Sunday, October 19, 2014

Leaving Caraz -October 6, 2014

Dear all,
Buenos tardes. How are you all doing? I have just found out I am leaving Caraz and my daughter, Hermana Castillo. By referring to her as my daughter, it means that I had the priviledge of training her, but I believe I have learned so much more from her than she from me. I am thankful for her, because we have worked hard together and have walked miles and miles and miles together. We have laughed together, cried together, prayed together, worked hard together, and have even been really sick together. We have worked hard to help the people of Caraz..actually it really isn't that had to love the people of Peru and Caraz. We are 10 hours from Lima and we traveled here overnight by bus. The buses range from really nice with seats that recline and allow us to sleep in comfort, to buses that are okay. The roads up to here are very steep and can be dangerous, but we are being protected as we travel. I had to travel 8 hours to get to Chancay, my very first area, and we passed that by over 2 hours. We are in the northern most part of the mission and this area reminds me of Cache Valley. Mom asked me how much we walk daily and it is close to 10 miles. I used to have trouble doing hikes back home, but have had the opportunity to walk alot and will enjoy it when I get back home.
I do not have a lot of time, because I have got to pack but know that I love and miss you all, but I am where I am supposed to be. Our Savior lives and loves us all. Read your scriptures. They are true.
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hyer


Dear Family and friends,
Yes, I have been transferred to a place called Huaral1. It is my last transfer and I am with one of my roommates from the MTC when I first went on my mission. Her name is Hermana Olsen. I have only had 2 other English speaking companions, my trainer... Hermana Moody and the missionary I trained, my lovely daughter, Hermana Hooper from Australia. I had both of them when I was back in Chancay a year ago and that is where I am again. Huaral1 is the neighboring branch or ward to Chancay. Hermana Olsen and I are opening a brand new area for the sisters and we only have 6 weeks to find and have a teaching pool for those that will replace us. This is one giant way to keep both of us from becoming trunki. We want to leave a legacy for those who will follow us. The area will be whitewashed when we leave which means that they will bring in two new missionaries to the area. The time is flying by so much and I do love Peru. It will always be part of me. I love the gospel and I have come to love my/our Savior in a way that I could never have dreamed I would. I know that this Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true Church and is His Church. I love the Book of Mormon and will bear record of it always. It is true. Please read it and pray and ask Heavenly Father if it is true and He will answer your prayers just as He has mine.
I have yet to see Conference. We will see it on the week end of October 18th, 2014 due to elections here in Peru.
I will see you all soon, and I want you to know that I love and pray for you always.
Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Hyer

Monday, September 1, 2014

Personal Peace

Talk of the week. August 25, 2014
Hello, my dear friends and family,
Another week has passed in beautiful Peru. Transfers are the August 26th and I am still going to be in Caraz with my dear companion from Argentina. We have been together for almost 6 weeks and she is a joy to be with. I have learned a lot from each of my companions and I feel I am learning more from her than she is from me. She is the third hermana I have had the privilege of training, and I will treasure her friendship forever. She is already a strength and blessing to the mission, and the people of Peru, and to me.
Here is the talk of the week.. Another great one sent to us from the President of the mission. He has taught us to not only read them, but to pray, asking Heavenly Father to teach us the eternal lessons that He wants us to learn from these men He has chosen to lead us. We, as we study these weekly talks sent to us, look up the scriptural references and then we discuss it as a companionship which helps us to see it thru another's eyes. I hope it strengthens and helps you as much as it does us. I am grateful for the peace that has been given me in knowing that I am where I am supposed to be; that I am doing and teaching the truth; and that we are all children of our Heavenly Father and He loves us. The Savior lives and this is Their work. Please read and pray about this talk. It contains truths that will help each of us in our daily lives. Remember I love you and the gospel is true.
Until next week, con mucho amor,
Hermana Mardi Hyer

Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.
Recent experiences have caused me to reflect on the doctrine of peace and especially the role of Jesus Christ in helping each of us obtain lasting personal peace.

Two events in the past few months have touched me deeply. First, I spoke at the funeral for Emilie Parker, a precious six-year-old who lost her life along with 25 others, including 19 young children, in a tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I mourned with her family and recognized that many had been deprived of peace. I found strength and faith in her parents, Robert and Alissa Parker.

Second, I met with thousands of faithful members of the Church in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan.1 This French-speaking, West-African country has endured economic hardship, a military coup, and two recent civil wars concluding in 2011. Yet I felt a special peace in their presence.

Events often occur that rob us of peace and heighten our sense of vulnerability.

Who can forget the evil attacks of September 11, 2001, on various U.S. locations? Such events remind us how quickly our feelings of peace and safety can be destroyed.

Our oldest son and his wife, who were expecting their first child, lived three blocks from the World Trade Center in New York City when the first plane crashed into the North Tower. They went to the roof of their apartment building and were horrified as they watched what they thought was some kind of terrible accident. Then they witnessed the second plane crash into the South Tower. They immediately realized that this was no accident and believed lower Manhattan was under attack. When the South Tower collapsed, their apartment building was engulfed in the dust cloud that rained down over lower Manhattan.

Confused about what they had witnessed and concerned about further attacks, they made their way to a safer area and then to the Manhattan stake Church building at Lincoln Center. When they arrived, they found that dozens of other members in lower Manhattan had made the same decision to gather at the stake center. They called to let us know where they were. I was relieved that they were safe but not surprised at their location. Modern revelation teaches that the stakes of Zion are a defense and “a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.”2

They could not return to their apartment for over a week and were devastated by the loss of innocent lives, but they suffered no permanent damage.

In contemplating these events, I have been impressed with the doctrinal difference between universal or world peace and personal peace.3

At the birth of the Savior, a multitude of the heavenly host praised God and proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”4

However, it has been poignantly noted that even in this eternally significant period following the birth of the Son of God, Herod the king carried out the slaughter of innocent infants in Bethlehem.5

Agency is essential to the plan of happiness. It allows for the love, sacrifice, personal growth, and experience necessary for our eternal progression. This agency also allows for all the pain and suffering we experience in mortality, even when caused by things we do not understand and the devastating evil choices of others. The very War in Heaven was waged over our moral agency and is essential to understanding the Savior’s earthly ministry.

As recited in the 10th chapter of Matthew, the Savior instructed the Twelve and acknowledged that His mission would not achieve universal peace in this mortal life. The Apostles were told to leave peace upon the worthy houses they visited but warned that they would be “in the midst of wolves … [and] hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”6 A significant pronouncement is made in verse 34: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth.”7 It is clear that universal peace did not exist on the earth during Christ’s mortal ministry, and it does not now.

In the Lord’s preface to the Doctrine and Covenants, a number of very important principles are taught. With respect to those who do not repent, His Spirit (the Spirit of Christ), which is given to every person who comes into the world,8 “shall not always strive with man.”9 Also, “peace shall be taken from the earth.”10 Prophets have declared that peace has indeed been taken from the earth.11 Lucifer has not yet been bound and exercises power in this dominion.12

The heavenly aspiration of good people everywhere has and always will be for peace in the world. We must never give up on achieving this goal. But, President Joseph F. Smith taught, “There never can come to the world that spirit of peace and love … until mankind will receive God’s truth and God’s message … , and acknowledge his power and authority which is divine.”13

We earnestly hope and pray for universal peace, but it is as individuals and families that we achieve the kind of peace that is the promised reward of righteousness. This peace is a promised gift of the Savior’s mission and atoning sacrifice.

This principle is succinctly captured in the Doctrine and Covenants: “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.”14

President John Taylor taught that peace is not only desirable, but “it is the gift of God.”15

The peace to which I am referring is not just a temporary tranquility. It is an abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment.16

President Heber J. Grant described the Savior’s peace this way: “His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness.”17 In my meetings with Emilie Parker’s parents, I saw that the Savior’s peace has eased their suffering and is helping to bind up their broken hearts. It is notable that immediately after the shooting, Brother Parker expressed forgiveness to the perpetrator. As President Grant said, the Savior’s peace can “blot out our hates.” Judgment is the Lord’s.

The Ivory Coast Saints, during the period of civil war in their country, found peace by focusing on living the gospel of Jesus Christ, with particular emphasis on family history and temple work for their ancestors.18

We all long for peace. Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, conflict, and contention. Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life’s devastating trials and tragedies. The Lord’s answer to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail brings solace to the heart:

“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.”19

Remember, “God is not the author of confusion, but [the author] of peace.”20 For those who reject God, there is no peace. We all participated in the councils of heaven that provided for moral agency, knowing that there would be mortal pain and even unspeakable tragedy because of the abuse of agency. We understood that this could leave us angry, bewildered, defenseless, and vulnerable. But we also knew that the Savior’s Atonement would overcome and compensate for all of the unfairness of mortal life and bring us peace. Elder Marion D. Hanks had a framed statement on his wall by Ugo Betti: “To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises.”21

What are the sources of peace? Many search for peace in worldly ways, which never have and never will succeed. Peace is not found by attaining great wealth, power, or prominence.22 Peace is not found in the pursuit of pleasure, entertainment, or leisure. None of these can, even when attained in abundance, create any lasting happiness or peace.

Emma Lou Thayne’s beloved hymn asks the appropriate questions: “Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace when other sources cease to make me whole?”23 The answer is the Savior, who is the source and author of peace. He is the “Prince of Peace.”24

How do we stay close to the Savior? Humbling ourselves before God, praying always, repenting of sins, entering the waters of baptism with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ are profound examples of the righteousness that is rewarded by abiding peace.25 After King Benjamin delivered his stirring message concerning the Atonement of Christ, the multitude fell to the earth. “The Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ.”26Repentance and living righteously allow for peace of conscience, which is essential for contentment.27 When there has been a major transgression, confession is required to bring peace.28 Perhaps there is nothing to compare with the peace that comes from a sin-wracked soul unloading his or her burdens on the Lord and claiming the blessings of the Atonement. As another favorite Church hymn puts it, “I’ll drop my burden at his feet and bear a song away.”29

My heart rejoices when I realize that in our day tens of thousands of young men, young women, and senior missionaries have accepted the call to be emissaries of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They are taking the restored gospel of peace to the world, one person and one family at a time—a work of righteousness to bring this peace to Heavenly Father’s children.

