Monday, December 22, 2014

The Reason For The Season

Merry Christmas to all of my family and friends! 

I can't wait to Skype on Christmas, it's all set up! :D I'm excited too!!! I can't believe it is already my second Christmas already! So weird! Tell Aunt Brenda that I hope she feels better soon! I'm glad she got my card. 
So things have been good out here in the Palmetto ward this week. I would say though that with the Christmas season in gear Satan is trying to do all he can to be in opposition to us. We have been trying to share the "He is the Gift" video with everyone we meet on the streets, but we have been met with many people rejecting it.

That is the way that it goes though. The Savior himself was rejected, why wouldn't we be as well. But I feel myself growing closer to Him and my understanding behind the "reason for the season" is so much greater than ever before. If only people knew what peace and joy comes from discovering, embracing, and sharing the gift of the Savior and what that does for their lives. 

For example we bought a real Christmas tree for some less active members that didn't have enough money for a tree this year. We dropped it off on their door and ran so they don't know it was us; but when we went over again, it was all decorated and stuff with presents under it. It made us feel really good. 

That comes from Christ and I wish people knew that (well I guess that is why I'm out here haha). Not only that but freedom from guilt, shame, suffering, pain, loneliness, sorrow, and even death.

That is the message the Angel Gabriel brought to the shepherds when he stated: 

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

The good tidings he brought was that Christ had come to redeem his people. God's gift of his only begotten son would be what saves us all. The Savior and his gospel will be the only thing that will bring "Peace in this life, and eternal life in the world to come."

I've been feeling my Savior's love a lot lately. I've been feeling the power of his atoning sacrifice heal my soul, overcome my guilt, and give me the strength to move on and do better. It is hard to put into words the change of heart that comes because of Jesus Christ. But I know it is real, and it is free to all people who come unto Christ. I feel this scripture expresses what I've been feeling

Moroni 10:32-33

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength,then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sinsthat ye becomeholywithout spot.

I know that my Redeemer lives. It is an amazing line from an amazing hymn, but I know that it is true. And I know now more fully what that actually means for me and my family. And that knowledge has blessed me in my life. I'm proud to be a servant of the Lord and thankful I can serve his children during this Christmas season. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! 
Elder Barker

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