Email November 2, 2015 – Elder Kenneth William Burton
Bunch of Burtons
Halloween isn't huge in Denmark, there are a few that celebrate it though. Rafael invited us over and we carved pumpkins with a friend of his who was visiting from Copenhagen.
This last weekend was... interesting. I don't know quite what it was, maybe just the overall Halloween feel. Not necessarily that I had forgotten, but it hit me more this last week that there is an adversary out there who indeed does want us to be miserable like unto himself. And it is essential that we rely upon and trust in the Savior Jesus Christ that we might be able to overcome the temptations and resist the fiery darts being thrown at us. I received a new perspective of what it means to use the atonement in ones life. It is a gift to help us overcome weakness, as well as a protection from outside forces.
There is opposition in all things..... I'm grateful for that knowledge, and the knowledge of good and evil that I can choose the good.
I find the Holy Ghost prompts everything that leadeth to good. This change of perspective has helped me find a stronger desire to do specific things that help me act in faith when tempted.
There was a day recently when I had irrational fears come over me of talking with people on the street. I couldn't do it. All of a sudden excuses were filling my mind for why I shouldn't stop the person coming my way. But I've found certain things that help bring the spirit in times of temptation, that help me move forward with faith. Such as prayer, reciting a scripture or singing a hymn, expressing gratitude or love for the Lord and those around me, turning to others rather than looking inward on myself, writing down my thoughts and feelings, and acting immediately on the things I know to be promptings from the Spirit. Each of these is something that has brought my mind back to Christ in a time of fear or temptation. And now I'm back to talking with everyone I can.
Ether 12:27 "and if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness." This happened as I was striving to become more Christlike and more charitable. Moroni 7:45 was my pondering scripture last week. As I came unto Christ he showed me my weaknesses. He pulled back a bit allowing me to realize that alone I can not do this work. It is his work and we must involve him. "I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me;" I began doing just that and... "for if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
I'm so grateful for a loving heavenly father who helps me grow in the right direction rather than just according to my limited vision. The Holy Ghost prompts us so often in ways we don't recognize that are designed to help us learn and grow.
I've seen he speaks to me at times in waves. One thought or impression has a significant part to play for a chunk of time. For example this last week I had a distinct impression to use the Family Proclamation as a spiritual thought for a member family in the ward. And now because of that initial prompting The Family Proclamation has been on my mind daily and I've been able to use it in many other opportunities to teach others the principles of the gospel.
Elder Larry R. Lawrence shared examples of simple impressions not to yell, not to complain, and even the thought to clean your room are all examples of feeling the Spirit. Its anything that comes to our minds and hearts and "challenges us to be better and to climb higher".
I've had moments where I just "rinse" my hands quickly and go to leave then the distinct prompting comes to use soap. After a few seconds internal battle I go back to the sink and wash my hands the right way. Using soap as well as water. This thought came to me the other day when I had such a prompting, that perhaps its not entirely to keep me from getting sick, but that I might be obedient to the command "honor thy father and thy mother" for they raised me to do things the right way. Just as the sons of Helaman said "We do not doubt our mothers knew it." (Alma 56:48)
Well, I got to be wrapping it up. Thanks for all the Halloween Photos!
Love, Elder Burton