Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015

Hi Family,

I do have an iPad now. They gave them to us this week. We got them on Thursday. We are stilling trying to figure out how best to use them though. It will come with practice I am sure. The only difference that I have noticed is that half of communicating is listening to what they are saying and thinking of how to respond well. 

We had zone meeting this week, so that was good. President was there to pass out iPads and to help us set them up a little.

I got moms letter about self-discipline. I feel like you missed something important when you were talking about self-discipline and self-mastery though. Those are both good and important attributes, but one that almost always goes along with it is something that is expressed perfectly in Mosiah 5:2. "the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." 

A lot of times self-discipline carries the connotation of having to suffer through something that we don't want to do, but have to do because it is right. That connotation is taken away when we realize that self-discipline is one of the stepping stones to the enabling power. "A mighty change in our heart" doesn't just have to be from evil to good. It can be from good to better to best. Through the enabling power of Atonement of Jesus Christ we can change ourselves so that the things in life that we don't always want to do become the things we are the most excited about. Self-discipline is what it takes for us to practice until the enabling power changes us.

For example, at the beginning of my mission I didn't particularly enjoy having to study for 2 hours every morning. Over time I realized I wasn't getting as much out of the scriptures as I could during that time. I decided I needed to change that. At first I tried to just push through it despite my lack of motivation for it. I did keep on studying for the 2 hours, but I still wasn't receiving the knowledge that I felt I could have been.

I asked my mission president what to do to solve that problem and get more out of my studies. He told me to change my attitude so that I didn't have to force myself through studies, but that I would look forward to my time to study. I took his advice and began to pray for the help I needed. It took a couple of weeks, and some stressful moments, and a lot of time on my knees, but eventually I began to enjoy my studies more and more and looked forward to them every morning. Through my efforts and pleading to my Heavenly Father for help, I have changed so that studying the scriptures is now one of my favorite things to do in the day and I get a lot more out of it. Studying didn't change though, I did.

We are meant to have joy in this life like it says in 2nd Nephi 2:25. "men are, that they might have joy." Wading and suffering through those things that I don't want to be doing doesn't sound joyful to me. I know that life won't always be fun, happy, or easy, but we certainly can try to help it to be that way by doing our part. And we can at least change ourselves so that when we do the things that we need to do, we will find the joy in it. Self-discipline alone will never allow us to become happy doing the things we are commanded to do. It takes the power of Christ's Atonement.

When we combine the enabling power with self-mastery and a little bit of self-discipline we obtain the power to overcome any disappointment, pain, or suffering that we face. It also gives us the ability to grow closer to the Savior and it changes us so that the things that we don't want to do, but need to do, can become our favorite things to do. Just like in Ether 12:27. "if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." That is when we have experienced "a mighty change in our heart".

It seems to me that self-discipline leads to self-mastery, and that self-mastery leads to the enabling power of Christ, and through the enabling power of Christ our hearts can be changed to find joy in any and all of the things He asks us to do.

Just some thoughts I had about it. That's all for this week. kloveyoubye.

Love, Elder Udy

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