Monday, September 2, 2013

Whatever It Takes

As I enter the week of 'lasts', I savor each tiny moment, smell, sound, feeling, and view; placing them securly in my memory to last for a life time.  The small girls playing in front of their home, but randomly running out to hug my companion and I as we pass by.  The smell of fresh fruit and vegetables as we walk pass an open market while picking up investigators on a Sunday morning. The lively forró playing loudly from the back of a car parked in the street.  The love that sweeps over me as I stare out at all the members of the Bessa ward as I direct the music on Sunday.  And, the sun setting behind a scene of magestic palm trees and a row of red tiled homes, lining a cobble stone street where a man returning home from work passes by on his bicycle.  All these memories, and many many more, have been engraved upon my heart and will stay with me for eternity.

This week, we had the privilage to prepare Terezinha to be baptized.  Terezinha is our amazing 68-year-old investigator!  As we were preparing her for her interview before the baptism, I asked her the question, "When you are baptized, you will make a promise with God to take the name of Jesus Christ upon yourself and obey the commandments for the rest of your life.  Are you ready to make this promise with God?"  Terezinha looked at me, and very simply replied, "If I wasn't willing to make a promise like that, I wouldn't have agreed to be baptized in the first place!"  What an example of immense desire to serve the Lord and be faithful to him.  As I pondered on Terezinha's response, I was led to Alma 22:15 when Aaron was teaching King Lamonhi's father.  As the King learns the powerful truths of the Gospel, he asks Aaron a profound question.  He asks, "What do I need to do in order to be born again, to receive the spirit of the Lord, and to not be cast off at the last day?  I am willing to do whatever it takes to receive this eternal happiness even if it means that I have to give up my entire kingdom!"  All of us have the same opportunity to be born again, to receive the spirit of the Lord, and to have eternal happiness.  It is through our obedience to the principles of the Gospel that we can receive these blessings.  But the question that we all need to answer is, "what are we willing to give up in order to receive all that the Father hath?"  Do we have enough faith in our Savior to say, "I'll do whatever it takes to follow you and receive the salvation for which you have paid the price."  Brothers and Sisters, this Gospel is true!!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth!  We have the priesthood power of God to perform the ordenances of salvation!  We have a living prophet and 12 apostle who lead and guide us!  We are a blessed and chosen people!  Let us be willing to do whatever it takes to live worthy of the many blessings that our Heavenly Father is ready to pour out upon us!!!

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