Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Do our Duty; that is best; leave unto the Lord the rest."

An old poet once said,
"Who does his task from day to day
And meets whatever comes his way,
Believing God has willed it so,
Has found true greatness here below.
Who guards his post no matter where,
Believing God must need him there,
Although but lowly toil it be,
Has risen to nobility.
For great and low there is one test,
’Tis that each man shall do his best,
Who works with all the strength he can
Shall never die in debt to man."
Joseph B. Wirthlin understood this duty spoken of by this poet. He gave us this powerful truth, "When we accept duties willingly and faithfully, we find happiness. Those who make happiness the chief objective of life are bound to fail, for happiness is a by-product rather than an end in itself. Happiness comes from doing one’s duty and knowing that his life is in harmony with God and His commandments..." 
It is my testimony, that nothing in this world brings us greater happiness than fulfilling the duties that we as God's children have. After all, the greatest duty, spoken of by the Savior, is to, "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matthew 22:37)
This may very well be my last blog post, as a full-time missionary. If so, I want it known to whoever reads this, that I know that God lives. Jesus, His Son, was a sinless sacrifice for us. I love Him. I know that the fulness of His gospel is found in this, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Mormon is truly, another testament of Jesus Christ. Without that testament, my testimony wouldn't be what it is. It is my prayer, as well as the will of the Father, that, "every man [and woman] [may] learn his duty, and... act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence." (Doctrine and Covenants 107:99) Doing so will bring us to the Savior of the world. Yall stay classy!
Elder Hill

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Know it, and do it: "Converted unto the Lord"

Elder David A. Bednar, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, said, "We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel." In the trying time that we live in, the Lord is not just asking for soldiers who'll volunteer, He's asking for soldiers who will fight for His cause. This is undoubtedly a war, and all those who wish to take upon them the name of Christ, (Christians) have been drafted.
What is the essence of conversion? Elder Bednar describes it as, "constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received." And, "consistently being true to the gospel." It is not enough to simply know that Christ lives, and that His gospel is true, we have to stand by those principles in the heat of battle. When we find ourselves doing what we are supposed to do, ESPECIALLY when it isn't popular or practical, we can know that we are on the path to conversion.
The Apostle Paul is an outstanding example of one who was converted. He stood before rulers of both church and state, and never wavered from his testimony of Christ crucified. He was incredible! Here is the encouraging thing, though: Paul was still a mortal man. He wasn't perfect. In fact, he didn't get along with his first missionary companion, Barnabas. The scripture reads that, "the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other."(Acts 15:39) But Paul was a good man who could declare, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7) That my friends, is a man who knew it, and did it. He was converted.
I hope that we will all, myself included, wear out our days striving to become converted to our Savior, and His gospel. Elder Bednar concludes, "And as each of us becomes more fully converted, we will strengthen our families, our friends, and our associates." I know this is true. Stay classy!
Elder Hill

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Shot Clock of Life

In a professional basketball game, the moment a team gets the ball in their possession, they have 24 seconds score a basket or else they will have to turn the ball over, or forfeit it, to the other team. The "shot clock" was introduced to basketball to increase the pace and excitement of the game. Well, life is a lot like a shot clock.
The fact of the matter is, we are all slowly expiring. Whether we like it or not, the clock is winding down. This is an important part of the great plan of our Eternal God. And because our time here is so precious, we need to make the most of it.
I love the beauties of nature, especially sunsets. The effect of a sunset lasts but for a small moment, and then the sun slips entirely behind the mountains of Idaho, or it disappears into the hills of Tennessee. Wherever it is, the beauty is often remarkable. But, a lot like the shot clock, it comes to an end.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the heaven sent aid that helps us make the most of this brief experience of mortality. When we are living the Savior's teachings, the 24 seconds we have with the ball in our possession, is remarkable. When the glow of our life slips behind the mountains, it will have been a beautiful sunset. I can't tell you how bad I want this to be the case in my life.
I have spoken a great deal about prophets and apostles, and about General Conference. Their words will help us make the most of our lives. Their counsel, when followed, will bring a successful life, well rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I can't tell you enough how much I love General Conference!
Well my friends, I hope that you have a wonderful week, and I invite you to resolve to try a little harder to be a little better. Every day, and every way, we get a little better. Stay classy.
Elder Hill

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Don't let the opponent psyche you out!