The Church is a refuge where followers of Christ attain peace. Some young people in the world say they are spiritual but not religious. Feeling spiritual is a good first step. However, it is in the Church that we are fellowshipped, taught, and nourished by the good word of God. More importantly, it is priesthood authority in the Church that provides for sacred ordinances and covenants that bind families together and qualify each of us to return to God the Father and Jesus Christ in the celestial kingdom. These ordinances bring peace because they are covenants with the Lord.

Temples are where many of these sacred ordinances occur and are also a source of peaceful refuge from the world. Those who visit temple grounds or participate in temple open houses also feel this peace. One experience preeminent in my mind is the Suva Fiji Temple open house and dedication. There had been political upheaval resulting in rebels burning and looting downtown Suva, occupying the houses of Parliament and holding legislators hostage. The country was under martial law. The Fiji military gave the Church limited permission to assemble people for the open house and a very small group for the dedication. The members as a whole were uninvited due to concerns for their safety. It was the only temple dedication since the original Nauvoo Temple that was held under very difficult circumstances.

One person invited to the open house was a lovely Hindu woman of Indian descent, a member of Parliament who was initially held hostage but was released because she was female.

In the celestial room, free from the turmoil of the world, she dissolved in tears as she expressed feelings of peace that overwhelmed her. She felt the Holy Ghost comforting and bearing witness of the sacred nature of the temple.

The Savior is the source of true peace. Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace. In the intimate setting of the Passover chamber, the Savior promised His Apostles that they would be blessed with the “Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost” and then uttered these important words: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”30 Then just before His Intercessory Prayer: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”31

Eliza R. Snow penned this concept beautifully:
Lift up your hearts in praise to God;
Let your rejoicings never cease.
Though tribulations rage abroad,
Christ says, “In me ye shall have peace.”32

I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

1. Two conferences were held in Abidjan on Sunday, February 10, 2013; 9,693 were in attendance—619 of whom were not yet members of the Church. Total Church membership in the Ivory Coast is approximately 19,000.
2. Doctrine and Covenants 115:6.
3. The word peace has different meanings. In classical Greek it refers to cessation, discontinuance, or absence of hostilities between rival forces. In Hebrew the word has a more comprehensive meaning and sometimes is just a form of greeting. Peace is also a “state of existence that comes to man only upon the terms and conditions set by God” (Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, 14–17).
4. Luke 2:14; emphasis added.
5. See Matthew 2:16; see also Ross Douthat, “The Loss of the Innocents,” New York Times, Dec. 16, 2012, 12.
6. Matthew 10:16, 22.
7. Matthew 10:34.
8. See Doctrine and Covenants 84:46.
9. Doctrine and Covenants 1:33.
10. Doctrine and Covenants 1:35.
11. President Woodruff declared this in 1894 and again in 1896. See The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, ed. G. Homer Durham (1946), 251–52; see also Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1967, 79–82.
12. See Joseph Fielding Smith, The Predicted Judgments, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year (Mar. 21, 1967), 5–6. However, as Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated, “We can have inner peace even though peace has been taken from the earth … [and] ‘all things [are] in commotion’” (“Behold, the Enemy Is Combined,” Ensign, May 1993, 79).
13. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 400.
14. Doctrine and Covenants 59:23.
15. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor (2001), 151.
16. From the ancient Greeks to our own day, these words—happiness and contentment—have been parsed, dissected, and grappled with not only as to their meaning but also the guidance they give to our lives. See David Malouf, The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World (2011). See also a review of Mr. Malouf’s book, in R. Jay Magill Jr., “How to Live Well,” Wall Street Journal, Jan. 26–27, 2013, C6.
17. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant (2002), 226.
18. “Three of the five Ivory Coast stakes are among the top 25 in the Church in the percentage of adults [submitting] family names for temple ordinances,” and the Cocody Cote d’Ivoire Stake is the highest (C. Terry Warner and Susan Warner, “Apostle Visits Ivory Coast, Is ‘Impressed with Exceptional Spirit,’” Church News, Mar. 3, 2013, 4, 14). In the wake of the civil war and the closest temple being 12 hours away by bus in Accra, Ghana, this is marvelous evidence of faith and has resulted in personal and family peace.
19. Doctrine and Covenants 121:7–8. President Harold B. Lee taught, “So, we must be refined; we must be tested in order to prove the strength and power that are in us” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 208).
20. 1 Corinthians 14:33.
21. In Marion D. Hanks, “A Loving, Communicating God,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 63.
22. See Jeffrey R. Holland, For Times of Trouble (2012), 79. Elder Holland teaches that “true poverty may do more to destroy the human spirit than any other condition except sin itself.” But the righteous use of money can enhance peace.
23. “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” Hymns, no. 129.
24. Isaiah 9:6.
25. John Greenleaf Whittier put it simply: “Heed how thou livest. Do not act by day which from the night shall drive thy peace away” (“Conduct [From the Mahabharata],” in The Complete Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier [1802], 484).
26. Mosiah 4:3; emphasis added; see also Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1967, 79–82
27. Conscience is a moral compass pointing us toward peace. It is activated by at least two sources: the Light of Christ, a glorious birthright from our Heavenly Father (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:6–13;93:2), and the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Doctrine and Covenants 39:6)
28. “Two sets of forgiveness are required to bring peace to the transgressor—one from the proper authorities of the Lord’s Church, and one from the Lord himself. [See Mosiah 26:29.]” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 41).
29. “How Gentle God’s Commands,” Hymns, no. 125.
30. John 14:26–
31. John 16:33.
32. “Though Deepening Trials,” Hymns, no. 122.
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August 11, 2014 The Spirit of Revelation and The Challenge

The Spirit of Revelation and The Challenge

Mis Queridos Familia y amigos, my dear family and friends,
Hola! Well, another week has gone by in lovely Caraz and the work is progressing..which means we are working tons with the marvelous members, walking a lot..because that is what you do in rural Peru or in Peru period, and We are constantly praying, because that is what we also do, and we have faith.  Faith precedes the miracle.. That would be a great name of a book.. :) oh yeah!!! It is the name of a great book. :) I hope and pray all is well and that you, each one of you, are being challenged in great ways that will strengthen your devotion to the Lord and your love for Him and our Heavenly Father. That is why we are here on overcome our challenges and trials thru faith, prayers, hard work, and true miracles from the Lord. I believe in miracles. I have seen them on my mission and I know our prayers are heard and answered. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
My mission president, President Archibald was over the institute and seminary programs in the Arkansas area and has worked for the church in this capacity for many years. He is great and I could go on and on..another post.. But what he loves to do is send us inspirational talks by our church leaders and asks, instructs us to incorporate them into our lives and into the lives of those we teach. I have sent a few home via email and then challenge my family to do likewise.
Here is the homework and challenge. I invite you to read this talk and then get down on your knees and ask Heavenly Father if He loves you. I promise you that you will receive an answer to your prayers. No matter what other roles you have in society,, sister, brother, dad, boss, teacher, student..whatever role you have..the first and eternal one you have/ had/ will have forever is that of HIS CHILD and HE LOVES YOU and wants you to know that. So I challenge you to read this talk by Elder Bednar and accept his challenge..  Enjoy!!
With todo mi corazón...with all my heart...I love and miss you all, but am grateful for this opportunity to serve in this humble way.
Hermana Mardi Hyer

The Spirit of Revelation

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The spirit of revelation is real—and can and does function in our individual lives and in the Church.
I express gratitude for the inspiration that attended the selection of the hymn that will follow my remarks, “Have I Done Any Good?” (Hymns, no. 223). I get the hint.

I invite you to consider two experiences most of us have had with light.

The first experience occurred as we entered a dark room and turned on a light switch. Remember how in an instant a bright flood of illumination filled the room and caused the darkness to disappear. What previously had been unseen and uncertain became clear and recognizable. This experience was characterized by immediate and intense recognition of light.

The second experience took place as we watched night turn into morning. Do you recall the slow and almost imperceptible increase in light on the horizon? In contrast to turning on a light in a dark room, the light from the rising sun did not immediately burst forth. Rather, gradually and steadily the intensity of the light increased, and the darkness of night was replaced by the radiance of morning. Eventually, the sun did dawn over the skyline. But the visual evidence of the sun’s impending arrival was apparent hours before the sun actually appeared over the horizon. This experience was characterized by subtle and gradual discernment of light.

From these two ordinary experiences with light, we can learn much about the spirit of revelation. I pray the Holy Ghost will inspire and instruct us as we now focus upon the spirit of revelation and basic patterns whereby revelation is received.

The Spirit of Revelation
Revelation is communication from God to His children on the earth and one of the great blessings associated with the gift and constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “The Holy Ghost is a revelator,” and “no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 132).

The spirit of revelation is available to every person who receives by proper priesthood authority the saving ordinances of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost—and who is acting in faith to fulfill the priesthood injunction to “receive the Holy Ghost.” This blessing is not restricted to the presiding authorities of the Church; rather, it belongs to and should be operative in the life of every man, woman, and child who reaches the age of accountability and enters into sacred covenants. Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives.

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery gained valuable experience with the spirit of revelation as they translated the Book of Mormon. These brethren learned they could receive whatever knowledge was necessary to complete their work if they asked in faith, with an honest heart, believing they would receive. And over time they increasingly understood the spirit of revelation typically functions as thoughts and feelings that come into our minds and hearts by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See D&C 8:1–2; 100:5–8.) As the Lord instructed them: “Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. Therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it” (D&C 8:3–4).

