Monday, March 17, 2014

Come Unto Christ - January 27, 2014

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
- Jesus Christ

What a wonderful week it has been. It has been cold again, but the cold on the outside is overcome by the feelings of warmth and of the Spirit that come from inside our hearts.

This week I had the opportunity to teach some Marshallese children and some of the investigators in the Spanish area. Exchanges are a wonderful thing. The light of the gospel is strong and the Light of Christ illuminates all of our hearts, no matter who we are, what language we speak, or where we are from. 

This morning I was reading a talk entitled "The Fourth Missionary" by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy. He asks the question, "who will you become?" If everything about our earthly identity is stripped away, our possessions, our family, our career, our aspirations, what is left? Who are we, what personality; what habits; what characteristics; what knowledge; who are we? Who we are is a sum total of all of our thoughts, actions, speech, what we hear, what we see. Are we becoming deliberately or accidentally? 

A certain quote is decorating the back of my missionary planner this transfer. It reads:
"The wise use of your freedom to make your own decisions is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and for eternity. ...
"The Lord's way is the only way for us to experience enduring happiness."
- Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

As President Monson said, "decisions determine destiny." As my Dad always said, "inaction is a decision not to act."

Elder Corbridge spoke of our decisions for good or bad (as "no man can serve two masters), as defining who we become. Do we choose the right and choose to assimilate light? Or do we choose wrong and choose to acquire darkness? He uses these words over and over again, "assimilate" and "acquire."

What does it mean to assimilate? To bring ourselves in congruence with; to bring into our being; to make ourselves like something else; to allow external influences into us and become part of who we are. We are all beings of light. We are the very children of the Eternal God. Each of us is given the light of Christ, which is the ability to choose good or evil.

"Of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to diety, He has asked us to address Him as Father."
- Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Picture yourself as a white, glowing, brilliant, radiant, silhouette of a body. This is your Spirit. You have a spirit body, that is distinctly you, living within your physical body. As we endure this mortal sojourn, the physical and spiritual become one. We must choose to radiate the light we were born with, that divine potential to become as our Father in Heaven.

What does it mean to acquire? To gain; to get; to have brought into our possession. Satan is the father of all lies, the very devil himself. He lives and works in darkness. We acquire darkness, these things are not natural to our beings of light.

Go back to the picture of your spiritual silhouette. Each time we make a wrong decision, or sin, we acquire darkness. "Scales of darkness" begin to cover our radiant Spirit (see 2 Nephi 30:6). As we make right decisions, we assimilate, or bring into us, the natural qualities of our spiritual self. As we continue to make right decisions and to repent (scroll down to "REPENTANCE" to learn more) we assimilate light into our being, "And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome people" (2 Nephi 30:6).

As we heed to the Light of Christ each of us has as a result of being born with a physical body, we become more like Christ. We are continuously asked to be more Christlike, to be a better Christian, and to treat others as Christ did, as he set a perfect example for us. Might I suggest we also become "Christlight," become an influence for good in the world. Christ told us,
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." 

May we become "Christlight" through our conscious decision-making is my humble prayer.

Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
D&C 6:34, 36
  Doubt Not, Fear Not.

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