do you believe we can have joy? Do you believe that we can have peace that surpasses all understanding? Do you believe that Christ can heal you? I know it is true! If you don't understand it or if it seems out of reach I invite you to ponder the talks again. I exhort each one of you with every fiber of my being to open your hearts and ears and listen to the beautiful music and life that the gospel brings. Don't suffer any longer don't let old hurts destroy your lives. I have never experience such relief and peace from accepting the healing grace of the savior.

I turn to 2 Nephi 4:27-30 which says,
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.

29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

I also think of the Hymn "Be still my soul!" Which leads me to an ultimate question do you trust in God? Do you believe he does this for your good? How have you allowed yourself to trust in him? How are you turning to the most powerful gift he has given us? Let him in I beg you so he can heal me. As he said, "will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" So I beg the same question will you return to him, repent of your sins, have a might change of heart so you can be healed?

I know as Elder Rasband said we may not feel like we can be the same person we were before, but I know that God is a merciful God, a Loving God. His love is infinite and he shows it continually to us as we keep the commandments, as we love one another, and as we serve him. Please come unto him. Don't procrastinate the beautiful feelings of love and gratitude you can feel. Sister Reeves told of how much relief we can receive by come unto him and to chosen church leaders and repenting of our sins and asking for help. Sometimes we cannot do it by ourselves, sometimes we cannot heal the hearts we have hurt, sometimes we cannot help those that have gone astray, but we all know of one person who can. Do you believe he can heal that gap? Do you believe he makes up for every fault and failure we have in life? I testify he cannot only heal the gap, but he will make everything in the end.

Last of all let us be strong. Let us lift one another up. That is the light and good news of the gospel. We have the blessing of sharing the goodness of Christ as we can all learn from him. We all have the power to cheer someone up and it should be our duty to do so. As Elder Uchtdorf said each of us can be an Alma or an Amulek. We have the responsibility of finding those Amuleks or waking up and share the gospel together. Elder Holland shared a message of a man who gave up hope after running over his son. Then God, His Wife, and his home teacher helped him out. I invite each one of you to read that story and strive to be like that home teacher.

We have the power to change lives even if we don't believe it. The truth is we can do it! As Samwise the brave said, "It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

I testify and I know that each one of you is a precious son or daughter of God. You are worth fighting for! You are lights and beacons to many. I would die for each and everyone of you if I have to. Don't give up! Don't give in! Don't you listen to Satan! You are worth every moment to me. You are worth suffering for. You are worth praying for. You are worth everything to God, so why would I value you any less. I love each and everyone of you! I bear my witness that God lives and he loves us. He sent his son to die for us to give us a perfect and everlasting gift. I invite you to discover the gift, embrace the gift and only then will you find peace. I know this is true and I live it, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Missionary of the true and everlasting gospel,
Elder Richards🐉🇺🇸🇲🇽




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