Monday, May 4, 2015

WEEK 94 Sanctify Yourselves

I can't express, through words, the deep gratitude and love I have for our loving Heavenly Father. He's there. He's very aware of each of us. He's engaged in our lives. He's interested in the details of the details of the details of our pursuits. He wants the best for us. He'll let us fall every once in a while, only so that we may know that He is the ultimate source of truth, light, and joy. We will only know joy if we have experienced opposition. We're given weaknesses so we will humble ourselves and come unto Him. We must rely wholly on "Him who is mighty to save" in all things.

The Area

This past week has been one of the busiest weeks on the mission! Zone Conferences, 4 total companion exchanges after each day of Zone Conferences, and a full day of teaching on Saturday! 4 Sacrament Meetings yesterday, and a Worldwide YSA Broadcast with Elder Robbins of the 70 in the evening, which we were able to attend live at the Tabernacle on Temple Square! Revelation has been flowing and amazing things are happening. Dianne is still solid on date for May 16th! Alex is going out of town for 3 weeks, but is set on being baptized as soon as he gets back on the 29th of May! We are so incredibly blessed to be working with the individuals the Lord has placed in our path.

Guess who we had a scripture study with this week... A President of one of the Quorums of 70--kinda!!  In the Community of Christ Church (formally known as the RLDS church)! It was a woman. They believe she has the Priesthood. She's over the entire Western United States for their church. A little background... We've been teaching this guy named Tyler, who was baptized into the LDS church 3 years back. Within the past year, he's been attending the Community of Christ. Something has drawn him back to the LDS faith and we are working with him to help him gain a stronger testimony. He said he had some "friends" that wanted to come observe our lesson with him and this is who he brought!! Anyways, having scripture study with this woman was like having scripture study with Elder Rasband in the eyes of the Community of Christ!  What an amazing opportunity to be able to sit down in harmony and have a Gospel discussion. She didn't say much, but she was really nice. Oh the mission experience!

Last week I mentioned that our portion of the trainings at Zone Conference was going to be centered on "motivations". Last minute change, we ended up focusing on Sanctification, or being sanctified. Here's a few thoughts from that training:


"And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5)

In order for the Lord to use us in His great work, and for him to be able to bless us with all blessings available, we must sanctify ourselves. So what does the word sanctify even mean? Well, there's at least 2 meanings used in the scripture. The first is meaning to cleanse, or purify. This is what the Spirit can do to us to help us become whole.

"That ye may be sanctified [cleansed] by the reception of the Holy Ghost." (3 Nephi 27:20)

The other definition is to set apart for a specific purpose, or to consecrate. This is what we mean when we ask the blessing on the Sacrament bread.

"O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread" (Moroni 4:3)

We are not asking God to cleanse the bread of sin, but rather to set it apart for the specific purpose of the Sacrament. This is the kind of Sanctification that I wish to discuss today. The Sanctification of ourselves.

So why is it important to be sanctified, or set apart, or consecrated unto the Lord? I guess you could say this answer is obvious, but let's dig a little deeper into it.

"Purge ye out the iniquity which is among you; sanctify yourselves before me." (D&C 43:11)

First off, it's a commandment. The Lord doesn't want just a part of us. He wants all of us. He expects us to "purge" ourselves of any sin or ungodly thing. Although we cannot truly become clean without the cleansing of the blood of Christ, we must do our part to obey Him, and repent when necessary.

"For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified." (Moses 6:60)

We must keep in mind that we alone can do nothing, but because of the atoning blood of Christ, we can be made whole.

"Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power" (D&C 43:16)

Just because we are "endowed" in the Temple, doesn't mean we are entitled to that power with no conditions attached. If we expect the Lord to bless us with His strength, we must do our part. We must stay true and faithful. We must Sanctify ourselves, and the Lord will do wonders among us.

"Therefore,  sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you." (D&C 88:68)

In order to receive continuous revelation, we must be worthy and receptive to it. By sanctifying ourselves, we are inviting the Lord share further light and

knowledge with us. Knowledge and truths that are Eternal, which will benefit us for the rest of our existence.

"And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they might also be sanctified." (John 17:19)

Christ sanctified Himself for us. If we intend to become a more effective instrument in His hands, we must do the same. If we take care of His, He'll take care of ours.

How Can I Sanctify Myself?

Knowing the importance of become personally sanctified brings up an important question. How can I best sanctify myself? Well, it all goes back to priorities-- Eternal Priorities. Is the Lord your first thought each and every morning? Do you commit each morning that you keep your covenants by obeying Him in every thought, word, and action? Do you repent when you fail to do so?  Do you put as a priority to "feast upon the words of Christ" through diligent daily scripture study? Do you attend all 3 hours of church every week (which by the way is only a less than 2% if your week) and strive to magnify your calling? Do you attend the Temple regularly, if at all possible? Do you sacrifice your time, talents, and everything he has blessed you with, to Him? Are you allowing the Lord to gradually change your nature, so that you can become in reality, a Latter-Day "Saint"? Do you invite the Spirit into your life on all occasions? Do you apply the Atoning sacrifice of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ regularly? Do you do all you can to tap into the enabling power, or grace of The Merciful One?

This may seem like a lot to do. I think it may be because it is. Joseph Smith stated:

“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” 

Eventually, we must be willing to sacrifice everything to the Lord and in effect, sanctify ourselves. This time on earth is a "time for [us] to prepare to meet God". When the Lord asked us to take up our own cross (D&C 56:2), did he just want us to take it to the bottom of the hill at Golgotha? Or just to the top? Did he just want us, when we got to the top, to say, "Ok Lord, I've come this far and sacrificed this much. Go ahead and get up on that cross while I stay down here and watch you suffer."? No. Christ wants and needs us to give our lives to Him, our whole lives, just as He gave His life to the Father. All of us.


Getting to the point of complete sanctification, consecration and conversion is obviously a life-long process. But we must start now. I invite all of us to set goals and make plans to progress in our journey of self-sanctification. Self-evaluate and be honest with yourself. As President Hinckley would say, "Try a little harder to be a little better". Only true joy awaits as we learn to give our will (which is the only real thing of ours we have to give) to the Father in all things.

Stay close to Him.

~Elder Carroll

"Only the deeply converted will survive." -President Stephen W. Hansen

Pioneer YSA Stake Talent Show. Sisters Pearson, West, Elder Ohl

Elder Steed & I in the car

No comments:

Post a Comment