Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Another great and inspiring week here in Poquoson! We are working hard and having fun doing it...
Rather than give an overview of my week this time, I wanted to share some studies I've had recently! As a missionary, I've really come to love that hour of personal study where, as one missionary stated, 'we get to be the investigators' - they are opportunities we have to recieve revelation and I hope that, by sharing some of the things Heavenly Father has taught me that you may recieve the guidance and answer you seek! God talks, I promise...
Each morning, I study a Christlike attribute as part of my personal study. One of my favourite ones so far has been hope - hope is an 'abaiding trust that the Lord will fuflill His promises to you'. Hope is the power by which the door is opened after we knock (see D&C 4:7) because, if we do not trust God to keep His promise, He simply won't. Moroni teaches that 'hope is the anchor to our souls' - as I studied this, I tried to understand that statement more and this is what I came to...
'Hope requires us to look forward and establish a vision (or desire). In the same way that an anchor holds a ship in place even if tumultuous waves conspire to bring it down, having a vision of the promised blessings will hold us in the right place and will prevent us from being lost at sea. Consistent hope works as the catalyst of change - we have faith that we can change and trust that, through our actions, God will honour this promise and enable us to achieve our righteous desires.'
I also studied the attribute of temperance or self mastery today. We are taught in the Bible that we must be temperate in 'all things' (1 Corinthians 9:25) and that temperance is 'sound doctrine' (Titus 2:1-2). We are also taught in ancient AND modern revelation (1 Peter 1:4-6 and D&C 4:6) that temperance is a step in the process to become 'partakers of divine nature' or, in other words, fuflill the potential God has set aside for us! As we learn to control the 'natural man' (ie. our laziness, our selfishness, our desire to sin), then and only then can we begin to control our surroundings and bless the lives of others! For me, this is what God was saying... 'Marcus, before you can really begin to change others, you have to become more disciplined with yourself!'.... that's a pretty straightfoward statement huh?!
It is really summed up in Proverbs 25:28 which reads 'he that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls'. Temperance enables us to sustain our relationship with the Holy Ghost and build up standards of defense that will help us avoid and reject temptation. Those that are temperate are those who have lost all desire to sin, understanding that immediate gratification, although pleasing now, will rob them of a fulness of joy.
I am grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission... they are fun ha (maybe one day I will share some of our stories)! But, most importantly, they are designed to convert one person to the Gospel of Jesus Christ... yourself! I feel blessed to be a part of other's conversions but, right now, my most important person to convert is me! Then, and only then, can I truly fulfill my missionary purpose and 'invite others to come unto Christ'. This Church is the vehicle in which the priesthood authority was restored and this was done through Joseph Smith,
Love Elder Pelham :)
ps. I needed to share this quote by Elder Jeffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles - 'It is not without a recognition of life's tempests but full and directly because of them that I testify of God's love and the Saviour's power to calm the storm. Always remember in the biblical story that He was out there on the water also, thet He faced the worst of it right alon with the newest and youngest and most fearful' <3

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