"Make no small plans: This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together....We will see the time when we will baptize hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands...In your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be temples plural in the Southern States. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people." President Spencer W. Kimball

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Wish from President and Sister Wall

Christmas gift
Sent Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013

When we think of Christmas and the extraordinary gift of the Savior, we also remember that because of His great love for us, He gave us another gift that is also very precious. It is a gift that helps us to always remember Him and helps us to be close to Him. And, like the real meaning of Christmas, it is a gift that is sometimes forgotten. When the Savior spoke to the surviving Nephites and Lamanites following the great destruction following His crucifixion, He first invited them to “return unto me…that I may heal you,” and invited them to “come unto me, and ye shall have eternal life,” and extended His arm of mercy towards them. He then told them the conditions of receiving some of these great gifts. “And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost.” And then He tells them something that I have often wondered about. He tells them of the Lamanites that “were baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.” As we have been teaching our missionaries the importance of being guided by the spirit, they struggle with how they can feel the spirit, and question whether they are living by the spirit. As she was worrying over this, one of our sister missionaries got a wonderful answer from her mother. “My mom wrote me today and said this when I told her that I was worried if I was living by the spirit and could recognize being guided by the Spirit. One thought on being led by the spirit: it is a different experience for one who was born in the covenant (or has been baptized and received the Holy Ghost). It is like living in a room your whole life with light- you don't really notice it being there because you are so used to its presence. But, for one who has lived in the dark and a light is turned on, it is a dramatic arrival. You have lived with the spirit in your home and in you, guiding your decisions for your whole life. Don't be so hard on likely still is there the whole time; and working hard and asking for direction, as long as you are doing nothing to withdraw from it, is living by the spirit". 

Because the voice of the spirit “occupies our minds and feelings, comes as a still small voice, carries into our hearts, enlightens our minds and puts thought into our hearts,” we can be like our young sister missionary and know not that we are guided by it. But, it’s always there, prompting us to do good, impressing on our minds things we should be doing in our daily lives, warning us of danger, callings us back to the Father if we stray, and so much more. There are times when we can be like a little child playing in the street whose fathers or mothers keep warning us to get out of the street. We may ignore the warnings and even move further away so that we can continue to play in the dangerous street. But we can never get so far away, that, if while playing on unsafe streets and a car approaches, our father or mother will not run to us with a voice of warning. “You deserve it ” is not in their vocabulary. The spirit is like that, it is always warning us and calling us to come back out of danger. It may be like a radio signal that we have in our lives allowed static or poor tuning to block the signal that is always broadcasting messages of peace and love and guidance and warning.

Perhaps this Christmas, we can express our gratitude to the Savior for the gift of the Holy Ghost in our lives by removing the static, and getting in tune with the spirit. The Father gave us the gift of His Son. Other than eternal life, the Savior said He had given no greater gift than the Holy Ghost. 

May the light of Christ and the light of the Spirit brighten your path daily and safely guide you back to our Heavenly Father.

With much love,
President and Sister Wall

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