I am well. I don't know what else to say. We did quite a bit this week but i just don`t know what to talk about. I guess the only thing I feel I can talk about is my favorite scripture which is John 15:13 through the end. I will just focus on verses 13, 16, 19, 21, 26 and 27.
"13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I have always loved this verse because it is always quoted by soldiers but its original meaning is the most important. The Savior is talking of himself preforming the Atonement, but we can in similitude lay OUR life down and focus on his work and glory. That is what I get to do right now, I am laying down my life putting my wants my desires away bridling my passions, for the last 15 months and hopefully for the rest my life I will come second. I have a friend, who is my Savior, Redeemer and King, I am laying my life down for him. It is not an easy task by any means. I am human and natural, fallen and fallible, but through His grace I can change, I am changing. I am growing and so can everyone. I am glad I have this opportunity to act in his stead and I am glad He called me here so I can grow and change that it might be a permanent change.
"16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." I love Christ and He called me as His hands to do His deeds and help work His works that i might find joy! He loves and trusts me enough to give me authority by another servant of His who holds the Keys to ordain me with power! The Lord gave me this power of knowledge and truth that I might establish a lasting conversion not only in others but in myself! I know that is true and it is amazes me regularly!
"19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." I like this verse because it is preparing me for opposition and if we are prepared than we won't fear. It is saying if you were playing on their team then they would love ya but guess what I drafted you long before they could claim ya and because you are not following their rules they hate you they`ll call you names, yell at you and try to frustrate your progress in My work. Every time I read that I think "great today is gonna be hard: people will be mean, I am going to be made fun of, and my cherished beliefs will be trodden upon like pearls before swine." Then I realize if I were part of the world this would probably be pretty discouraging, but I am not. The Lord(who called me out of the world)'s ways are not the worlds. Opposition is important for my growth and development and I have a lot of growing to do!
"21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me." One more reason there is persecution is because the nature of God is so deeply misunderstood. When we know God and His relationship with us and with those that are arguing with us or fighting us we treat them different and they start to understand us and their hearts change. Love breeds Love. God is love, people who contend don`t know God. Straight up.
"26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." The Comforter has come and He testifies of the Reality, Divinity and Life of our Savior, Redeemer, and Lord Jesus Christ. That is truth. And because I was with Christ from the beginning, I to am called to bare my witness of Him. That He lives and loves us. That we are Sons and Daughters of a living and loving Father in Heaven. Understanding and practicing this relationship will cease all animosity and anger and cause world peace ;)
Elder Richard Hugh Westrup