Monday, June 29, 2015

WEEK 102: The Power Of Hope

Hey Friends!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing, isn't it? The more fully we engage ourselves in it, the more joy we will obtain. That's a promise. It brings me sorrow whenever it's rejected by anyone. But I know that because the Lord is completely just and merciful, and all things will be made right through His Atonement. Sufficient chances will be given. It brings me joy to testify of the Truth. The Spirit testifies and teaches. You can just feel it.

The Martyrdom of The Prophet Joseph Smith

This last Saturday, June 27th, marked the 171st anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph & Hyrum Smith. "They were shot in Carthage jail [Illinois], on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o’clock p.m., by an armed mob--painted black--of from 150 to 200 persons." (D&C 135:1) Before Joseph was killed, he stated:

“I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me--he was murdered in cold blood.”

I stand as his witness that Joseph was murdered in cold blood. Innocent blood. Joseph Smith, by Divine choice, was the first Prophet of God to be called in our Dispensation. The First Prophet of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our time. I know it. Every single fruit of the Prophet Joseph, including the Book of Mormon, modern revelations, Christ's original church organization restored, restoration of Temple ordinances and covenants, restored Priesthood power and authority.. testifies him to have been called of God. "By their fruits ye shall know them". (Matt. 7:20)

This Saturday night, June 27th (and actually around 5pm), we were able to take an investigator named Tim, down to Temple Square, to watch "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" movie. It depicts the life, ministry, and death of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Tim had a great experience and is now thinking of being baptized. The Spirit was strong and has once again confirmed my testimony of the realness and truth of Christ's Church. This is His.

The Power Of Hope

One of the great benefits the Lord has given us as a result of studying and living His Gospel is the power of hope. Recently, over the past 7 months or so, serving here in downtown Salt Lake, we have run across many individuals who are at a loss of hope in their lives, for many various reasons. Some are facing family hardships, or deaths. Some struggle with same-sex attraction. Some with depression. Some are victims of thefts and crimes. Life throws these challenges at them, and they don't feel as if there is any hope. Unfortunately they then lunge into what the word has to offer to numb the pain. These temporary sources of "help" range anywhere from drugs, sex, alcohol, music, etc. Nothing the world has to offer will ever satisfy.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a band-aid, but a cure. There is nothing the Atonement of Jesus Christ can't handle. President Hansen once said:

"There is Hope. There's a reason He did what He did in the Garden."

The ultimate source of hope is gained in and through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

"And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise."(Moroni

No matter what we are going through, we can find hope in Him. No matter what we have done in the past, we can find peace, joy and forgiveness through Him. I testify of this. Sometimes mistakes take time to heal, but again, everything will be made right and fair through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through Him, we can access that enabling and redemptive power. I've experienced it for myself over and over again.

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken
away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own
way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will
know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold
with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

A Price To Be Paid

The Lord "hath purchased [us] with his own blood." (Acts 20:28) Nothing we can do as mere mortals would ever suffice in trying to save ourselves. It's not possible. (Alma 34:8-17) The Lord has paid the ultimate price and invites us to obey him in order to receive that undeserved gift. (D&C 19:16-19)

"Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience.. Grace is a gift of God, and our desire to be obedient to each of God’s commandments is the reaching out of our mortal hand to receive this sacred gift from our Heavenly Father." -President Uchtdorf

With His Stripes We Are Healed

The Lord Jesus Christ endured the ultimate amount of pain our of love for us and His Father. It is because of Him that we can be healed.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)

If we will but rely on and obey Him, we will find lasting power and peace. It works. Try it. The only way to obtain righteous and lasting contentment in life is through His Gospel.

The Atonement is the doctrine of all doctrines. All other teachings are but appendages to this amazing Act. The more we learn of it, the more we are capable of using it. The Atonement is real. He has the divine ability to heal us, if we would obey. I promise that as we apply it to our lives, we will be endowed with power from on High, and will be connected to the ultimate source of all hope available. It's the truth.

Stay close to Him. Search Him.
~Elder Carroll

"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?" (2 Nephi

My friend Bro. Page, a Ward Mission Leader from my first area!

My Trainer Elder Allen!

My Friend Patrick! He's a recent convert of almost 2 years!

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