As I finish packing my bags and get ready to call Russia home for the next two years to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I thought it was fitting that I explain a little more what I am doing and my reasons for doing them.
As a missionary I’ll be helping other come unto Christ by having faith in him, repenting of their sins, being made clean by entering the waters of baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands from those with proper priesthood authority, and enduring to the end. My message is simple. Christ lives. He died to atone for your sins and suffered that you might have joy. If you have faith in Jesus Christ you will find joy in keeping the commandments he gave. Christ taught that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind; and to love thy neighbor as thyself. (Matthew 22:36-40)
I’m giving two years of my life because I love the Lord with all that I am. There is nothing that I wouldn’t sacrifice in order to please Him. I won’t be able to call my family more than twice a year, or write home to my friends or loved ones more than once a week for the next twenty-four months. I know that the Lord will bless me for making sacrifices for Him.
I am also serving because I love my fellow-men. I know that accepting and living by the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will bring joy into your lives, and I want to help as many others to have that joy which I have as I possibly can, especially the people in the area I’ll be serving in; Vladivostok Russia. I know that God has once again called prophets on the Earth to guide us and to help us to understand the desires and warnings that Heavenly Father would have us know at this time, in our day. Through his prophet Joseph Smith the Lord brought forth another testament of Jesus Christ, which serves as a companion and second witness to the Bible that God lives, and that He loves His children: the Book of Mormon is true. I know that because I have read it and prayed to ask God if it really is true and every time was told by the Spirit, that still, small voice, that it is in fact the word of God. I cannot doubt because of the miracles I have seen throughout my life that the Lord is mindful of us, and blesses us as we are in need. There’s no need for me to tell stories or go into details because those who seek the truth will find it, the same way that I have. Begin praying to God each day, read from the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible, and you will find an increased amount of clarity and joy enter your life. You too will know that these things are true. I dare you to try it!
Because you’re reading this I can assume that you know me well enough to know that I have my head on straight, that I don’t jump to silly conclusions and say that I know things that I really don’t. If you would only know one thing about me, know this: There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (or as I will say it in Russia:Церков Иисуса Христа Святых последних дней) is God’s one true church on the earth. Many of those reading this will not agree with that statement, and might venture to object to it on points of doctrine, belief, or practice; but there is only one way to know whether or not the words I speak are true: read the Book of Mormon with an open mind, honestly seeking to know if it’s true; pray earnestly to God asking him if it really is His word; and act on the promptings you receive from the Holy Ghost which will testify of its truth.
If you’d like to experience true joy in your life, or even just find yourself with a little bit of extra time take my dare, and sometime, in the next two years, write me a letter and tell me how it went. I’d love to hear how things go for you! And one day, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to stand with me and testify that you too know this is the true Church on the earth today.
I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that Thomas S. Monson is His prophet today. I know that Christ lives, and that obedience to His laws brings joy, both today and forever. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that following the precepts taught within its pages will bring you joy beyond compare. Pray, be obedient to God’s commandments, follow the counsel of prophets both ancient and living, and you will come to understand true joy. I pray that god blesses you always.
Elder Sam Fife