I emphasize the phrase “apply unto it” in relation to the spirit of revelation. In the scriptures, the influence of the Holy Ghost frequently is described as “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12; 1 Nephi 17:45; see also 3 Nephi 11:3) and a “voice of perfect mildness” (Helaman 5:30). Because the Spirit whispers to us gently and delicately, it is easy to understand why we should shun inappropriate media, pornography, and harmful, addictive substances and behaviors. These tools of the adversary can impair and eventually destroy our capacity to recognize and respond to the subtle messages from God delivered by the power of His Spirit. Each of us should consider seriously and ponder prayerfully how we can reject the devil’s enticements and righteously “apply unto it,” even the spirit of revelation, in our personal lives and families.

Patterns of Revelation
Revelations are conveyed in a variety of ways, including, for example, dreams, visions, conversations with heavenly messengers, and inspiration. Some revelations are received immediately and intensely; some are recognized gradually and subtly. The two experiences with light I described help us to better understand these two basic patterns of revelation.

A light turned on in a dark room is like receiving a message from God quickly, completely, and all at once. Many of us have experienced this pattern of revelation as we have been given answers to sincere prayers or been provided with needed direction or protection, according to God’s will and timing. Descriptions of such immediate and intense manifestations are found in the scriptures, recounted in Church history, and evidenced in our own lives. Indeed, these mighty miracles do occur. However, this pattern of revelation tends to be more rare than common.

The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation. Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently “distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven” (D&C 121:45). This pattern of revelation tends to be more common than rare and is evident in the experiences of Nephi as he tried several different approaches before successfully obtaining the plates of brass from Laban (see 1 Nephi 3–4). Ultimately, he was led by the Spirit to Jerusalem, “not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do” (1 Nephi 4:6). And he did not learn how to build a ship of curious workmanship all at one time; rather, Nephi was shown by the Lord “from time to time after what manner [he] should work the timbers of the ship” (1 Nephi 18:1).

Both the history of the Church and our personal lives are replete with examples of the Lord’s pattern for receiving revelation “line upon line, precept upon precept.” For example, the fundamental truths of the restored gospel were not delivered to the Prophet Joseph Smith all at once in the Sacred Grove. These priceless treasures were revealed as circumstances warranted and as the timing was right.

President Joseph F. Smith explained how this pattern of revelation occurred in his life: “As a boy … I would frequently … ask the Lord to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might receive a testimony. But the Lord withheld marvels from me, and showed me the truth, line upon line … , until He made me to know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely purged from me. He did not have to send an angel from the heavens to do this, nor did He have to speak with the trump of an archangel. By the whisperings of the still small voice of the spirit of the living God, He gave to me the testimony I possess. And by this principle and power He will give to all the children of men a knowledge of the truth that will stay with them, and it will make them to know the truth, as God knows it, and to do the will of the Father as Christ does it. And no amount of marvelous manifestations will ever accomplish this” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 40–41).

We as members of the Church tend to emphasize marvelous and dramatic spiritual manifestations so much that we may fail to appreciate and may even overlook the customary pattern by which the Holy Ghost accomplishes His work. The very “simpleness of the way” (1 Nephi 17:41) of receiving small and incremental spiritual impressions that over time and in totality constitute a desired answer or the direction we need may cause us to look “beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14).

I have talked with many individuals who question the strength of their personal testimony and underestimate their spiritual capacity because they do not receive frequent, miraculous, or strong impressions. Perhaps as we consider the experiences of Joseph in the Sacred Grove, of Saul on the road to Damascus, and of Alma the Younger, we come to believe something is wrong with or lacking in us if we fall short in our lives of these well-known and spiritually striking examples. If you have had similar thoughts or doubts, please know that you are quite normal. Just keep pressing forward obediently and with faith in the Savior. As you do so, you “cannot go amiss” (D&C 80:3).

President Joseph F. Smith counseled: “Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the Church, and I will show you members … who are not in good standing before God, and who are walking in slippery paths. It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in the truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commandments and laws of God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 40).

Another common experience with light helps us learn an additional truth about the “line upon line, precept upon precept” pattern of revelation. Sometimes the sun rises on a morning that is cloudy or foggy. Because of the overcast conditions, perceiving the light is more difficult, and identifying the precise moment when the sun rises over the horizon is not possible. But on such a morning we nonetheless have sufficient light to recognize a new day and to conduct our affairs.

In a similar way, we many times receive revelation without recognizing precisely how or when we are receiving revelation. An important episode from Church history illustrates this principle.

In the spring of 1829, Oliver Cowdery was a schoolteacher in Palmyra, New York. As he learned about Joseph Smith and the work of translating the Book of Mormon, Oliver felt impressed to offer his assistance to the young prophet. Consequently, he traveled to Harmony, Pennsylvania, and became Joseph’s scribe. The timing of his arrival and the help he provided were vital to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

The Savior subsequently revealed to Oliver that as often as he had prayed for guidance, he had received direction from the Spirit of the Lord. “If it had not been so,” the Lord declared, “thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time. Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth” (D&C 6:14–15).

Thus, Oliver received a revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith informing him that he had been receiving revelation. Apparently Oliver had not recognized how and when he had been receiving direction from God and needed this instruction to increase his understanding about the spirit of revelation. In essence, Oliver had been walking in the light as the sun was rising on a cloudy morning.

In many of the uncertainties and challenges we encounter in our lives, God requires us to do our best, to act and not be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:26), and to trust in Him. We may not see angels, hear heavenly voices, or receive overwhelming spiritual impressions. We frequently may press forward hoping and praying—but without absolute assurance—that we are acting in accordance with God’s will. But as we honor our covenants and keep the commandments, as we strive ever more consistently to do good and to become better, we can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps. And we can speak with the assurance that God will inspire our utterances. This is in part the meaning of the scripture that declares, “Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45).

As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5; 2 Nephi 12:5). Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding (see Alma 5:7; 32:28), and direct and protect you and your family.

I declare my apostolic witness that the Father and the Son live. The spirit of revelation is real—and can and does function in our individual lives and in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I testify of these truths in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

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Over the River and Thru the Woods to a Baptism We Go...

Hola Todos! We had a wonderful experience this week. The Elders had a beautiful baptism and the Sister wanted to have it in the lake so it was allowed. We are coming out of winter into spring and so the water temperature of the lake was cold. We are in Caraz and the weather averages 50-60 degrees, so I am not sure how cold it was. But it was beautiful!!!
To get there ... We had to walk and walk and walk to the baptism..over the river and thru the woods, past the animal, and to the site to the baptism we go. It was a beautiful site and how beautiful she looked. The people swimming stopped and perched on a rock while we took some pictures and then we had the service. I have more pictures, but I share them when I get home.
I am amazed at the simpleness and yet beauty and sacredness of this gospel ordinance. Whether it is done in a lovely chapel, or an inflatable pool, or the ocean, or in this case, the majestic beauty of the outdoors with the mountains of Peru surrounding us; the Spirit of this sacred ordinance is the same!!! Why?!!! Because it is done thru and by the sacred power of those who hold and bear the Priesthood of our Lord and Savior. I felt the sacredness of the moment and felt the Spirit tell me that this is His Work and His Glory and that we are truly preforming a marvelous work and a wonder upon this earth. The time is hastening, and the marvelous people of Peru are true descendants of the Book of Mormon and now is their time to accept and grow in this gospel. How blessed I am, even with the long walks and hills we climb, to bring the truth to them. My life will never be the same and I am grateful for this opportunity to share this with them.
The peace and beauty on that young sister's face will live in my cherished memories of this magnificent place called Peru. They are a humble and wonderful people and have treated me like one of their own. I am so blessed.
Please know that I love you and you are in my prayers. Please me..I would love to hear from you. ( a plug from her mom..she is like all missionaries towards the end of her mission...scarce on time and letters from friends and family.:)
Please pray for the people of Peru. There are miracles happening here, and please pray. I know that
Heavenly Father and our Savior hears and answers our prayers. Our Savior knows us and suffered and lived for us. He changes lives, and He has seen it all, and been thru it all..even as an innocent, perfect being. The agony He must have felt was surely overcome by the joy He feels as we accept His Gospel and live our lives as He lived His. He is our great example. The scriptures are true and shows us how we can be like Him. Search His scriptures and pray. You, we all will be blessed. He lives. This is my testimony. He lives and loves, us. Use the Power of Prayer in your lives. I testify prayer works. You are in my prayers.
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hyer

Gratitude and Peru

Hola!!!! Todos!!! Hello everyone!!!!
Happy Labor Day to everyone. It is a beautiful day in Peru. i have been in an area called Caraz, Peru which greatly reminds me of my beautiful Cache Valley in Utah. I am 8 hours at least by bus from Lima, Peru. I am grateful for being here and for the opportunity to share with them the gospel of Our Savior and Lord. My testimony has grown tremendously and I want others to know how very important that it is to read and pray about the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He wants us to accept His gospel and He wants us to do all we can to return to him and Heavenly Father. The Gospel is true. Todays' hurts are but a moment in our eternities. Here is a talk by Elder Uchtdorf that tells about gratitude much better than I. It is true. i bear witness to it and I pray that this talk will provide peace to you all. I love you all and please know that you are in my prayers. I pray for you and yours always, because I love you. Always!!!!
El evangelio es verdad y La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos De Los Ultimos Dias es verdad. Take care of yourselves. Until next week. My mom is going to post a lot of older posts that she has yet to do. Enjoy the moments. See you in November, until then, I will pray for the strength and devotion of many so that I can finish the way I want and need to. There are so many to touch and bring the Gospel to. I know We, my companion and I can only do this with the support of the Heavenly Father and our Savior and all you who love and care about us. Please pray for the people of Caraz and Peru, that they will be ready to listen and hear these truths as we bring it to them.
Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Hyer
Grateful in Any Circumstances

Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Have we not reason to be filled with gratitude, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?
Over the years, I have had the sacred opportunity to meet with many people whose sorrows seem to reach the very depths of their soul. In these moments, I have listened to my beloved brothers and sisters and grieved with them over their burdens. I have pondered what to say to them, and I have struggled to know how to comfort and support them in their trials.
Often their grief is caused by what seems to them as an ending. Some are facing the end of a cherished relationship, such as the death of a loved one or estrangement from a family member. Others feel they are facing the end of hope—the hope of being married or bearing children or overcoming an illness. Others may be facing the end of their faith, as confusing and conflicting voices in the world tempt them to question, even abandon, what they once knew to be true.
Sooner or later, I believe that all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated, and adrift.
It can happen to anyone. No one is immune.
We Can Be Grateful
Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.
We can be grateful!
It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.
As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to “thank the Lord [our] God in all things,”1 to “sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,”2 and to “let [our] heart be full of thanks unto God.”3
Why does God command us to be grateful?
All of His commandments are given to make blessings available to us. Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness.
Being Grateful for Things
But some might say, “What do I have to be grateful for when my world is falling apart?”
Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently “count our blessings”—and anyone who has tried this knows there are many—but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. In fact, most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude.
It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach?
Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be.
There is an old story of a waiter who asked a customer whether he had enjoyed the meal. The guest replied that everything was fine, but it would have been better if they had served more bread. The next day, when the man returned, the waiter doubled the amount of bread, giving him four slices instead of two, but still the man was not happy. The next day, the waiter doubled the bread again, without success.
On the fourth day, the waiter was really determined to make the man happy. And so he took a nine-foot-long (3-m) loaf of bread, cut it in half, and with a smile, served that to the customer. The waiter could scarcely wait for the man’s reaction.
After the meal, the man looked up and said, “Good as always. But I see you’re back to giving only two slices of bread.”
Being Grateful in Our Circumstances
My dear brothers and sisters, the choice is ours. We can choose to limit our gratitude, based on the blessings we feel we lack. Or we can choose to be like Nephi, whose grateful heart never faltered. When his brothers tied him up on the ship—which he had built to take them to the promised land—his ankles and wrists were so sore “they had swollen exceedingly,” and a violent storm threatened to swallow him up in the depths of the sea. “Nevertheless,” Nephi said, “I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.”4
We can choose to be like Job, who seemed to have everything but then lost it all. Yet Job responded by saying, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return … : the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”5
We can choose to be like the Mormon pioneers, who maintained a spirit of gratitude during their slow and painful trek toward the Great Salt Lake, even singing and dancing and glorying in the goodness of God.6 Many of us would have been inclined to withdraw, complain, and agonize about the difficulty of the journey.
We can choose to be like the Prophet Joseph Smith, who, while a prisoner in miserable conditions in Liberty Jail, penned these inspired words: “Dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”7
We can choose to be grateful, no matter what.
This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer.
When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace.
We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?
Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.
This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind.
Gratitude as an Act of Faith
Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true.8 By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.”9
True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will.
In any circumstance, our sense of gratitude is nourished by the many and sacred truths we do know: that our Father has given His children the great plan of happiness; that through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, we can live forever with our loved ones; that in the end, we will have glorious, perfect, and immortal bodies, unburdened by sickness or disability; and that our tears of sadness and loss will be replaced with an abundance of happiness and joy, “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.”10
It must have been this kind of testimony that transformed the Savior’s Apostles from fearful, doubting men into fearless, joyful emissaries of the Master. In the hours following His Crucifixion, they were consumed with despair and grief, unable to understand what had just happened. But one event changed all of that. Their Lord appeared to them and declared, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.”11
When the Apostles recognized the risen Christ—when they experienced the glorious Resurrection of their beloved Savior—they became different men. Nothing could keep them from fulfilling their mission. They accepted with courage and determination the torture, humiliation, and even death that would come to them because of their testimony.12 They were not deterred from praising and serving their Lord. They changed the lives of people everywhere. They changed the world.
You do not need to see the Savior, as the Apostles did, to experience the same transformation. Your testimony of Christ, born of the Holy Ghost, can help you look past the disappointing endings in mortality and see the bright future that the Redeemer of the world has prepared.
We Are Not Made for Endings
In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.
Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless13 and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.
The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.
How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.
Those Who Are Grateful Will Be Made Glorious
Brothers and sisters, have we not reason to be filled with gratitude, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?
Do we need any greater reason to let our hearts “be full of thanks unto God”?14
“Have we not great reason to rejoice?”15
How blessed we are if we recognize God’s handiwork in the marvelous tapestry of life. Gratitude to our Father in Heaven broadens our perception and clears our vision. It inspires humility and fosters empathy toward our fellowmen and all of God’s creation. Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes! A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues.16
The Lord has given us His promise that those “who [receive] all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto [them], even an hundred fold, yea, more.”17
May we “live in thanksgiving daily”18—especially during the seemingly unexplainable endings that are part of mortality. May we allow our souls to expand in thankfulness toward our merciful Heavenly Father. May we ever and constantly raise our voices and show by word and deed our gratitude to our Father in Heaven and to His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. For this I pray, and leave you my testimony and blessing, in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ, amen.

1.   Doctrine and Covenants 59:7; see also Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Mosiah 26:39; Alma 7:23; Doctrine and Covenants 98:1.
2.   Psalm 147:7.
3.   Alma 37:37.
4.  See 1 Nephi 18:10–16.
5.   Job 1:21.
6.  For examples of pioneers who maintained a cheerful attitude despite intense difficulty, see Andrew D. Olsen, The Price We Paid: The Extraordinary Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Pioneers (2006), 10, 366–67.
7.   Doctrine and Covenants 123:17.
8.  See Alma 32:21.
9.   Luke 22:42.
10.   Luke 6:38.
11.   Luke 24:39.
12.  See Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 12:10.
13.  See Moses 1:3.
14.   Alma 37:37.
15.   Alma 26:13.
16.  See Marcus Tullius Cicero, Oratio Pro Cnæo Plancio, XXXIII, section 80; quoted in Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Live in Thanksgiving Daily,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 8
17.   Doctrine and Covenants 78:19; emphasis added
18.   Alma 34:38.

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Agradecidos en cualquier circunstancia

