Wednesday, May 15, 2013

President's Weekly Letter #35

(1 Nephi 18:1)

Belgium/Netherlands Mission


The story of Christ stilling the tempest is interesting and is rich with doctrine.  Christ was teaching a great multitude by the sea side.  He entered into a ship so that he could sit on the ship and teach the crowd who were on the ground on shore.  He began teaching with parables.  Knowing what we know now, how great would it have been to be in that crowd, work our way to the front and listen to him teach for the day?  The record states (Mark 4:35-41):

“35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.”

Christ stated they were going to pass over to the other side.  This appears to be a statement of fact.  His expectation is not questionable or tentative.  He says profoundly, “Guys, we are going to the other side.”

 “36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.”

The great storm was real along with the wind, waves and swamping ship; however, this is also symbolic of adversity, trials and difficulty.  The mission was clearly stated by the Creator of the world and predictably, adversity began.

“38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

Good for someone who thought to bring and give him a pillow.  Here we have the Savior of the world, obviously dead tired from the day’s activities, so tired that he is sleeping through the storm.  He has no home or bed of his own but someone brings a pillow for him.  He is with men who were fishermen.  They knew the sea, ships and when to worry.  For them to wake him is reason to believe they were worried about the safety of the ship and their ability to accomplish their journey.  But, the question begs to be asked, why did they have to wake him?

Christ had bluntly stated that they were going to the other side.  What then happened was, when difficulty arose, the apostles gave up on the mission and put its success back on Christ’s shoulders.  Where was their faith?  Where was their determination to make it happen in the face of adversity regardless of the trials thrown at them? They held the same priesthood that Christ had.  They were on his errand.  Where was their action to get the job done?   

“39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”

He is the creator of the universe.  The elements and animals must obey him.  In fact there is only one thing on earth that is not required to obey him; all men and women.  They have the power to choose.

“41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Christ’s gentle rebuke is understandable and should be a reminder to all of us that the Lord has been clear about our mission.  The elements must obey him.  Success of our mission is not in question.  The only question is if we will obey and do the job with faith that the Savior is in charge and will guide us in the right paths and the adversity and trials will be over won.

“We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God.”  (PMG p. 9)

“… go … in the power of the ordination wherewith (you) have been ordained, proclaiming glad tidings of great joy, even the everlasting gospel. (DC 79:1)

“…that faith also might increase in the earth…” DC 1:21

 70 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few.
 71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might…
 72 …and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them…”  (Jacob 5:70-72)

Our calling and the Lord’s expectation is clear.  We are to invite and help people find and recognize the truth.  We experience all sorts of trials as we go about our duty.  I pray that we can stand firm with unwavering faith in our cause and have enthusiasm for the work. 
President Robinson

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