Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spontaneous Combustion

Jan. 13, 2014
Before we get to that, let me just say-- it's been a pleasure to be alive for these 20 years. Yep. 20. Tis a strange feeling, but I will carry on. Let's be honest, my life's gonna be exactly the same tomorrow that it is today. But to reflect on where 20 years of life have led me, here, I can say... THANK YOU. I'm still alive. And the gospel is with me, and with you. We live in the last dispensation. We have a prophet, we have the church. We have AWESOME families, which are actually more important than the church when you think about it (one ends with death, one is the fundamental organization of the Celestial Kingdom...). And most of all, our Father in Heaven still loves us. And Christ does too. And we can forever grow and change and gain more happiness and peace.
Where will I be in 20 years? I have no idea. But I have the peace of knowing some things will still be the same. And one of them is the reason I'm here emailing you right now.

No, I don't have a story about something in the house bursting into flames. Wish I did actually... but this is about the gospel.
Remember when Elder Holland said last conference to "fan the flame of your faith"? Think about this.
How often, in the lives of ordinary human beings without the gospel, does their faith spontaneously combust?
Rarely. Yet we often treat missionary as if that miracle is to be expected. We invite someone to church and say YES. Let the fire burn. But is that how you would build a real fire?
Want someone else to have a fire? You have tinder and kindling. You have firestarter and maybe even some gasoline. And you have a ready supply of oxygen. And then you hand them the match.

In the end it is their choice whether to strike that match or not. But if they do choose to strike it... how many matches does it take to start a fire on a single piece of wood, versus the masterful pile of potential we built in the previous paragraph?

Now this may apply more to my missionary life than yours. But then again... maybe not? As you seek to be more converted and help others to do the same, build good fires. Fires that are built with layers of support and lots of attention and love. I promise you that these fires will burn as deep, abiding testimony, and will not be extinguished by the storms that this world throws at us.

My life? It's been a little difficult this week. One thing that I'm coming to terms with is not teaching like I thought I would. I haven't actually taught an investigator lesson since I got here. And being myself, I thought that I was failing and that I was supposed to be the top-shelf missionary that sets the area on fire. But then I thought.....
I don't have the matches here. NUTS HUH? I thought I did... but I don't. The members have the matches. The less-actives have the matches. The investigators have the matches. My job is to build those fires everywhere I go.
I think one of my biggest jobs in my personal progression here is to learn what it truly means to be successful before the Lord as a missionary. Digging into your purpose. And looking back on that previous paragraph, see how many times the word "I" is there? That's testimony that I have a lot to work on gaining the character of Christ--the One who forever turned outward in His anguish, upward in His devotion, and onward in His mission. Never inward, downward or backward. And in the crowning event of this world, His Atonement, He circumscribed all His character to pay the price to enable us to be like Him someday.

I love my Savior. My testimony is simple but I'm not ashamed of that. I know Jesus is the Christ. All the world testifies of that to me. I love you all and believe in your vast potential!

Be brilliant!!

Elder Jackson
pics:enjoy WILD TURKEYS outside our window and Jesus in my planner :)

No comments:

Post a Comment