May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day yesterday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Mary and Jesus
HEY!  it was so great talking to you last night.  and no, the tour of the house was great.  It was good seeing that some things just don`t change--- the mudroom counter, the mudroom "closet," the dirty clothes, the clean clothes on the bed, it was all good!  My family is still the same family, they didn't get stolen and replaced while I was gone.  That`s always good to know.  Are you guys leaving with the missionaries?  Have you watched the Saturday conference?  next package: 180 degree earmuff things please

Well, there`s not too much to tell, seeing as we talked via Skype yesterday, and it was GREAT!!!!! wonderful to see you all.  So I thought I`d share something that I learned these past few weeks.  "Perseverar hasta el Fin," or "endure to the end."  After explaining faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, and receiving the gift of the holy ghost, Nephi asks us "if all is done" And the definitive answer is No.  why?  because we wouldn't have even gotten that far if it weren't for relying on Christ.  "Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."  When I thought of endure to the end, I thought "keep the commandments your whole life!"  yay!  The Guide for the Study of the Scriptures in Spanish says, under "perseverar" (endure), "Permanecer Firme en el compromiso de ser fiel a los mandamientos de Dios..." Which means, "Remain firm in the commitment to be faithful to the commandments of God". I always thought, "so, if I don`t drink, don`t smoke, pay tithing, read my scriptures, pray, don`t break the law, keep the law of chastity, do all that for the rest of my life, i`m good!"  Sort of a checklist, for lack of a better term.  So if you press forward (stay active and fulfill callings), feast upon the work of Christ (read scriptures, go to church, study, etc), and edure to the end, there you go.  Eternal life.  But Nephi says before that, "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men."  Here, he kind of defines endure to the end.  having hope, and keeping the two great commandments: love God, and love thy neighbor as thyself, here, written as love of God and of all men.  How can you truly endure to the end, keeping your baptismal covenant to keep the commandments of God, if you don`t keep the greatest two?  You can say, I love God enough to keep the word of wisdom.  I love God enough to keep the law of Chastity.  I love God enough to pray and read my scriptures.  And thus, you`re working to ensure your own salvation.  BUT, if you love God and yourself enough to work towards your own salvation, shouldn`t you love your neighbor as yourself, and work to help them achieve their salvation?  The greatest service you can give, the greatest love you can show toward anyone, is helping them or at least giving them the opportunity to receive the "greatest of all the gifts of God," that is, Eternal Life.  Salvation is Personal, but that doesn`t mean that you`re completely alone and without support.  You use your own agency to choose eternal life, and thus the salvation is personal, no one is forcing you.  But to truly endure to the end, one must, as the area presidency in Chile has said, help those who have fallen off the path that leads to salvation, or help those who have not yet found it.  THAT is enduring to the end.  it`s not a checklist.  it`s not something that you can say, "look, i`m almost done! I just have 2 more boxes to check, and i`m done!"  No, it`s home teaching, visiting teaching, missionary work, and being a good example.  Inviting others to come unto Christ.  Loving God enough to help him fulfill his work and his Glory.  Loving your neighbor enough to help them reach their true potential.  And loving yourself enough to lose yourself in the work, because only those who lose their lives in the work shall find it.

Really, quite an interesting little concept we learned these past few weeks.  Endure to the End.
Elder Cole Moffat