I love sports, and I can at times be pretty competitive. But that is neither here nor there. In any athletic contest that arouses a high sense of competition, a successful tactic that has been used throughout the ages is called "pshyching them out." What this is, in essence, is engaging in some sort of conduct that distracts the opponent from their goal, their purpose, and their strengths. It is a scare tactic, if you will. If used successfully, even the greatest teams can be psyched into believing they are weak.
Our greatest opponent, the adversary of us all, is doing his very best to psyche us out. He is trying to convince us that we are not strong enough, or capable of accomplishing the things our Father in Heaven wants us to do. At times, we find ourselves allowing him to convince us of this. But we cannot let that happen. He will try to tell us that we are not of any worth, but our Heavenly Father is telling us otherwise; He is telling us the truth.
Prophets, who speak God's words, are telling us that we can in fact do this. We can be victorious, and we are of divine heritage. We are not ugly ducklings, but in fact majestic swans. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in this video entitled, "Our True Identity," continues on this same topic. Click on the following link, and enjoy! (Video)
I know that we are greater than we suppose. We are on the winning team, so don't let the opponent psyche you out and keep you from performing at your very best. Stay classy.
Elder Hill

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Heeding a prophet's counsel

Now, I don't know a lot about a lot. I'm just a young buck, but I am learning things as I go. One lesson that I am still trying to learn, is receiving counsel from someone else. At times, it is easy to graciously accept it! When it calls for me to change my course to one I never considered, it gets a bit harder. Especially if that call, is the call to repent. We as human beings, don't typically like being told what we're doing is wrong. Fair enough?
God has a will, purpose, and plan, for each of us. A lot of the time, it differs from our will or plan. Like Isaiah says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." (see Isaiah 55:8) It is so important for us to remember that, and say as did the Savior, "nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (see Luke 22:42) My question for you is this: how can we do the Father's will, if we don't know what it is? That my friends, is where prophets and the Spirit of God come in. We hear their counsel, take it to God in prayer, and by the Spirit we are taught, that that is what we must do to receive the blessings God has for us, and the path He wants us to travel. That is how we know His will, for us.
Next month, we will hear a prophet's counsel. We will hear God's will concerning us. It is our duty to take that counsel to the Father, and, surrendering our will to Him, follow that counsel. I promise you if we will, we will be so blessed for it. Have a great day, and stay classy!
Elder Hill

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What is General Conference?

General Conference is amazing, and I want to help those who don't understand what it is, see why it is so amazing. It is a semiannual gathering of the Church, where the leaders of the Church speak to us the messages that God wants you and I to hear. It is held at this center (picture above) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Have you ever wondered if God were to call an Apostle in our day, like Paul or John in their day, to write letters to the Church, what would they say? What would God command His representitives to say to the children of God? I have, and I've also seen and heard those words God has delivered to you and I, in our very day. They come in great abundance, in General Conference.
The Prophet on the earth, who is the President of the Church of Jesus Christ, will speak to us. Many of the 12 Apostles will also speak. I testify to you, their words are true, and they are from God. As you sit at their feet in an attitude of prayer and question, their words will feel deeply personal. You will find yourself saying, "Was that said just for me? Did he or she have me in mind when they prepared their words?" I have felt that. And such feelings have come because the Spirit will personalize their words, just for you.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of the Church, said, "The words spoken at general conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months." If we will follow their counsel, we will be led to that path God wants us to walk.
So how do we watch this televised event? The Church has a way cool site that gives all the details, so check it out, and if you have any questions about it, please ask! (Link to this site)
My friends, come listen to a prophet's voice this October 6th and 7th. And stay classy.
Elder Hill 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

And He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets

Looking back through the Old Testament, I ask, why did God call prophets? For what purpose were these men divinely commissioned to speak, sometimes harshly, to God's beloved children? To this question I submit this which is one of many reasons: to lead God's children out of Babylon, and into Zion.
Moses was a perfect example of this. When he was called to be God's voice to Israel, the covenant people were in bondage to the paganistic Egyptians. The next almost half a century was spent bringing God's people out of Babylon, and to establish Zion. This was one of his purposes, being a prophet of God.
Today, we believe God has again called a prophet to the earth. Beginning with Joseph Smith, down through his successors who walk today upon the earth. Twice a year in a conference that is held open to the public, God's prophets call His children out of Babylon, and back into Zion. He does the very same thing Moses, Abraham, and many of the ancient prophets have done.
I want to talk more about this General Conference, and about the significance of it, but alas my time at the library is up! So, stay tuned, and stay classy.
Elder Hill