Having A Perfect Brightness of Hope

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Elder McConkie and Elder Harris

      More and more, I can see how I can’t do anything without God. I need to stop being like those Muckrakers and actually work on the solution for this, namely, asking for the Spirit. 🙂

This week, I feel to share a portion of Elder McConkie’s email this week to me:

     Something I’ve noticed is that the weeks that often ended up being the hardest were the ones where I was more focused on myself, especially on my inadequacies or injustices. It’s pretty easy to see all the things that are going wrong or how things could be better or my lack of adequacy, but that is not having an eye single to glory of God. I’m reminded of 2 Nephi 31:20.

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward,feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end,behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”

      The phrase that stands out is “having a perfect brightness of hope”. Hope, by one definition, is a trust in God. And hope is a very inspiring word. It’s purposeful trust with focus on a bright destination. I found that the weeks I decided to dwell on weakness and doubts and injustices, those were the weeks I lacked hope. The remedy? Trust God by labeling all the successes I saw every day.

image1-1     For the past little bit, I’ve made it a habit of focusing on the successes I see and have anything to do with. I especially focus on personal successes. Of course I’m not perfect, of course I’m going to make mistakes. But what good does it do me to focus on all these negative things? By no means does that mean I turn a blind eye to my weaknesses or failures–I need to learn from them. However, it reminds me of what Dad told me when he was teaching me how to hit a baseball. He said wherever I was looking, that’s where the ball would go. The same works for my attitude, my life trajectory, etc.–where I focus is where I’ll go. 

     “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25). Christ was teaching us a real principle of the power of focus. 

     Anyways, there’s a bit of my thought process. 🙂 A little different than when I was back home, I know. 🙂 

Now for his group letter:

     Okay, so I’ve realized that for most my emails, I tend to focus on Far Rockaway. After all, it’s a great place! However, I should probably share the wealth with the rest of our area. In its entirety, we actually cover–in addition to Far Rockaway–Breezy Point, Belle Harbor, Arverne, Lawrence, Inwood, and a couple other places. So there’s your fact for the day.

     Yesterday, we had one of our investigators come to church! He is an incredible man we met from Jamaica. From our very first visit with him, we’ve felt the Spirit that he carries. He really is incredible. He’s also helped strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon. At first, he wasn’t studying much of the Book of Mormon, however after a couple visits, he finally picked up the Book. And oh boy, the Spirit was so much stronger. Also, my testimony of conference talks grew that night. We watched a conference talk for the lesson combined with Book of Mormon scriptures and wow, I know I felt the Spirit.

     Members are seriously the key. We have a Haitian woman we are teaching because one of our members has been slowly teaching her on their own, bearing their testimony and the likes. We are still on the beginning stages of teaching, but this woman’s desire is pure and she is slowly experiencing a change of heart, all because one of her friends–a member of the church–opened their mouth.

     Okay, I know by now “member missionary work” seems to be the “off switch” for some people’s attention. And it’s not about turning your friend into a statistic or doing your duty, it’s about sharing the blessing of eternal families as directed by the Spirit, in the right place, at the right time, in the right way. And more often than not, there is at least one person in our lives that is prepared to hear a portion of everlasting gospel. Anyways, it’s pretty awesome. 🙂

Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder McConkie

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Not sure the occasion at which this photo was taken. Nevertheless, it must have been a great reunion. Elder Asplund is a dear friend and former companion of Elder McConkie.  L to R: Elder Asplund, Elder McConkie and Elder Harris. (These are the two Elders Elder McConkie trained.)

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