Friday, June 26, 2015

WEEK 100: The Simplicity of the Gospel

June 15, 2015
Hey all,

I would briefly like to testify of the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we just make it a little too complicated for ourselves, which is unnecessary. With the Restoration of the Lord's Church in our time, modern-day prophets, the miracle of revelation, and the convincing evidence of the Book of Mormon, the Gospel is laid out plainly for us.

"Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old." (Jacob 4:13)

God wants us to understand. If we are willing to put in the effort required to ask, seek, and knock, He has promised to reveal His light unto us. If we are willing to live His divine laws and principles, He is able to help us understand and comprehend.

"Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion." (D&C 132:8)

God has established His Plan of Happiness, Mercy, and Salvation, that His children may return to live with Him. Although all of our lives differ in experiences and circumstances, there is only one way by which we can make it back to Him. He has shown us the way, and it has been the same since the beginning of time. There is one answer.

The 3rd and 4th Articles of Faith, as written by the Prophet Joseph, state:

"3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

How much simpler could it get? We are informed by a Prophet of God that we must be obedient to laws of the Gospel, and partake in all saving ordinances available. We must cultivate faith and repent of our sins. We must participate in making convents, or promises with God. As we are covenant keepers, the power of the Atonement may make its way into our lives.

One may say these things are easier said than done. Well, I believe that's true. But hey, at least we have the entire roadmap to eternal success. What more could you ask for? The challenge is overcoming the natural man. I believe one of the main purposes of life is to achieve mastery over the flesh. Mastery over self. What's that hymn? The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. It's true. But through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can achieve perfection, eventually.

I testify that as we give our will to Him, we are able to start to become something. We must forget about ourselves. Realize why you're here. This life is not about this life. We should learn to live for something higher than ourselves. We should live to please and glorify Him. We should serve Him out of a motivation of love. As we strive to progress in our striving for obtaining a more Christlike character, He will support us. We will be happy as we live his laws. As we build our foundation upon Him, we will be strengthened in our mortal trials and tribulations. It's all true. One of the hardest things here in the field is encountering individuals who just aren't willing to put in the effort to test or try the doctrine. I know that if they would just do so, they would be transformed. They would experience joy. The carnal kind has them bound in chains, sometimes even to the point of being "past feeling". People destroy their own lives as they search the world for happiness, contentment, and satisfaction. I often leave conversations with individuals, praying that they may have another chance to accept the truth and change. Hoping that they won't be accountable for denying truth.

This is the truth. If you wish to live a joyful, whole, successful life, follow Him. It's a simple invitation. Give everything to Him. Don't hold back. Repent everyday. Study His life, His doctrine, and the words of his living Prophets. I promise it's all true. Through my experiences and personal witnesses, I can't doubt it. The mission experience is something I never could have anticipated.

As Nephi, I delight in the plainness of the Gospel. The promise is Eternal Life. Obey Him, and you won't be disappointed.

Stay close to Him.

~Elder Carroll
“When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.” -Ezra Taft Benson
"I believe in Christ--my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I'll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan's grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above. " I Believe in Christ v. 3 , Hymn #134

My first MTC companion, Elder Westlund! 
Last transfer!

One of our chapels. 
One of the oldest working buildings in the church.

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