Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Glorious Easter Morning at the MTC - with President Uchtdorf!

What a glorious Easter this has been! To be able sit at the feet of a true and living Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ as he recounts the Easter Story and brings added meaning and joy into that beautiful account! It is a beautiful, warm, sunny, blue Easter morning here in Provo, Utah and my heart and spirit are full.  We had a special Easter Devotional here at the MTC and what a joy to go into the auditorium and find that we were going to be able to feast on the Spirit, love, and words of President Uchtdorf! If I were able to chose who I would like to hear out of anyone on this earth, he would be in the top two or three. I feel so blessed! And to think I almost didn't get to hear him!  I am truly blessed. 

A view of the MTC (center and left) from the temple

He first spoke of how sometimes people question whether we as a church celebrate Easter enough - but that we celebrate Easter EVERY week as we partake of the sacrament, and should ALWAYS keep Him in remembrance as we say our prayers every day. He broke the bands of death and provided the way for us to be purified so that we may be worthy to return to live with our Heavenly Father!
Then  Pres. Uchtdorf spoke of how Christ's rising from the tomb changed a frightened, confused group of disciples into a dynamic group of missionaries and leaders, and how He can do this for us, too. Right after the Savior was crucified His disciples huddled in unbelief, frightened and in grief. Then Pres. Uchtdorf gave a beautiful overview of Christ's resurrection - the coming of the angels, the appearance to Mary, and to his Apostles... and the change it wrought in those Disciples. He told of Peter, who had faith to walk on water, and then feared. Who declared he would never deny Christ, and yet who did so three times... changed to one who declared Christ Risen boldly and without fear to common people and rulers alike, no matter the consequences. One who was a champion of faith!
So keep preaching! Be bold! Why fear?  Christ is risen! Death is conquered!  So there is no need to fear! We are ALL (you included!) disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, spreading the happy and glorious news of the gospel. Keep teaching! Keep testifying! Then we all, like Peter, will be able to see the fruits of Christ's Atonement and Resurrection in our lives. We have to ask ourselves - will I take a few sips of the water of Life, or will I let the Living Waters spring up and fill me with energy and divine power? Catch the vision!  Serve with all of your might, mind, and strength! 

Then Pres. Uchdorf told a story of a couple of missionaries - one bold, and one not so much, and used 3 Nephi 5:13  "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." We are ALL disciples of Jesus Christ, called to serve His people! (Yes, even you!)
Be bold, but not overbearing, and do all things with love, and you will not offend. Listen to the Spirit and follow its guidance. If you want to "punch Satan in the mouth" - preach the gospel!
Work hard! Depend on the Lord! Seek the Spirit! Be obedient! Fear no man!

Then he pronounced an awesome blessing on us missionaries in the name of Jesus Christ that I shall treasure. After the closing song and prayer he went back up to the mike, and told us how very much he loved us -  you could just feel the love radiating from him!  Then he went out amongst us and shook as many hands as he could. He came right next to me (I was separated a bit to the side just as a precaution in the very off chance I might have something catching), and offered his hand, but I told him I'd better not - but we bumped elbows ;)  Almost as good!  I'll tell you, that man loves the members of the church sooo much. We are VERY lucky to have him as one of our leaders!
All in all a totally awesome, Spirit-filled morning.  I love being a missionary!

After lunch I took a walk up to the temple and around the neighborhood a bit. The Provo temple is growing on me :)

And finally - the building (2M, the Jacob Hamblin building) that I call home.

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