I was talking with Elder Tolbert this week about how important the language that we use is. I have been obsessed with how often the scriptures use the words "speak," (in all it's forms) "word" and others meaning the same thing. I mark all of them with the same color that I use for power because they are always referred to in using the power of God especially in testifying of God.
Anyways I feel like it is so widespread to use self defeating language. I feel like it is so much more powerful to use language like "I will not drink alcohol" rather than "I can't drink." When we stand up for our beliefs I hope we remember that we use our agency to obey God's commandments. My Bishop from back home just sent me an amazing quote from President Packer that says,
"Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God... We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see."
We have such power within us and I feel like if we knew how powerful we really are, we would set our expectations for ourselves and we would achieve much more. God sees us for the power that we have and he loves us for it and I'm sure that he is so excited to see us come to grasp that power!
I hope you are appreciating the wonderful spirit that is surrounding us this time of year, I am!
With much love,
Elder Mark Howland
Shopping for ugly sweaters...with Elder Tolbert.