Monday, October 21, 2013

Come Unto Christ

I've noticed something lately. Even though I've believed in Jesus Christ since I was young, my testimony of and love for Him has been growing even more deep and solid than ever before. Serving a mission can do that to you. What a blessing and a privilege.

President Kenneth Johnson, who has been called as the new president of the London Temple, remarked a few months ago that "the best way to get to know the Savior is to serve Him."  And President Gordon B. Hinckley once said that "there is no true worship without sacrifice." Missions definitely involve some sacrifice and lots of service. Sacrifice and service both bring growth and joy and blessings - and a stronger testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We thought we were serving missions to demonstrate our gratitude to the Lord for His watchful care in our lives, but we have re-discovered the truth that you can never repay the Lord for His blessings. In our service and sacrifice, we have been blessed not only with family miracles but with more understanding of and desire to live gospel principles and a deeper love and gratitude for our Savior.

This past weekend, our faithful sister missionaries - organized by Sister Walmsley - presented a Musical Evening for anyone who wanted to come and listen. They invited the East Grinstead Ward choir and several others to participate with them. The Visitors' Centre was filled with a large audience. Words cannot describe the beautiful spirit that was present.

Uplifting music can be a conduit  for the Spirit of the Lord. For centuries, people have been inspired by great religious music. Saturday night it was our turn to be inspired. The music and the messages bore powerful witness of Jesus Christ, His mission, and His love. It sank deep into our hearts.

Sister Walmsley directing the Ward Choir in "Come Unto Christ,"
a beautiful number that she composed.

Elder Foster singing an adaptation of "Be Still My Soul."

Sister Walmsley accompanied herself as she sang, "Savior In Your Life."

Sister Bastian played a stirring rendition
of "How Great Thou Art."

Sisters Stewart, Maddocks, McLaws and Walmsley sang
"I Know That My Redeemer Lives." Sister Ylisaari accompanied.
Our sister missionaries make beautiful music together!

Elder Wehrman, one of our Mission Office elders,
played  "If You Could Hie To Kolob."  So good!

Ben Craggs, of the Crawley Ward, sang "You Can Believe in Christ."

We're so glad Sister Ylisaari was transferred back to
the Visitors' Centre! She is an accomplished pianist
and accompanied nearly every musical number.

The audience listened intently to Sister Walmsley as she sang
"This Is The Christ."

Another East Grinstead choir number:  "Be Strong In The Lord.'

Elder Sparks, our other Mission Office elder,
was the emcee.
"Be Strong In The Lord" by the East Grinstead choir.

To conclude the program, the audience joined the choir
in singing an rousing rendition of "The Spirit of God."
It sounded like angels were singing with us.

At the end of the program, we all listened to the words of the the Savior as the narrative for the statue of the Christus was played. These are His own words as taken from the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

"Behold, I am Jesus Christ. 
I created the Heavens and the Earth and all things that in them are.
I was with the Father from the beginning.

I came into the world to do the will of my Father.
My Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross, 
that I might draw all men unto me.

Learn of me and listen to my words;
walk in the meekness of my Spirit,
and you shall have peace in me.

Behold the wounds which pierced my side
and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet.

Behold, I have suffered these things for all,
that they might not suffer if they would repent.

Let not your heart be troubled.
Ye believe in God, believe also in me.

A new commandment I give unto you
that ye love one another as I have loved you,
that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.

In my Father's house are many mansions...
I go to prepare a place for you.

If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Only one thing never fails in this world:  the pure love of Jesus Christ. Because He personally took upon Himself each one of our sins and sorrows in the Garden of Gethsemane, and because He died for us, He will never forsake us and He will never stop loving us. By putting aside our pride and submitting our will to His, we can make more out of our lives than we ever could on our own. Oh, how I love Him!

Jesus Christ and His gospel have the answers that the world so desperately needs. He is our advocate with God, our Mediator, the Only Begotten Son, the Good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace, and our Messiah.
Oh, how we need Him!                                                                   ~Pat~

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