Friday, May 1, 2015

WEEK 90: Finding Joy In Eternal Priorities

April 6, 2015

I can't express, through words my feelings, thoughts and impressions that the Lord has helped me to develop concerning his Restored Gospel. He has helped me to see what matters most. He has helped me to understand how to effectively place my priorities that I may have a happy and successful life. He has allowed me unforgettable experiences of my own and the opportunity to work closely with incredible examples, who I have seen gain true and lasting joy by living true principles. He has helped me to gain a burning testimony of the divine reality of Himself, His Son, His Gospel, and everything that it entails, including: the need for Modern-Day Prophets, Priesthood, the Book of Mormon, Temples, Ordinances, Covenants, Prayer, (etc.) and most importantly the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Something that I feel like I can't capitalize on enough, especially as a missionary, is the importance of us knowing what things matter most in life. What will bring us joy, or lasting happiness? What should be our Eternal Priorities? Do we even need to set priorities? There are so many options and distractions to sort out in our busy lives, and sometimes I feel as if we lose track of what things truly need our focus and attention. We must keep an Eternal Perspective while we are making Eternal Decisions. So what are decisions that we make that are Eternal?

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." (Alma 37:6)

This is a principle that I have come to know and love. More often than not, the "small and simple" choices we make daily add up over time to make up what our life is as a whole. Every decision we make eventually adds up to be an Eternal one, to some degree. Therefore, we must always strive to keep that Eternal Perspective.

What are a few things that we can focus on, to ensure our Eternal Joy? Let's look at the things that are Eternal. What things do we take with us after death and into the Eternities?

 (In no specific order)

1. Our Family/Friend Relationships

2. Our Testimony and Conversion unto the Lord

3. Our Character

4. Our Faith

5. Our Knowledge (of the Gospel)

If these 5 things are held close to us as priorities, we will experience lasting joy, not only  in this life, but also in the life to come. Don't get me wrong, there are other things that bring happiness to us in this life, but remember, we must keep an Eternal Perspective even in our current mortal state. Do some of the things we now put as priorities in our lives really matter in the end? We may ask ourselves: What is our current focus in life right now? What should/needs to be our focus? What are we able to take with us after this mortal life is over? If we feel as if our life is repetitious, mundane, or even depressing, we should look within ourselves to see what our priorities are.

Are we doing the little things to help develop these 5 internal successes? Are we striving to mold within ourselves a Christ-like Character by putting the Lord as a Priority, keeping His commandments, repenting and using the Atonement regularly? Are we increasing our knowledge regularly through daily scripture study/prayer? Are we strengthening our family bonds through weekly Family Home Evening? Are we increasing our faith and testimony by weekly church attendance? Are we building our conversion unto the Lord in regular Temple attendance?

These are just a few of the many simple applications we must engage in, in order to keep these Eternal qualities and attributes a Priority throughout our "busy" lives. I know that by striving to stay close to the Lord in all we do, and keep these simple priorities, we will discover amounts of joy that we didn't know were possible. We may be able to "taste a [new] light" in our lives. Only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, can and will we find this whole amount of joy. I know as we strive to become devoted disciples of Jesus Christ ourselves, we will be able to help other along the path of conversion, through our friendships, words and example, which also brings an increased amount of joy. There are no loopholes in the Gospel. I love it. It all fits together so nicely. It's the way the Lord has instructed us will bring lasting and eternal joy.

Jordan is doing well. She is on date for baptismal on April 11th, and is pushing through challenges that are coming her way. She is going to be a solid member of the church.

We were able to attend the Saturday AM and Priesthood sessions of General

Conference at the Conference Center! What an amazing blessing to be serving in Salt Lake City and having the miraculous opportunity of giving  the experience for investigators to see the current Prophet of God speak right in front of them.

Conference was great, as always! If you weren't able to see every session, repent and go watch them! You won't be disappointed!

Stay close to the Lord and I promise He'll bless you.

~Elder Carroll 

Priesthood Session! Ross, E. Steed, Christain (RC),
Me, CJ, Genaro (RC), Simi, Ryan

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