Mexico Vera Cruz Mission

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 23, 2014

Hello family!!!!

Hope all is going well back home!!! Mexico is going great! Right now as a mission we are reading the Book of Mormon as I've mentioned before. Its going GREAT!!! I've been thinking a lot about the Atonement and Jesus Christ..... and that sounds like a small topic when its only 3 words but oh only 3 word can make you think sooo much! All of us who have ready the Book of Mormon or i would even say have lived a while on this earth we all know there are pride cycles. 1. We obey God 2. We receive many blessings 3. We take advantage of our blessings and act prideful 4. We lose our blessings and choose to humble ourselves and we go back to the beginning. More or less its like that. But the part I like looking at most is step 1 and 4. I like them because those are the difference makers that change everything. If we choose to obey and be humble always we can always overcome the problems in our lives. There are and will always be many difficulties in our lives. But that's what we signed up for when we were with our Heavenly Father before this life, we decided to come here and face problems. IN doing so we would learn what is the right and the wrong and every single part of this plan was based on the Atonement. When you look at it......really why did we come here? We came here to learn of and apply the Atonement in our lives. If we understand the Atonement and we apply it we overcome the difficulties in life. If i have a temper i can change using the Atonement and seeing Christs example. If I have sins, I repent and I can do it because Christ performed the Atonement. 

Many times we limit our thinking of the Atonement.....many times we think its only for repenting. Oh how mistaken we are.....Just think about it for a moment....what do we learn and gain from the Atonement? The basic answers would be we overcome Spiritual Death (sin) and Physical Death (the resurrection). But let's think a little you think God would give his first born son up JUST because of that? I don't think so........I know it was a huge part of it because those are 2 important principles of the Gospel that we must apply in our lives but its more than that! One example that I read about in the Liahona from a talk by Elder Bednar was talking about Nefi....seems like we always talk about him hahaha. But he puts the example of when he was on the boat with his brethren. They tied him up and he could not get free. He was suffering many cruelties and so he plead unto our Heavenly Father and asked for STRENGTH to break the ropes. He did not ask to be freed or that Heavenly Father would take the pain away....he asked for strength. Why would he ask for that instead of being freed? Many times we do the same thing.......I lost my job Father give me a job, I sinned forgive me, etc. It should be give me the strength to do these things. Give me the strength to overcome temptation and doing so I repent. Give me the strength or knowledge to know where to look to find a job. God gives us blessing based on what we do! Its not based on what we ask. As we understand the Atonement we will recognize what we must do in our lives and we will apply the Atonement to be able to receive the strength we need to do those things. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ my savior and redeemer amen. 

Elder Hakes      

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