Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Zone Conferences

We had another wonderful round of Zone Conferences.  

A missionaries purpose is to...
Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel
through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism,
receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

Inviting and helping are two action words that missionaries focus on each day as they act in faith.  Inviting people to keep commitments is inviting them to repent or change.

I shared the following story with the missionaries.

When I was 18 years old I pierced my ears.  It was trendy at the time to have 2 
piercings in each ear so I decided to do that.  Fast forward a few years later.  
President Hinckley spoke in General Conference (October, 2000, Great Shall be the
 Peace of they Children) and said the following:

"Teach your children self-respect.  Teach them that their bodies are the creation 
of the Almighty.  What a miraculous, wonderful, and beautiful thing is the human body. 
 Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, declared: "Know ye not that ye are 
the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

He went on to define what this doctrine means.  
(We needed to be taught the application because we weren't getting it!)

"The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have declared that we discourage tattoos and also "the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes." We do not, however, take any position "on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings"- one pair."

I heard this and thought "that is nice, but it doesn't really apply to me.  I double pierced my ears before this counsel was given."  I rationalized it away and didn't heed his invitation to live this principle.  Fast forward 6 months.  I read an article by Elder Ballard in which he re-iterated President Hinckleys invitation to the members of the church to live this.  He said it's a sad day when the prophet has to define clearly the doctrine of "your body is a temple".  The spirit worked on me.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  How will I ever follow the big commandments if I can't follow something so simple as one pair of earrings.  I specifically remember thinking about the early pioneers and how they sacrificed everything for the gospel.  They left their homes and often times families and loved ones to follow the prophet.  I thought at that time would I be willing to do that if I was ever asked.  At the time I had no idea that 15 years later I would be asked to leave my home, my family, my friends and the wonderful life I knew to serve as a missionary in New York.  I believe that was a crossroads moment in my life.  That day I took out my second pair of earrings and recommitted myself to live the gospel more fully.  It has made all the difference.  It was not hard to accept the call to serve when it came.  This opportunity has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.  

"People become converted as they live the principles they learn and feel the Spirit confirm that what they are doing is pleasing to their Father in Heaven."
~PMG, page 196

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, 
whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."
~John 7:17

New York New York Stake Zone Conference
Monday, June 19, 2017
Manhattan South Zone
Manhattan Central Zone
Manhattan North Zone

Yorktown Stake Zone Conference
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Yorktown Zone
Stamford Zone

Newburgh Stake Zone Conference
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Poughkeepsie Zone
Newburgh Zone

Westchester Stake Zone Conference
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Westchester Zone
Olmstead Zone
Kingsbridge Zone