I am going to try really hard to communicate a particular sentiment to you. I’m not exactly sure where this article is going at this point. That’s okay. That is usually the way the best kind is created.
We had an amazing sacrament meeting today. It was one of those that you write about in your journal to remember. At least, that’s how it went down for me—the kind of meeting you never want to end.
It was a missionary homecoming.
She spoke first. What impressed me initially was the confidence of this ambassador for Christ; how powerful her devotion and engaging her conversation. Just a year and a half earlier, she had been a member of our ward’s young women organization. She was upbeat and happy then, but she shared how much her service as a missionary had changed her. She developed courage to share this message of hope found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Her service changed people’s lives and they responded in kind.
A mission is hard work, but no matter where she went nor the challenges she faced, she was not alone. In turn, her life has been altered for good as she testified of Jesus Christ to the people of Cape Verde. Her service touched many at home and abroad. She recommitted to be an example of Jesus Christ by extending service to help others and encouraged us to do the same. She powerfully shared her excitement to continually testify of Christ and witness of the change wrought in her own life. She went on a mission to serve others, but the real conversion was within her.
Then we had an incredible musical number, powerful and heartwarming. I sing in our choir on occasion, especially during the Christmas season. That was just the way I hoped my singing would sound.
Interestingly, my friend was the next speaker in our meeting. He called the attention of the congregation to the feeling permeating in our hearts and witnessed of the presence of the Spirit in our meeting. The influence of the Holy Ghost is real. We felt it in spades today.
“But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.”
“And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straightness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate [of entrance into the kingdom of God], by which they should enter, he having set the example before them” (2 Ne. 31:7,9).
However you live the gospel of Jesus Christ, it blesses many lives—starting with your own. Following the Savior consistently improves everything we touch. Though we are unique people with various challenges and different talents, our lives are emboldened and empowered through Christ’s influence. Goodness knows we need all the help we can get. I do.
It’s like singing a beautiful song: we each have different approaches. Our range may be different than another’s and the beat and tempo may be unique, but the performance is ours. We are the ones that decide the delivery of the music, the melody, the tune, and the power of the lyrics in our own life, as well as our influence in the lives of others.
I read a quote recently that is pertinent to this topic. I haven’t forgotten it, because it seems to give purpose to everything I do without respect to the various less-than-perfect results that I achieve.
“John Quincy Adams, our 6th president, was an amazing man. He’s the only man to ever leave office as President of the United States and then run for Congress. Why? Because he felt compelled to end slavery. While in Congress he lost many political battles, but when asked why he refused to give up, he simply said, ‘Duty is mine, results are God’s.'”
Isn’t that great? So you served a mission and did not baptize anyone. The results are God’s. Your family dichotomy did not turn out how you’d hoped. The results are God’s. Whatever it is that you tried, whether successful or otherwise, is not your responsibility or mine. The results are God’s. And on that day when we all have our heavenly homecoming, we are in a great position as ambassadors of Jesus Christ because it was He that said:
“That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.”
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:9,37).
I realize that these experiences from history are beautiful to remember this time of year, but the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ was never meant to be an annual celebration, a helpful analogy, or even a weekly ritual. The life and sacrifice of the Son of God on our behalf is the most important and relevant experience in all of history. The gospel of Jesus Christ influences all decisions, each moment, and every experience. As we align ourselves with God, He fulfills His work and glory in our lives, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39).
However you live the gospel of Jesus Christ and implement elements in your daily life that may be unique to you, what is consistent among all men is the gospel’s ability to bring us lasting joy today and forever.
The divine mission of Jesus Christ and the very purpose of His gospel will change your life.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.