Segundo Consejero de la Primera Presidencia

¿No tenemos razón para estar llenos de gratitud, a pesar de las circunstancias en las que nos encontremos?
A lo largo de los años, he tenido la sagrada oportunidad de reunirme con muchas personas cuyos pesares parecen haberles llegado hasta lo más profundo del alma. En esos momentos, he escuchado a mis amados hermanos y hermanas, y me he afligido con ellos por sus tribulaciones. He pensado en lo que podría decirles y me he esforzado por saber cómo consolarlos y apoyarlos en sus pruebas.
A veces, su angustia es el resultado de lo que para ellos parece ser un final; algunos se enfrentan al fin de una preciada relación, como la muerte de un ser querido o el distanciamiento de un familiar; otros piensan que afrontan el fin de la esperanza: la esperanza de casarse, de tener hijos, o de superar una enfermedad; otros quizás se enfrenten al fin de su fe, a medida que las voces confusas y conflictivas del mundo los tientan a dudar, e incluso a abandonar, lo que una vez supieron que era verdadero.
Tarde o temprano, creo que todos pasamos por tiempos en los que nuestro mundo parece venirse abajo, dejándonos solos, frustrados y a la deriva.
Le puede pasar a cualquier persona; nadie es inmune a ello.
Podemos ser agradecidos
La situación de cada persona es diferente, y los detalles de cada vida son únicos; no obstante, he aprendido que hay algo que quitaría la amargura que experimentemos en la vida. Hay algo que podemos hacer a fin de que nuestra vida sea más dulce, feliz y hasta gloriosa.
¡Podemos ser agradecidos!
Tal vez suene contrario a la sabiduría del mundo sugerir que la persona que esté llena de pesares le deba dar gracias a Dios. Sin embargo, aquellos que dejan a un lado la botella de la amargura y en vez de ello alzan la copa de la gratitud pueden encontrar una bebida purificante de sanación, paz y entendimiento.
Como discípulos de Cristo, se nos manda dar “las gracias al Señor [nuestro] Dios en todas las cosas”1, cantar “a Jehová con acción de gracias”2, y hacer que “rebose [nuestro] corazón de gratitud a Dios”3.
¿Por qué nos manda Dios que seamos agradecidos?
Todos los mandamientos del Señor se nos dan para poner bendiciones a nuestro alcance. Los mandamientos son oportunidades de ejercer nuestro albedrío y de recibir bendiciones. Nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial sabe que el elegir cultivar un espíritu de gratitud nos brindará verdadero gozo y gran felicidad.
Estén agradecidos por cosas
Pero algunos quizás se pregunten: “¿Qué es por lo que debo estar agradecido cuando mi mundo se viene abajo?”.
Tal vez el concentrarnos en qué es aquello por lo cual estamos agradecidos sea la manera equivocada de abordar el tema. Es difícil cultivar un espíritu de gratitud si nuestro agradecimiento sólo es proporcional al número de bendiciones que podamos contar. Es cierto que es importante “contar nuestras bendiciones” con frecuencia —y cualquiera que lo haya tratado sabe que son muchas— pero no creo que el Señor espere que seamos menos agradecidos en tiempos de dificultades que en tiempos de abundancia y comodidad. De hecho, en la mayoría de los pasajes de las Escrituras no se habla de estar agradecidos por las cosas, sino más bien se sugiere un espíritu o actitud general de gratitud.
Es fácil estar agradecido por cosas cuando la vida parece marchar sin problemas; pero, ¿qué ocurre con las ocasiones en las que lo que deseamos parece ser algo inalcanzable?
Permítanme proponer que consideremos la gratitud como una disposición, un modo de vida que es independiente de nuestra situación actual. En otras palabras, lo que quiero decir es que en vez de estar “agradecidos por cosas”, nos concentremos en estar “agradecidos en nuestras circunstancias”, cualesquiera que sean.
Hay una antigua anécdota de un mesero que le preguntó a un cliente si le había gustado la comida. Éste contestó que todo estuvo bien, pero que habría estado mejor si le hubieran servido más pan. Al día siguiente, cuando el hombre regresó, el mesero le dio el doble de pan, dándole cuatro rebanadas en vez de dos, pero aun así, el hombre no estuvo satisfecho. Al día siguiente, el mesero volvió a ponerle el doble de pan, pero sin ningún éxito.
El cuarto día, el mesero estaba resuelto a que ese hombre estuviese contento, de modo que tomó una hogaza de pan de tres metros de largo, la cortó a la mitad y, con una sonrisa, se la sirvió al cliente. El mesero casi no podía esperar ver su reacción.
Después de la comida, el hombre levantó la vista y dijo: “Delicioso, como siempre, pero veo que otra vez sólo dan dos porciones de pan”.
Ser agradecidos en nuestras circunstancias
Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas, la decisión es nuestra; podemos decidir limitar nuestra gratitud, basándonos en las bendiciones que pensamos que nos faltan, o podemos decidir ser como Nefi, cuyo corazón agradecido nunca flaqueó. Cuando sus hermanos lo ataron en el barco —que él había construido para llevarlos a la tierra prometida— los tobillos y las muñecas le dolían bastante y se le “habían hinchado mucho”; además, una fuerte tempestad amenazaba tragarlo en las profundidades del mar. Nefi dijo: “No obstante, acudía a mi Dios y lo alababa todo el día; y no murmuré contra el Señor a causa de mis aflicciones”4.
Podemos escoger ser como Job, quien parecía tenerlo todo pero después lo perdió por completo; no obstante, Job respondió diciendo: “Desnudo salí del vientre de mi madre y desnudo volveré… Jehová dio y Jehová quitó: ¡Bendito sea el nombre de Jehová!”5.
Podemos escoger ser como los pioneros mormones, quienes mantuvieron un espíritu de gratitud durante la lenta y penosa travesía hacia el Gran Lago Salado, incluso cantando, bailando y gloriándose por la bondad de Dios6. Muchos de nosotros habríamos tenido la inclinación a alejarnos, quejarnos y a desesperarnos por la dificultad del trayecto.
Podemos escoger ser como el profeta José Smith, que mientras estaba encarcelado en deplorables condiciones en la cárcel de Liberty, escribió estas inspiradas palabras: “…muy queridos hermanos, hagamos con buen ánimo cuanta cosa esté a nuestro alcance; y entonces podremos permanecer tranquilos, con la más completa seguridad, para ver la salvación de Dios y que se revele su brazo”7.
Podemos escoger ser agradecidos, pase lo que pase.
Este tipo de gratitud trasciende cualquier cosa que suceda a nuestro alrededor; supera la desilusión, el desaliento y la desesperación; florece con la misma hermosura en el helado panorama del invierno, así como en el agradable calor del verano.
Cuando somos agradecidos a Dios en nuestras circunstancias, podemos sentir una serena paz en medio de la tribulación; en la angustia, podemos elevar nuestro corazón en alabanza; en el dolor, podemos regocijarnos en la expiación de Cristo; en el frío del amargo dolor, podemos sentir la cercanía y la calidez del abrazo de los cielos.
A veces pensamos que el ser agradecido es lo que hacemos después de que se resuelven nuestros problemas, pero ésa es una perspectiva sumamente estrecha. ¿Cuánto pasamos por alto en la vida cuando esperamos ver el arco iris antes de darle gracias a Dios por la lluvia?
El ser agradecido en tiempos de aflicción no significa que estamos complacidos con nuestras circunstancias; lo que sí significa es que mediante los ojos de la fe podemos ver más allá de nuestras dificultades actuales.
Ésta no es una gratitud que proviene de los labios, sino del alma; es gratitud que sana el corazón y ensancha la mente.
La gratitud es un acto de fe
El ser agradecidos en nuestras circunstancias es un acto de fe en Dios que requiere que confiemos en Él y que tengamos esperanza en cosas que no se ven pero que son verdaderas8. Si somos agradecidos, seguimos el ejemplo de nuestro amado Salvador, quien dijo: “…pero no se haga mi voluntad, sino la tuya”9.
La gratitud verdadera es una expresión de esperanza y testimonio que se recibe al reconocer que no siempre entendemos las pruebas de la vida, pero que confiamos en que algún día lo haremos.
En cualquier circunstancia, nuestro sentido de gratitud se nutre con las muchas sagradas verdades que sí sabemos: que nuestro Padre ha dado a Sus hijos el gran plan de felicidad; que mediante la expiación de Su Hijo Jesucristo podemos vivir para siempre con nuestros seres queridos; que al final, tendremos cuerpos gloriosos, perfectos e inmortales, libres de enfermedades o discapacidades; y que nuestras lágrimas de tristeza y pérdida serán reemplazadas con una abundancia de felicidad y gozo, “medida buena, apretada, remecida y rebosante”10.
Esa clase de testimonio es lo que debió transformar a los apóstoles del Salvador de hombres tímidos e inciertos a emisarios intrépidos y dichosos del Maestro. Horas después de Su crucifixión, a los apóstoles los consumía la desesperación y la angustia, ya que no podían comprender lo que acababa de ocurrir; pero un hecho cambió todo eso. Su Señor se les apareció y declaró: “Mirad mis manos y mis pies, que yo mismo soy”11.
Cuando los apóstoles reconocieron al Cristo resucitado —cuando asimilaron la gloriosa resurrección de su amado Salvador— se convirtieron en hombres diferentes; nada podía impedirles cumplir su misión; aceptaron con valor y determinación la tortura, la humillación e incluso la muerte a las que estarían sujetos a causa de su testimonio12. No había nada que los disuadiera de alabar y de servir a su Señor; ellos cambiaron la vida de la gente de todas partes; cambiaron el mundo.
No es necesario que ustedes vean al Salvador, como lo hicieron los apóstoles, para pasar por esa misma transformación. El testimonio que tengan de Cristo, proveniente del Espíritu Santo, puede ayudarlos a pasar por alto los finales desalentadores de la mortalidad y ver el futuro brillante que el Redentor del mundo ha preparado.
No somos creados para los finales
En vista de lo que sabemos acerca de nuestro destino eterno, es comprensible que siempre que afrontamos los amargos finales de la vida éstos nos parecen inaceptables. Es como si algo en nuestro interior se opusiera a ellos.
¿Por qué razón? Porque somos creados de material eterno. Somos seres eternos, hijos del Dios Todopoderoso, cuyo nombre es Sin Fin13 y quien promete innumerables bendiciones eternas. Los finales no son nuestro destino.
Cuanto más aprendemos sobre el evangelio de Jesucristo, más nos damos cuenta de que los finales aquí en la tierra no lo son en realidad; son simplemente interrupciones, pausas temporales que un día parecerán pequeñas comparadas con el gozo eterno que les espera a los fieles.
Cuán agradecido estoy a mi Padre Celestial porque en Su plan no hay verdaderos finales, sólo comienzos eternos.
Los que sean agradecidos serán glorificados
Hermanos y hermanas, ¿no tenemos razón para estar llenos de gratitud, a pesar de las circunstancias en las que nos encontremos?
¿Necesitamos una razón más grandiosa para permitir que “[rebose nuestro] corazón de gratitud a Dios”?14.
“¿[No] tenemos mucha razón para regocijarnos?”15.
¡Qué bendecidos somos si reconocemos la mano de Dios en el maravilloso tapiz de la vida! La gratitud a nuestro Padre Celestial ensancha nuestra percepción y aclara nuestra vista; inspira humildad y fomenta la compasión hacia nuestro prójimo y hacia todas las creaciones de Dios. La gratitud es un elemento que promueve todos los atributos cristianos. El corazón agradecido es el padre de todas las virtudes16.
El Señor nos ha dado Su promesa de que aquél “que reciba todas las cosas con gratitud será glorificado; y le serán añadidas las cosas de esta tierra, hasta cien tantos, sí, y más”17.
Ruego que “[vivamos] cada día en acción de gracias”18especialmente durante los finales aparentemente inexplicables que son parte de la vida terrenal. Que permitamos que nuestra alma se ensanche en agradecimiento hacia nuestro misericordioso Padre Celestial. Que siempre y constantemente elevemos nuestras voces y demostremos, en palabras y con hechos, nuestra gratitud a nuestro Padre Celestial y a Su Amado Hijo Jesucristo. Ruego por ello, y les dejo mi testimonio y bendición; en el nombre de nuestro Maestro Jesucristo. Amén.

