Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23, 2014

Dear Family!

Thank you so much for all the emails! I love the stories you all share about the family! Especially about Drake, sounds like he had a blast at the Morp, Kylie is so awesome no? Good to hear Demi's doing well in track too. I'm sure mom made a great decoration for that dance.

The Lord is really teaching me how to be humble, even to be less than the dust of the earth. This last week the Lord revealed to Elder Perez and I things that we need to do to better ourselves as disciples of the Savior, sacrificing all of our natural wants and desires. It's been so great to work with Elder Perez, he's such a willing missionary to submit to the will of the Lord. He wants to learn, and wants to grow to his fullest potential. The improvement I've seen in him has been so great in these last 9 weeks! I know he'll really be something great, he's got about 10 months left in his mission.

Joseph Smith once said, "Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life."

I know that through sacrifice we really can obtain eternal life. It makes so much sense to me. As we sacrifice all of the things that would distract us from keeping our covenants with God, we will gain greater hope that He will help us prosper, and enable us with a greater desire and capacity to keep His commandments and endure to the end. The blessings from sacrifice are in-numerous, according to the amount we are willing to sacrifice. He asks us for, "a broken heart, and a contrite spirit..." then He says He will baptize us with fire, and with the Holy Ghost, meaning we will be forgiven for our sins again as we partake of the sacrament and renew our covenants with Him, and we can therefore enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost! It's so beautiful and simple how the Gospel works. One with a true desire to serve God can know His mysteries through sincere prayer and study in the words of the prophets, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Family I know that if we do all that we can to keep the commandments of God, He will prosper us! Sometimes we doubt because of our earthly wants and needs, but we just need to trust in His power. I truly believe He will enable us to prosper in the land as long as we keep our covenants that we've made with Him through the power and authority of His holy priesthood.
Our family can become a light to all others, as we show them our good example to glorify our Father in Heaven, and it starts with the small things! I love you all so much, and encourage you with all my heart to find those commandments that are the hardest for you to keep, and set goals and make plans how you'll improve. The Lord will help us! See you in 2 months family!


Elder Doane

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