Elder Taylor Dearden
South Carolina Columbia Mission
110 Oak Park Drive, Suite B
Irmo, SC 29063


Monday, February 29, 2016

3 Months ago......

There has been a lot on my mind lately. I don't have to much to put on the blog this week. So I figured I would share with you a part of my journal from about 3 months ago. 

Three months ago...

When I entered the mission field I was fooling myself because I was full of confidence and attitude. I thought I had all the knowledge and information I needed. I thought that I knew what kind of emotional price there was to search out those who need help. I thought I had the full capacity of diligence to endure anything a mission brings. I thought that countless doors slamming in my face wouldn't cause me stress. I thought I knew how to relate and get along with anyone. I thought that following the spirit was easy. I thought that a mission was going to be this fantasy adventure where everything just always goes right and you're always happy.
However... the Lord certainly corrected my thinking. 

This mission experience has cracked my shell of pride and revealed to me how inadequate and weak I am. Never before at any time in my life, outside my mission have my weaknesses manifested themselves in full bloom. I see more than ever how much I lack. I have many moments daily where I feel frustrated that I don't have the skill, intelligence, or understanding necessary to accomplish exactly what Preach my Gospel and the Prophets have directed. I see that the bar is set high as I reach up in attempt to touch it.

But this is a lesson and experience that the lord provides to his Priesthood Holders. Moroni laments to the Lord as he is writing the Book of Mormon, "And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness..."(Ether 12:23).
I certainly have experienced this, being mocked, insulted, or cursed by people we come in contact with. More doors have been slammed in my face the past 2 months than all the rest of my mission combined. This has been a reoccurring theme almost daily over the past month. This area seems to be full of people who are either Very Nice, or Very Mean, there isn't really much middle ground.

But the Lord responds to us saying, 
"Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me--the fountain of all righteousness.
And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, thy righteous will be done, for I know that thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith;"
I too have been comforted having read these words from Jesus Christ. I know that although I am weak and inadequate, the Lord takes what I can do and blesses me for it. I feel a warm cloak of joy rest on my heart when I recognize that perfection is not for this life. That is the bar Heavenly Father has set, and we all fall short. 
Through the Grace and Power of the Atonement we can all overcome our weaknesses.

I am so grateful for all the many tender mercies that Heavenly Father has given to me. 

I hope ya'll have a great week,

Elder Dearden :D

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