1.  Doctrina y Convenios 59:7; véase también Efesios 5:20; 1 Tesalonicenses 5:18; Mosíah 26:39; Alma 7:23; Doctrina y Convenios 98:1.
2.  Salmos 147:7.
3.  Alma 37:37.
4. Véase 1 Nefi 18:10–16.
5.  Job 1:21.
6. Para ejemplos de pioneros que mantuvieron una actitud alegre a pesar de las intensas dificultades, véase de Andrew D. Olsen, The Price We Paid: The Extraordinary Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Pioneers, 2006, págs. 10, 366–367.
7.  Doctrina y Convenios 123:17.
8. Véase Alma 32:21.
9.  Lucas 22:42.
10.  Lucas 6:38.
11.  Lucas 24:39.
12. Véase Romanos 5:3; 2 Corintios 4:17; 12:10.
13. Véase Moisés 1:3.
14.  Alma 37:37.
15.  Alma 26:13.
16. Véase de Marco Tulio Cicerón, Oratio Pro Cnæo Plancio, XXXIII, sección 80; citado en Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Live in Thanksgiving Daily”, Ensign, septiembre de 2001, pág. 8.
17.  Doctrina y Convenios 78:19; cursiva agregada.
18.  Alma 34:38.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May 8, 2014 One Year

Dear Family and Friends,
Hola!  One year..I cannot believe that it has been one year. It has gone by so fast, and I have yet much that I want to accomplish. I made myself a poster to help me with this. I want to finish strong, and I want to bring in as many people as I can into this wonderful gospel. I want to be an instrument in Heavenly father's Hands. I know that without the Holy Ghost testifying to the wonderful people of Peru, the work would not go forward. This is The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is true and I testify that it is true. I have seen people lives change as they realize that Jesus Christ loves them and that He is real. I am just a girl, but I am enlisted in His Army to bring the truth to them. My life will never be the same. I have seen Him do miracles, move mountains out of people's way so that they can join His church. He loves us, Heavenly Father loves us. We are His children. We have been taught as missionaries to be obedient and I am striving to be so. I love Peru. I want to serve Them better and more than I have ever done in my life. I love my companions. Each one has richly blessed my life and we truly are sisters. I cry every time I leave my areas or my companions or the other marvelous missionaries that I serve with. I love my mission President and his beautiful wife. How blessed we are to have them teach us and guide us and love us. They truly do live the Gospel. I have so much more that I want and need to do. President Archibald has told us that we are to seek out families. He has instructed us to not allow a family to pass us by without introducing ourselves and the message of Jesus Christ to them. The gospel changes lives. How thankful I am that you are my friends and family. I love and miss you more than I can ever say, but just as much, I know that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do and that is...serving my Lord and Savior and finding His lost sheep!! Send everyone my love!! I LOVE YOU!!! Just 6 months and I will be home!! I am gonna work soo hard so that you guys can receive the blessings!! :DDD LOVE YOU!!
Hermana Hyer
Read your scriptures! PRay and go to church and the activities!!

Completos..hotdogs Peruvian style

Dear Family and Friends,
Hola! Hermana Hyer has asked me to post about hotdogs..Peruvian style called COMPLETOS.
Completos means complete in Spanish and that is exactly what they are. Hermana Hyer has had them several times and with different things on them. She describes them as really yummy. They are longer than the more traditional hotdogs and so are the buns. I have included the pictures she has sent of them getting the fixings ready. From the pictures, it looks like avocado, celery?, tomatoes, onions..look and see...


Tomatoes and onions

Hotdogs and celery? And buns below!!
Buns with the papers below.
I noticed the papers and how individual and long they were. Hermana Hyer likes them a lot and has 
promised to fix the meal for us when she gets home. I wonder if it will taste the same. Where can we find hot dogs like these? They had them for P-day when the zone got together to play some games...which will be another topic..later.
With much love,
From Hermana Hyer...
Mom, please tell them the following from me...Dear Friends and Family...The Gospel is True and I encourage, beg and exhort you to read the Book of Mormon, Another Testimony of Jesus Christ. I have read this book and I LOVE IT. I know it is true and I bear record that it is. You will be blessed if you read yourselves and with your families. This book testifies of Jesus Christ and just as I have know it is true, you can, too. Pray, pray to know it is true, and pray to have courage to follow the promptings and feelings that you will definitely feel, and I humbly and yet boldly pray that you will come to know how very much you are loved by God, our Heavenly Father and by Jesus Christ, our Beloved Savior and older Brother.
I love you, more that the sands of the seas.
Hermana Hyer

Monday, June 2, 2014

Families Are Eternal

Families Are Eternal

Dear Family And Friends,
It has been a week of frustrations and miracles.  Much like life everywhere. I lost my Agenda!!!! :(
 ( I believe this is her planner that they use that has ALL her information and contacts in it, and she asked me to piece together several emails for her. She thinks in Spanish now, so it is interesting to do.) I was very frustrated and upset about losing my agenda. Worried, too. I allowed it to distract me from the beautiful baptism that was taking place. I asked the Lord to take care of my missing agenda while I helped take care of the wonderful baptism that was about to take place.
The baptism was really good! I had a bittersweet experience with the thoughts of my missing agenda heavy on my mind.
Hna R, the sister of Hermano N who got baptized was crying and was saying, "He ( Heavenly Father), answered my prayers! I didn´t think that it would happen so soon! and It was soo sweet."  The baptism was really good!   but I was also a still little bitter about losing my agenda and angry and upset. I had prayed for my missing agenda and the Lord knew how badly I needed that agenda. I was praying to lose these feelings that were interfering with me and were stopping me from having total joy for the day and in the moment. When we were finishing the baptismal service, we were singing the closing song. We sang "Las familias puedan ser eternas"... " Families can be eternal."and well I couldn´t sing because AJ was there and I felt the spirit so strongly that If I had to pass through all I did just to help this brother I would do it again! :D This is true! I KNOW IT!! I know AJ is waiting for us! and missing us but is also busy in the Lord´s work! :DD LOVE YOU!!!!
The Lord blessed me with the sweet blessing of peace and with the blessing of feeling my brother's AJ's presence in the room. This man's conversion and baptism was a miracle and with important happenings, come trials. I love this new brother in the church, and to be a part of this is truly a miracle. Families are forever. The sister and I were experiencing eternal joys together. Her seeing her brother baptized and my being able to feel AJ at the baptism. My tears made it impossible for me to sing. How I love the gospel, and how I love being a missionary. I testify to you that Families Are Eternal. The Gospel of Jesus Christ makes it so. He loves us and so does our Heavenly Father. I felt Their Love and peace in that room? They comforted me and took away my frustration, bitterness, worry, and the feelings of being upset during that sacred meeting. Then, They topped it by allowing my testimony to be strengthened by having the Spirit confirm to me that families are forever. It is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. I am blessed to be part of this great work in El Trebol, Peru. I am blessed. I have to go! BUT know that.... I love you all more than all the rice in peru, the sands of the beaches, the drops of water in  the oceans and more than all the stars in the sky!! :DDD I LOVE YOU!!! AND  tell everyone to write me.. Cambios (Transfers) are later today..I will let you know next week if I was transferred or not.
ps to the kitties... soft kitty warm kitty little ball of fur happy kitty sleepy kitty purr purr purr!! :DDD LOVE YOU!!! I will let you know next week! PS..Someone called just now during internet time and said they found my missing agenda. Heavenly Father answers prayers!!!!!!!
Til next week!!!
Hermana Hyer

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Talk that Has Changed My Life

Dear Friends and Family,
Every once in a while, Hermana Mardi will send us via an email a talk that has deeply touched her heart. This is one of them and she asked that we post it here in English and Spanish. Please read it, study it, and love it like she does. May it bless your life as it has the way..she only sent it to us in Spanish and thank goodness for the internet..I was able to find it in English and post it here...
Now from Hermana Hyer...

