Accountability this Easter Season

Hello everyone!

What a crazy busy week it has been! I hope you all enjoyed your Easter holiday! Better yet, I hope you had the opportunity to take time and reflect on what Easter really means (If not, read towards the end of this post). So much has happened this week that I can hardly remember it… But I can remember just enough to learn from those everyday miracles that continue to mould and change me into the person I need to become.

This week, my companion and I had the privilege to travel nearly every day of the week to various parts of the mission to give training to missionaries. We travelled to Manchester, to Liverpool, to Chorley, and to Wales. We were training on the principle of accountability. Before this week, I do not think I understood this principle the way I should have. But after training on it for 4 consecutive days, I have learned much about not only what accountability is, but how it relates to each of us, especially in this Easter season.

Accountability in one word could be shortened to responsibility. Responsibility for what? For our actions. Well, each of us acts every day and with those actions there are unavoidable results that we call consequences. Consequences are always inevitably linked to our choices. Consequences may be good or bad. If we choose and act good, the consequences are good. If we choose and act bad, the consequences are bad. We are then responsible or accountable for both our actions, and the consequences of our actions. In a very real sense, we choose our consequences when we choose our actions.

Nephi explained this well when he said, “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh… And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil…”

How does this apply to you and to me? It applies in that we can choose eternal happiness or we can choose eternal sadness. We make this choice through everyday actions. Through simple decisions here, and simple decisions there. Because we are responsible for our own actions, we must learn how to control our actions. The irony of this, however, is that we can not control ourselves through ourselves. We need help. That help is through Jesus Christ. We access His help as we learn about Him and speak to the Father of Him. We access His help as we learn how to review and repent our days and as we learn to take greater responsibility for our actions. As we do so, we show to God that we are trustworthy and that we desire to be more worthy of His help. In this Easter season, I urge each of you to remember what it is we are to remember about the Saviour. I urge you to seek the true reason for the season. As you do, you will become more of the person you hope to become, and you will be happy.

I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Walker

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Power of Decision

Hello everyone!

I have to start by saying this week my heart has been melted a couple of times. I know, I know, I am starting off sounding really soft, but first just let me explain and I promise you will understand. Who knows, your heart might just melt a bit too. Over the past month and a half, my companion and I have gotten to know a special young lady; Sarah. We met her on the street, she accepted the gospel, and was baptised 22 days later. She was quite literally a miracle right before our eyes. This young lady is so courageous, so honest, so pure. She is very shy and has had a hard past. As a result, she sometimes has panic attacks if she is ever in a very crowded place or in a stressful situation. Well, anyone who has ever joined this church knows that you can quite quickly find yourself in crowded places. I mean church is just one big family and everyone wants to love you, but for someone who is very shy it can be quite stressful! The day she was to be confirmed, she was called to the front of the chapel to receive the Holy Ghost, and she could not do it. She was too shy, and so we did so privately after the sacrament service.

Other than this once, our friend, through the grace of God, has not had any problem with meeting the nearly 200 new faces that she now calls her family. Because she had been doing so well, we asked her if she would like to speak at what we call a fireside. It is basically a night where many new converts and returning members gather together and share their testimonies and their stories of conversion. We told her that the crowd would be a crowd of about 300. She said that she would not speak, but that she would walk to the front with me and that she would stand there while I read her testimony to everyone. And so it was.

Now, fast forward to the fireside. It was last night. Just walking into the building was a massive step for our friend. She did so courageously. When it finally came her turn to come to the front to speak, I looked at her. A look of pure terror was on her face. Sensing her apprehension, I quietly whispered, “It’s ok. You don’t have to come up. I will just go and read it for you.” At once, she looked up at me, straight in the eye and said, “I have to do it. I will do it.” And then she stood and we went to the front. I proceeded with her, introduced her, and read her testimony. It touched many.

Now this lesson was one that I will never forget. The firmness in her voice and the determination in her eyes taught me the power of decision. Sarah decided that no matter what, she would get up there. When I doubted and gave her the easy way out, she did not allow herself that path. Instead, she took the road less traveled, performed what I consider to be an answer to prayer and a miracle, and blessed the lives of many. We all have our own challenges. But are we as brave and courageous as Sarah? Are we willing to take the road less traveled for the prize? If not, we must change. Unless we understand that we are here to be challenged, to grow, and to learn, then we will never reach our potential. Sarah understood and as a result took one step closer to becoming who she yearns to become.

Has your heart melted? If not read it again! I love you all!

Elder Walker

Temptation

Hello friends! 
 
So many things have happened over the last couple weeks that I do not even know where to start! I guess I can start by telling you about the miracles (as always) that have been happening! Recently, so many people have been softened and have sought the truth. They have asked God and they have received their own answer, completely independent of my companion and I. As a result, in the month of March we were blessed to witness 3 of our dear friends enter the waters of baptism. It is so strange how you can meet someone and just weeks later feel like you have known them for a life time! That has happened with each of these 3 and I am so grateful to know them! Not only have the Lord been softening hearts, but he has been providing protection and direction for many of our friends also! To illustrate what I mean, I will tell you a story.
 
On March 29th, my companions and I went to Manchester’s Got Talent with a couple of our investigating friends. It was a talent show put on by all the local members. It was SO funny and really brought everyone together. At the conclusion of the night, we said goodbye to our friends who were to be confirmed in church the following day, and left. As we got into the car, however, we met a lady who we had never before met. She opened the car door, and started to talk to us. We were in a hurry and late to an appointment, but we did not want to be rude and brush her off. So, we talked. It quickly turned into a 10 minute conversation before finally we apologised and told her we had to leave. She was reluctant, but understood and allowed us to go. Now in a hurry, we rushed to the appointment which was about a mile or 2 away. It was about 8:45 pm and dark outside and would be our last visit of the night. As we arrived at our appointment, we climbed out of the car and saw a lady walking right past us. We said hello only to realise it was one of our investigating friends to be confirmed in church the next day! We were shocked, she was shocked, and so we asked where she was going. She told us she was heading to a friends. Instantly, I felt that it was not a good idea for her to be walking the streets alone that night as a young lady. And so she came to teach with us instead and then we took her home. 
 
On the way home, she told us that she was very unsure about going to her friends that night, but that she didn’t have the strength to just go home. She looked at that random meeting up with us as a miracle sent from God; not a coincidence, but a perfect timing and a rescue to save her from the potentially dangerous and destructive environment she was about to enter.
 
What does this have to do with me and with you?
 
Sometimes we simply do not have the strength to resist temptation. In fact, we do not have the capacity to resist temptation. We simply can not do it. If we try to face temptation alone with our own strength, sooner or later, it will catch up to us every time. The remedy is to rely on the strength available to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His strength is readily accessible to all who listen to and obey His voice. It is the only way. If will but allow Him to rescue us and to strengthen us, He will. Whether it be anonymous (what some call coincidence) or obvious and miraculous, He will and can only help us if we allow Him to. 
 
I love you all and hope you will seek His strength!
 
(Sorry this is so long. But I missed last week so, fair enough)
 
Elder Walker