Dear Family and Friends,
What a blessing it was to be able to watch General Conference this weekend and hear the inspiring words of our leaders. This conference definitely gave cause to reflect on many aspects of life. In between the sessions we found ourselves doing what missionaries often do, knocking on doors. In what seemed an almost instinctive approach we testified on every doorstep that we have a prophet today. The various responses we received clearly and quickly taught the fact that most people have no idea why a prophet is at all a blessing to us. Even after we take time to try to explain it to them, they still just don’t seem to get it. As I watched the sessions of conference the question popped into my mind, do we as members of this church even understand why it is such a big deal that we have a prophet today. If we recognize it, do we feast on those abundant blessings?
I would like to take a few moments to tell all of you that I know without a doubt that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know that by the spirit of god which has born witness of that fact to my own spirit. I believe that when he is acting under his prophetic calling that his words are God’s words, and I have the faith that if I live by his counsel that I will become more like my savior, Jesus Christ, and my life will be one that will provide me with the richest blessings that are available in this mortal existence. And while the spirit alone is good enough for me to know I have the additional witness of experience, for as I have lived his counsel I have seen it bring me closer to God.
Not only do I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, but I also know that we have a quorum of 12 Apostles on the earth today that holds the same authority that the apostles of old held. I know that those men are also called of God and have power and authority from on high to act in there callings. I know that from my encounters with those Holy Men but one major witness is the fact that it was one of those men that made the assignment for me to serve in Jacksonville, FL for my 2 year mission. I have had numerous experiences that proven to me that this is the exact place and time that I was meant to be. Only a prophet could have known that.
And so on down the chain of authority that begins with Christ are the church assignments made. This past week I was able to reinforce my testimony that even the 70 have been given power and authority with their callings. Even though he would undoubtedly have had endless meetings and many other things on his plate in anticipation for General Conference, Elder Golden who visited the mission two weeks ago, took the time to call my companion and I to apologize that he was unable to interview while here in the mission in person but that he would like to do so over the phone. It was a very special moment of my mission to be able to talk with him and to feel of his spirit as he gave me advice, counsel, and compliments. It never ceases to amaze me how powerfully the spirit can enter into your life and fill your soul from simple conversations, even when they are over the phone.
A lot of what he spoke about was The Spirit. As I put his counsel and advice into action, I experienced many miracles this week. We were able to be directly guided to people who were ready to receive our message. Among that group is a woman named Stephanie, who had just moved in 3 days prior, and a family of 7, who have been in there place for many years. The still small voice for me like a personal golf caddy who helps you with every aspect of the game of life. If you are a worthy and if you listen, as Elder Golden said, “You better buckle up for it will send you on one wild ride.”
Another blessing this past week was that I got to watch the new film, Meet The Mormons. It is a powerful story of the lives of 6 different families from the US and different parts of the world. It demonstrates in a very simple but powerful way how living the gospel will impact your day to day life. It literally is a part of who you are. It is not just an aspect of your life, but rather it is your life. It is amazing how someone who has had a life that is hardly similar to mine in any way could on the same hand have so much in common with me. As I talk to people from day to day it is interesting to me how much people are trying to avoid labels of any kinds these days. Which in large part is why non-denominational Christianity is on the rise. That is such a striking contrast to the world wide family that is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Truly we are the only large body of people that can in any way be described as–like the first century Christians– being of “one heart” and of “one soul.” (Acts 4:32) Not only am I okay with being labelled as a “Mormon,” but I embrace it because it reminds me that I am never standing alone.
Clearly I know that this church is true. If you would like to as well, it is as simple as this, Ask God. I know that he will answer you. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I love y’all! have a wonderful week!
Elder Joshua Cordon