Dear Family and Friends,
I know it has been a while since my mom has last posted. She has a lot of catch up to do and a lot of remembering. (Like how to post pictures to this lovely blog.) Please do not beat her ( me) too much for not posting Hermana Hyer's blogs.
She will ask us to put talks that has deeply touched her heart on her blog. This one is one of them...
Here is Hermana Mardi...
I love you all and miss you all. Please read this talk by Elder Bednar and I pray it touches your heart as much as it has touched mine.
Would you post this talk on my blog in spanish and english!!
Converted unto the Lord
By Elder David A. Bednar
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion.
My message focuses upon the relationship between receiving a testimony that Jesus is the Christ and becoming converted to Him and His gospel. Typically, we treat the topics of testimony and conversion separately and independently. However, we gain precious perspective and greater spiritual conviction as we consider these two important subjects together.
I pray the Holy Ghost will instruct and edify each of us.
Whom Say Ye That I Am?
We can learn much about testimony and conversion from the ministry of the Apostle Peter.
As Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He posed this penetrating question to His disciples: “Whom say ye that I am?”
Peter responded forthrightly:
“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:15–17).
As is evidenced in Peter’s reply and the Savior’s instruction, a testimony is personal knowledge of spiritual truth obtained by revelation. A testimony is a gift from God and is available to all of His children. Any honest seeker of truth can obtain a testimony by exercising the necessary “particle of faith” in Jesus Christ to “experiment upon” (Alma 32:27) and “try the virtue of the word” (Alma 31:5), to yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit” (Mosiah 3:19), and to awaken unto God (see Alma 5:7). Testimony brings increased personal accountability and is a source of purpose, assurance, and joy.
Seeking for and obtaining a testimony of spiritual truth requires asking, seeking, and knocking (see Matthew 7:7; 3 Nephi 14:7) with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in the Savior (see Moroni 10:4). Fundamental components of a testimony are knowing that Heavenly Father lives and loves us, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that the fulness of the gospel has been restored to the earth in these latter days.
When Thou Art Converted
As the Savior taught His disciples at the Last Supper, He said to Peter:
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to … sift you as wheat:
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31–32).
Interestingly, this mighty Apostle had talked and walked with the Master, had witnessed many miracles, and had a strong testimony of the Savior’s divinity. Yet even Peter needed additional instruction from Jesus about the converting and sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost and his obligation to serve faithfully.
The essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature made possible through the Savior’s Atonement. True conversion brings a change in one’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God (see Acts 3:19; 3 Nephi 9:20) and includes a conscious commitment to become a disciple of Christ.
Conversion is an enlarging, a deepening, and a broadening of the undergirding base of testimony. It is the result of revelation from God, accompanied by individual repentance, obedience, and diligence. Any honest seeker of truth can become converted by experiencing the mighty change of heart and being spiritually born of God (see Alma 5:12–14). As we honor the ordinances and covenants of salvation and exaltation (see D&C 20:25), “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ” (2 Nephi 31:20), and endure in faith to the end (see D&C 14:7), we become new creatures in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Conversion is an offering of self, of love, and of loyalty we give to God in gratitude for the gift of testimony.
Book of Mormon Examples of Conversion
The Book of Mormon is filled with inspiring accounts of conversion. Amaleki, a descendant of Jacob, declared: “I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him” (Omni 1:26).
Knowing by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ is important and necessary. But earnestly coming unto Him and giving our whole souls as an offering requires much more than merely knowing. Conversion requires all of our heart, all of our might, and all of our mind and strength (see D&C 4:2).
King Benjamin’s people responded to his teaching by exclaiming, “Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). Accepting the words spoken, gaining a testimony of their truthfulness, and exercising faith in Christ produced a mighty change of heart and a firm determination to improve and become better.
Converted Lamanites in the book of Helaman are described as being “in the path of their duty, and they do walk circumspectly before God, and they do observe to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments. …
“… And they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth” (Helaman 15:5–6).
As these examples highlight, the key characteristics associated with conversion are experiencing a mighty change in our hearts, having a disposition to do good continually, going forward in the path of duty, walking circumspectly before God, keeping the commandments, and serving with unwearied diligence. Clearly, these faithful souls had become deeply devoted to the Lord and His teachings.
Becoming Converted
For many of us, conversion is an ongoing process and not a onetime event that results from a powerful or dramatic experience. Line upon line and precept upon precept, gradually and almost imperceptibly, our motives, our thoughts, our words, and our deeds become aligned with the will of God. Conversion unto the Lord requires both persistence and patience.
Samuel the Lamanite identified five basic elements in becoming converted unto the Lord: (1) believing in the teachings and prophecies of the holy prophets as they are recorded in the scriptures, (2) exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, (3) repenting, (4) experiencing a mighty change of heart, and (5) becoming “firm and steadfast in the faith” (see Helaman 15:7–8). This is the pattern that leads to conversion.
Testimony and Conversion
Testimony is the beginning of and a prerequisite to continuing conversion. Testimony is a point of departure; it is not an ultimate destination. Strong testimony is the foundation upon which conversion is established.
Testimony alone is not and will not be enough to protect us in the latter-day storm of darkness and evil in which we are living. Testimony is important and necessary but not sufficient to provide the spiritual strength and protection we need. Some members of the Church with testimonies have wavered and fallen away. Their spiritual knowledge and commitment did not measure up to the challenges they faced.
An important lesson about the connection between testimony and conversion is evident in the missionary labors of the sons of Mosiah.
“As many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, … as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.
“For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more. …
“Now, these are they who were converted unto the Lord” (Alma 23:6–8).
Two major elements are described in these verses: (1) the knowledge of the truth, which may be interpreted as a testimony, and (2) converted unto the Lord, which I understand to be conversion to the Savior and His gospel. Thus, the powerful combination of both testimony and conversion unto the Lord produced firmness and steadfastness and provided spiritual protection.
They never did fall away and surrendered “the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more.” To set aside cherished “weapons of rebellion” such as selfishness, pride, and disobedience requires more than merely believing and knowing. Conviction, humility, repentance, and submissiveness precede the abandonment of our weapons of rebellion. Do you and I still possess weapons of rebellion that keep us from becoming converted unto the Lord? If so, then we need to repent now.
Note that the Lamanites were not converted to the missionaries who taught them or to the excellent programs of the Church. They were not converted to the personalities of their leaders or to preserving a cultural heritage or the traditions of their fathers. They were converted unto the Lord—to Him as the Savior and to His divinity and doctrine—and they never did fall away.
A testimony is spiritual knowledge of truth obtained by the power of the Holy Ghost. Continuing conversion is constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received—with a heart that is willing and for righteous reasons. Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion. We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel.
Testimony, Conversion, and the Parable of the Ten Virgins
I now want to use one of many possible interpretations of the parable of the ten virgins to highlight the relationship between testimony and conversion. Ten virgins, five who were wise and five who were foolish, took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Please think of the lamps used by the virgins as the lamps of testimony. The foolish virgins took their lamps of testimony but took no oil with them. Consider the oil to be the oil of conversion.
“But the wise took oil [of conversion] in their vessels with their lamps [of testimony].
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
“Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps [of testimony].
“And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil [even the oil of conversion]; for our lamps [of testimony are weak and] are gone out.
“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves” (Matthew 25:4–9).
Were the five wise virgins selfish and unwilling to share, or were they indicating correctly that the oil of conversion cannot be borrowed? Can the spiritual strength that results from consistent obedience to the commandments be given to another person? Can the knowledge obtained through diligent study and pondering of the scriptures be conveyed to one who is in need? Can the peace the gospel brings to a faithful Latter-day Saint be transferred to an individual experiencing adversity or great challenge? The clear answer to each of these questions is no.
As the wise virgins emphasized properly, each of us must “buy for ourselves.” These inspired women were not describing a business transaction; rather, they were emphasizing our individual responsibility to keep our lamp of testimony burning and to obtain an ample supply of the oil of conversion. This precious oil is acquired one drop at a time—“line upon line [and] precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30), patiently and persistently. No shortcut is available; no last-minute flurry of preparation is possible.
“Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom” (D&C 33:17).
I promise that as we come to a knowledge of the truth and are converted unto the Lord, we will remain firm and steadfast and never fall away. Eagerly we will set aside our weapons of rebellion. We will be blessed with bright light from our lamps of testimony and an ample supply of the oil of conversion. And as each of us becomes more fully converted, we will strengthen our families, our friends, and our associates. Of these truths I testify in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
And Now in Spanish...
El saber que el Evangelio es verdadero es la esencia de un testimonio. El ser constantemente fieles al Evangelio es la esencia de la conversión. por David A Bednar
Mi mensaje se centra en la relación que existe entre recibir un testimonio de que Jesús es el Cristo y llegar a convertirse a Él y a Su evangelio. Normalmente, los temas del testimonio y de la conversión los tratamos de forma separada e independiente; sin embargo, ganamos una valiosa perspectiva y una mayor convicción espiritual al considerar estos dos temas importantes juntos.
Ruego que el Espíritu Santo instruya y edifique a cada uno de nosotros.
¿Quién decís que soy yo?
Del ministerio del apóstol Pablo podemos aprender mucho sobre el testimonio y la conversión.
Cuando Jesús llegó a las costas de Cesarea de Filipo, hizo esta penetrante pregunta a Sus discípulos: “¿…quién decís que soy yo?”.
