Biyernes ang 5 Sept.
Here is Sister Sessions' talk from the Sister Missionary Conference. She didn't title it, but I am going to title it, "Ripples of Joy". The Sister missionaries were particularly taken by the "ripple" references. That is what they talked about in their testimonies yesterday afternoon.
Ripples of Joy
Sister Sandra C. Sessions
Philippines Iloilo Mission
Emma Smith, the 1st General President of the Relief Society, said; “We are going to do something extraordinary. We expect extraordinary occasions. I know you are going to do something extraordinary because you are extraordinary!”
WHAT MAKES YOU EXTRAORDINARY?
You are a child of God. He is the father of your spirit. Spiritually you are of noble birth, the offspring of the King of Heaven. How can you not be extraordinary!
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love him. We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.
As daughters of our Heavenly Father he placed deep in our hearts the desire to nurture others for Him. That is part of out divine heritage from Him.
You were tutored by Him before you came into this life. He helped you understand and accept that you would have trials, tests, and opportunities perfectly chosen just for you. You learned that our Heavenly Father had a plan of happiness to get you safely through those trails and you would bring others safely through theirs.
Joseph Smith said; “Happiness is the object and design of our existence.”
In 2 Nephi 5:27 Nephi said about his people “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.”
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
The first thing I thought of was my family, and families are central to the plan of happiness. The second thing which makes me happy is the gospel. When I am living the gospel and doing what I am supposed to I am happy and it also gives me a sense of peace.
Many of you may know Elder Christensen. He served in Hamtic for several months when we first got to Antique. He was a district leader and we loved to hear him teach. He is a great missionary and has a strong testimony. One of his favorite sayings is “Enjoy the joy”. He would try to remember that when he was having a hard time. We should all try to remember that. “Enjoy the joy” of the gospel and “enjoy the joy” of being a missionary.
A few years ago Elder Sessions and I served a mission in Alabama, in America. Our mission President would always ask us if we were happy.
That seemed strange to us for a long time. We finally realized that he knew if we answered yes we were keeping the commandments. When we are doing what is right we are happy. That is part of Heavenly Fathers plan of happiness.
Think about Eve, the mother of all mankind. She and Adam lived in the Garden of Eden and kept the commandment not to partake of the fruit of the tree of good and evil. They lived in innocence and didn’t know happiness because they didn’t know evil. I believe Eve remembered that they were also commanded to multiple and replenish the earth, and knew that having a family was part of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. Because of her courage and wisdom she, then Adam, partook of the fruit and made a covenant with God. They would keep his commandments and be blessed with children. I’m sure their life was not easy when they had to leave the Garden of Eden, but they were able to experience happiness and learn the way to return, with their family, to live with God by making and keeping covenants.
Another part of the plan of happiness is making and keeping covenants. Keeping covenants protects us, prepares us, and empowers us.
We enter the gate, to the path of eternal life, with the ordinance and covenant of baptism and then we receive the Holy Ghost.
Elder Robert D. Hales ask us, “Do we understand and do those you are teaching the Gospel understand that when we are baptized we are changed forever? He also explained that “when we understand our baptismal covenant and the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will change our lives and establish our total allegiance to the Kingdom of God. When temptation comes our way, if we listen to the Holy Ghost, he will remind us that we have promised to remember our Savior and keep the commandments of God. Each week when we partake of the sacrament we renew our baptismal
Elder Bednar said: “As we stand in the water of baptism, we look to the temple. As we partake of the sacrament we look to the temple. We pledge to always remember the Savior and to keep his commandments as preparation for the sacred ordinances of the temple. Temple ordinances lead to the greatest blessings available through the Atonement. These ordinances and covenants are necessary for our exaltation in the celestial kingdom.
2 Nephi 31:19-20 Nephi asked; “After ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you Nay. . .
D&C 25:10, 13 We are to lay aside the things of the world. . . cleave unto our covenants, and come unto Christ and follow Him. That’s what disciples do.
You have been sent to earth in this dispensation of time because of who you are and what you have been prepared to do. You are here to declare in word and in deed, “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ!”
BECOME A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST BY KEEPING YOUR COVENANTS AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY
As our children were growing up we often went to lakes or rivers where they could go fishing. While there, one of the things they liked to do was skip rocks. If you have never skipped rocks, you find the flattest rocks that you can and throw them sideways across the water and see how many times you can get them to skip across the water before they sink. As they skip they create ripples in the water that go on and on. Just like the ripples going on and on outward, so are our righteous actions.