Pedro respondió abiertamente:
“¡Tú eres el Cristo, el Hijo del Dios viviente!
“Entonces, respondiendo Jesús, le dijo: Bienaventurado eres, Simón hijo de Jonás, porque no te lo reveló carne ni sangre, sino mi Padre que está en los cielos” (Mateo 16:15–17).
Tal como se manifiesta en la respuesta de Pedro y en la instrucción del Salvador, un testimonio es el conocimiento personal de la verdad espiritual que se obtiene por medio de la revelación. Un testimonio es un don de Dios y está al alcance de todos Sus hijos. Cualquier persona que busque sinceramente la verdad puede obtener un testimonio al ejercitar “un poco de fe” necesaria en Jesucristo para “experimentar” (Alma 32:27) y poner “a prueba la virtud de la palabra de Dios” (Alma 31:5), para someterse “al influjo del Santo Espíritu” (Mosíah 3:19), y despertar en cuanto a Dios (véase Alma 5:7). El testimonio proporciona mayor responsabilidad personal y es una fuente de propósito, seguridad y gozo.
Para procurar y obtener un testimonio de la verdad espiritual es necesario pedir, buscar y llamar (véase Mateo 7:7; 3 Nefi 14:7) con un corazón sincero, con verdadera intención y con fe en el Salvador (véase Moroni 10:4). Los componentes primordiales de un testimonio son saber que el Padre Celestial vive y nos ama, que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador y que la plenitud del Evangelio se ha restaurado en la tierra en estos últimos días.
Y tú, una vez vuelto
Mientras el Salvador enseñaba a Sus discípulos durante la Última Cena, le dijo a Pedro:
“Simón, Simón, he aquí Satanás os ha pedido para zarandearos como a trigo;
“pero yo he rogado por ti, que tu fe no falte; y tú, una vez vuelto, fortalece a tus hermanos” (Lucas 22:31–32).
Es interesante notar que este poderoso apóstol había hablado y caminado con el Maestro, había presenciado muchos milagros y tenía un fuerte testimonio de la divinidad del Salvador; sin embargo, incluso Pedro necesitaba instrucción adicional de Jesús sobre el poder para convertir y santificar del Espíritu Santo, y la obligación que él tenía de servir fielmente.
La esencia del evangelio de Jesucristo implica un cambio fundamental y permanente en nuestra naturaleza misma, que es posible por medio de la expiación del Salvador. La verdadera conversión produce un cambio en las creencias, el corazón y la vida de una persona para aceptar y ajustarse a la voluntad de Dios (véase Hechos 3:19; 3 Nefi 9:20) e incluye el compromiso consciente de convertirse en un discípulo de Cristo.
La conversión es una expansión, una profundización y una ampliación de la estructura básica del testimonio. Es el resultado de la revelación de Dios, acompañado del arrepentimiento, de la obediencia y de la diligencia personales. Cualquier persona que sinceramente busque la verdad puede llegar a convertirse al experimentar el gran cambio en el corazón y al nacer espiritualmente de Dios (véase Alma 5:12–14). Cuando honramos las ordenanzas y los convenios de salvación y exaltación (véase D. y C. 20:25), “[seguimos] adelante con firmeza en Cristo” (2 Nefi 31:20), y perseveramos con fe hasta el fin (véase D. y C. 14:7), llegamos a ser nuevas criaturas en Cristo (véase 2 Corintios 5:17). La conversión es una ofrenda de uno mismo, de amor y de lealtad que damos a Dios en gratitud por el don del testimonio.
Ejemplos de conversión en el Libro de Mormón
El Libro de Mormón está repleto de relatos inspiradores de conversión. Amalekí, un descendiente de Jacob, declaró: “…quisiera que vinieses a Cristo, el cual es el Santo de Israel, y participaseis de su salvación y del poder de su redención. Sí, venid a él y ofrecedle vuestras almas enteras como ofrenda” (Omni 1:26).
El saber mediante el poder del Espíritu Santo que Jesús es el Cristo es importante y necesario; sin embargo, el venir a Él de verdad y ofrecerle nuestras almas enteras como ofrenda requiere mucho más que simplemente saber. La conversión exige todo nuestro corazón, toda nuestra alma y toda nuestra mente y fuerza (véase D. y C. 4:2).
El pueblo del rey Benjamín respondió a sus enseñanzas al exclamar: “Sí, creemos todas las palabras que nos has hablado; y además, sabemos de su certeza y verdad por el Espíritu del Señor Omnipotente, el cual ha efectuado un potente cambio en nosotros, o sea, en nuestros corazones, por lo que ya no tenemos más disposición a obrar mal, sino a hacer lo bueno continuamente” (Mosíah 5:2). El aceptar esas palabras, obtener un testimonio de su veracidad y ejercitar fe en Cristo produjo un potente cambio en sus corazones y una firme determinación a progresar y ser mejores.
En el libro de Helamán se describe a los lamanitas convertidos como personas que “se hallan en la senda de su deber, y andan con circunspección delante de Dios, y se esfuerzan por guardar sus mandamientos y sus estatutos y sus juicios…
“y con infatigable diligencia se están esforzando por traer al resto de sus hermanos al conocimiento de la verdad” (Helamán 15:5–6).
Como se destaca en estos ejemplos, las características clave relacionadas con la conversión son experimentar un potente cambio en nuestro corazón, tener la disposición de hacer lo bueno continuamente, seguir adelante en la senda del deber, andar con circunspección delante de Dios, guardar los mandamientos y servir con infatigable diligencia. Queda muy claro que esas fieles almas estaban profundamente dedicadas al Señor y a Sus enseñanzas.
Llegar a estar convertidos
Para muchos de nosotros, la conversión es un proceso constante y no un solo acontecimiento que resulta de una experiencia poderosa o dramática. Línea por línea y precepto por precepto, de manera gradual y casi imperceptible, nuestras intenciones, nuestros pensamientos, nuestras palabras y acciones entran en sintonía con la voluntad de Dios. La conversión al Señor requiere tanto perseverancia como paciencia.
Samuel el lamanita señaló cinco elementos básicos para convertirse al Señor: (1) creer en las enseñanzas y profecías de los santos profetas como están registradas en las Escrituras; (2) ejercitar fe en el Señor Jesucristo; (3) arrepentirse; (4) experimentar un potente cambio de corazón; y (5) llegar a ser “firmes e inmutables en la fe” (véase Helamán 15:7–8). Ése es el modelo que conduce a la conversión.
Testimonio y conversión
El testimonio es el comienzo y un prerrequisito para una conversión continua. El testimonio es un punto de partida y no el destino final. Un testimonio firme es la base sobre la cual se establece la conversión.
El testimonio por sí solo no es ni será suficiente para protegernos en la tormenta de oscuridad y maldad en la que estamos viviendo en estos últimos días. El testimonio es importante y necesario pero no suficiente para proporcionar la fortaleza espiritual y la protección que necesitamos. Algunos miembros de la Iglesia con testimonios han flaqueado y se han desviado; su conocimiento espiritual y su cometido no estuvieron a la altura de los desafíos a los que se enfrentaron.
Una lección importante sobre el vínculo que existe entre el testimonio y la conversión es evidente en la obra misional de los hijos de Mosíah.
“…cuantos llegaron al conocimiento de la verdad por la predicación de Ammón y sus hermanos, según el espíritu de revelación y de profecía, y el poder de Dios que obraba milagros en ellos, sí… como vive el Señor, cuantos lamanitas creyeron en su predicación y fueron convertidos al Señor, nunca más se desviaron.
“Porque se convirtieron en un pueblo justo; abandonaron las armas de su rebelión de modo que no pugnaron más en contra de Dios…
“Y éstos son los que fueron convertidos al Señor” (Alma 23:6–8).
En estos versículos se describen dos elementos importantes: (1) el conocimiento de la verdad, que se puede interpretar como un testimonio, y (2) convertidos al Señor, lo que a mi parecer es la conversión al Salvador y a Su evangelio. Por consiguiente, la potente combinación del testimonio y de la conversión al Señor resultó en firmeza y constancia, y proporcionó protección espiritual.
Nunca más se desviaron y abandonaron “las armas de su rebelión y no pugnaron más en contra de Dios”. Para abandonar las preciadas “armas de rebelión” tales como el egoísmo, el orgullo y la desobediencia, se necesita más que el sólo creer y saber. La convicción, la humildad, el arrepentimiento y la docilidad preceden el abandono de las armas de nuestra rebelión. ¿Poseemos todavía, ustedes y yo, armas de rebelión que nos impiden convertirnos al Señor? Si es así, entonces tenemos que arrepentirnos ahora mismo.
Noten que los lamanitas no estaban convertidos a los misioneros que les enseñaron ni a los excelentes programas de la Iglesia; no estaban convertidos a la personalidad de sus líderes, a la preservación del legado cultural ni a las tradiciones de sus padres. Estaban convertidos al Señor —a Él como el Salvador y a Su divinidad y doctrina— y nunca se desviaron.
Un testimonio es el conocimiento espiritual de la verdad adquirido por el poder del Espíritu Santo. La conversión continua es una devoción constante a la verdad revelada que hemos recibido, con un corazón dispuesto y por las razones justas. El saber que el Evangelio es verdadero es la esencia de un testimonio. El ser constantemente fieles al Evangelio es la esencia de la conversión. Debemos saber que el Evangelio es verdadero, y ser fieles al Evangelio.
Testimonio, conversión y la parábola de las diez vírgenes
Ahora quiero utilizar una de las muchas interpretaciones posibles de la parábola de las diez vírgenes a fin de destacar la relación que existe entre el testimonio y la conversión. Diez vírgenes, cinco que fueron prudentes y cinco insensatas, tomaron sus lámparas y fueron a recibir al novio. Por favor consideren las lámparas que usaron las vírgenes como la lámpara del testimonio. Las vírgenes insensatas tomaron sus lámparas del testimonio pero no llevaron consigo aceite. Consideren que el aceite que se describe es el aceite de la conversión.
“…mas las prudentes tomaron aceite [de conversión] en sus vasijas, juntamente con sus lámparas [del testimonio].
“Y tardándose el novio, cabecearon todas y se durmieron.
“Y a la medianoche se oyó un clamor: He aquí el novio viene; salid a recibirle.
“Entonces todas aquellas vírgenes se levantaron y arreglaron sus lámparas [del testimonio].
“Y las insensatas dijeron a las prudentes: Dadnos de vuestro aceite [sí, el aceite de la conversión], porque nuestras lámparas [del testimonio están débiles y] se apagan.
“Pero las prudentes respondieron, diciendo: para que no nos falte a nosotras y a vosotras, id más bien a los que venden y comprad para vosotras mismas” (Mateo 25:4–9).
¿Fueron egoístas las cinco vírgenes prudentes por no estar dispuestas a compartir, o indicaban correctamente que el aceite de la conversión no se puede pedir prestado? ¿Puede darse a otra persona la fortaleza espiritual que proviene de la obediencia constante a los mandamientos? ¿Puede transmitirse a la persona que lo necesite el conocimiento que se obtiene al estudiar con diligencia y meditar las Escrituras? ¿Puede la paz que le brinda el Evangelio al fiel Santo de los Últimos Días transferirse a la persona que esté pasando adversidades o grandes desafíos? La respuesta clara a cada una de estas preguntas es no.
Como apropiadamente lo recalcaron las vírgenes prudentes, cada uno de nosotros debe “comprar para uno mismo”. Esas mujeres inspiradas no describían una transacción de negocios; más bien, recalcaban la responsabilidad individual que tenemos de mantener viva la lámpara de nuestro testimonio y de obtener una provisión suficiente del aceite de la conversión. Este valioso aceite se adquiere una gota a la vez: “línea por línea [y] precepto por precepto” (2 Nefi 28:30), con paciencia y perseverancia. No hay atajos; no es posible la preparación a último momento.
“Por lo tanto, sed fieles, orando siempre, llevando arregladas y encendidas vuestras lámparas, y una provisión de aceite, a fin de que estéis listos a la venida del Esposo” (D. y C. 33:17).
Prometo que al llegar a un conocimiento de la verdad y convertirnos al Señor, permaneceremos firmes e inmutables y nunca nos desviaremos. De buena gana abandonaremos las armas de nuestra rebelión; seremos bendecidos con la luz brillante de nuestras lámparas del testimonio y con una provisión suficiente del aceite de la conversión. Y a medida que cada uno de nosotros esté más plenamente convertido, fortaleceremos a nuestra familia, a nuestros amigos y a las personas con quienes nos relacionemos. Testifico de estas verdades en el sagrado nombre del Señor Jesucristo. Amén.
I love and miss you all..
Hermana Hyer