I’d like to tell you how a righteous woman started a ripple.
In 1841, Dan Jones was the captain of a very small boat , called the Ripple, which carried freight and people on the Mississippi River. Among his passengers were members of a new, little known, church; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
During his journeys Dan Jones began hearing criticism of these Mormons. Because he had ferried many of them, he had talked to them and observed their behavior. He found them to be good people---kind, honest, and hardworking. The negative comments didn’t match with what he had experienced in his dealings with them. After studying the accusations he came to believe they were not true. They were either overstated or they contradicted themselves.
One event turned Dan from an observer to an investigator of the Church. He said: “Purely by accident, there fell into my hands, a letter which Emma Smith had written. I shall never forget the feeling which that letter caused me to have. I perceived clearly that not only did she believe the New Testament and rejoice in the midst of her tribulations at being worthy to suffer all for a testimony of Jesus and the Gospel—but it also contained better counsel, more wisdom, and showed a more godly spirit than anything I had ever read.” Inspired by Emma’s words and example, Dan Jones sought to learn more about the church.
In 1843 Dan was baptized in the Mississippi River and became one of the most influential missionaries in the Church, bringing hundreds of people to the gospel in his native country of Wales. Emma Smiths’ influence continues to “ripple” through generations. Who knows how many hundreds or thousands of Dan Jones’ descendents are still in the church today.
Each one of us can be the beginning of a ripple that will go on and on.
D&C 64:33 “Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”
We’re led by a prophet of God and every announcement, letter, and every talk is inspired of God. Many events in the world today indicate that the Lord is hastening his work, and you are a big part of that work.
Don’t let anyone tell you, you are too young. You may have heard, “Come back when you have a little more experience or knowledge, or wait to decide when you are a little older.” Paul told his young friend Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”1Timothy4:12
The Lord loves and trusts the youth. He gave Joseph Smith the responsibility to open this dispensation, to translate the Book of Mormon, and to establish His church again on the earth through the priesthood keys.
He was just fourteen.
Although Mary and Joseph were young the Lord entrusted them to raise his Only Begotten Son. The Lord entrusted Samuel with a kingdom because he looked at his heart and not his age.
Over 2000 young men were given the responsibility to defend their parents’ covenants.
The Lord put his trust in you when he lowered the age for full time missionaries. Think of the ripples each of those people created through history and you can do the same.
Everything that has happened in your life previously has prepared you for this time in your life.
Pres. Ezra Taft Benson said; “Make no mistake about it, this is a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short time than there is of us. Each day the forces of good and the forces of evil enlist new recruits. Each day we personally make many decisions showing the cause we support. The final outcome is certain----the force of righteousness will win. But what remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future will stand in this battle, and how tall will we stand. Will we be true to our last days?
Some of you are finishing you missions soon and some of you are just starting but the time goes by so quickly that they will be over before you know it. When you go home you will no longer have the mantle of full time missionary. You will no longer wear the badge of a full time missionary. What will your identity be? Become a lifetime missionary. Continue to study the scriptures daily, pray continually, look for ways to serve and open your mouth.
Years ago Elder M Russell Ballard issued a clarion call to the sisters of the Church when he said: “Between now and the day the Lord comes again, He needs women in every family, in every ward, in every community, in every nation who will step forward in righteousness and say by their words and their actions, HERE AM I, SEND ME. My question is, will you be one of those women?”
In the last few weeks some of our extended family have experienced some major medical challenges and a young man that was a student of our daughter is being held hostage in a foreign country. Our daughter posted on her facebook a message which applies to each of us.
“God is working for you tonight. Heaven is holding conversations about you. Angels have been assigned to you. Be at peace. Maybe easier said than done, but the prayers of so many are with you.”
Sisters, I am pulling for you, and I am not the only one. Parents and loved ones are pulling for you, your leaders at home and Pres. and Sister Aquino are pulling for you, and prophets are pulling for you. And Jesus Christ is pulling with you. With all this support how could you not be extraordinary.
I hope you will continue to work hard, be the best missionary you can be, keep your covenants, enjoy the joy, make ripples and remember you are a daughter of God.