When we get supplies out of the freezer at work, we have to wear a heavy coat. It’s zero degrees in there with snow on the floor. After work every day, I helped do yard work for members of the ward. I drove the John Deer to a sister’s home to mow her grass. Since it was Alpine Days, I went to the rodeo Friday night, and the next night watched fireworks. It was really fun. On Sunday, I made appointments to help other ward members with yard work.
I love my mission. Working at the bishops’ storehouse has opened my eyes to the needs of the patrons who are in need. Service missionaries take turns helping patrons get their groceries. We also stock shelves and clean. It is an 8-hour day of hard work. The service missionaries are divided into two districts at the bishops’ storehouse—the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, and the Jaredites. My district is the Jaredites. On Saturday my grandfather and I did baptisms, confirmations, and initiatories for family names at the temple. On Sunday I taught my first “Plan of Salvation” lesson to the Dunns.
Here is Elder Jacob Weir stepping off the plane July 31, 2017 to begin his Church service mission. He is ready to work and ready to serve with an upbeat attitude.
As a child of God, my purpose on earth is to grow up in the Lord. “The purpose of life for man is growth, just as the purpose of life for trees and plants is growth. Trees and plants grow automatically and along fixed lines; man can grow as he will…Man is formed for growth, and he is under the necessity of growing” (Wallace D. Wattles). My ultimate goal is to attain the celestial kingdom of our Heavenly Father, and to receive His fullness and glory. But I cannot expect to inherit all that the Father has without paying the price. What is the price? It is: 1) Having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2) Repenting of sins and mistakes continually; 3) Following the example of the Savior by being baptized by immersion from one having priesthood authority; 4) Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost; 5) Keeping God’s commandments and enduring to the end in faithfulness to the covenants I have made. But making these initial choices is not enough. I must stay in covenant. I must choose on an ongoing basis to remain, which will be reflected in how much I love and what I seek on a daily basis. Being a faithful follower of Christ is a small price to pay for the unfathomable blessings He promises. He promises a fullness of joy. A fullness of joy means that I cannot possibly experience more joy. This is eternal life, or life as God lives—which is the greatest gift of God. This gives me the greatest Reasons to Rejoice!
An Agreement with Eternal Implications
What is a covenant and why is it an important concept of religion? In secular language, a covenant is an agreement between two or more individuals. In a religious context, a covenant is a two-way promise made with God. Heavenly Father fixes the terms of the contract as well as the blessings to be received as we strive to keep our promises. “When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:21). At baptism we covenant to serve the Lord and keep His commandments. When we partake weekly of the sacrament, we renew that covenant and declare our willingness to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. We become His sons and daughters. We promise to always remember Him and to stay worthy, through repentance, of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. In return, God promises us eternal life—the greatest of all the gifts of God—which is to continue in progression to receive all that the Father has. God promises that we may become joint heirs to the blessings of an eternal family, as promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their posterity. Thus, celestial marriage is the covenant of exaltation, which is the highest kingdom of God. I find Reasons to Rejoice in my destiny as a son of God. With inexpressible gratitude, I renew my covenants with Him each week.
What would make the world a better place? Some might seek a political answer. But my answer would be GOOD PARENTING. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world” (William Ross Wallace). This “hand” includes both parents. Children need mothers whose highest priority is to be in the home fulltime (if at all possible) to teach, train, and lovingly minister to their young ones. Children need fathers who assume their divine stewardship to provide the necessities of life and teach their children correct principles. As parents provide a loving home environment, children will thrive and grow. The Lord has commanded parents to “bring up [their] children in light and truth” (D&C 93:40). This includes teaching them to understand the doctrines of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live” (https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng).
Have you ever winced with regret at a poor choice—something you should not have said or something you should not have done? Or have you ever neglected to do something that impaired your spiritual growth and peace? Certainly we all have. The good news is that because of Jesus Christ’s infinite Atonement, He made it possible to follow the pathway of complete repentance. Repentance is essential to our temporal and eternal happiness. Repentance is more than just acknowledging wrongdoings; it is a change of heart and mind. It is turning to God. One of my favorite verses of scripture is the Lord’s promise that, “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is designed to nourish, sanctify, and heal the imperfect soul. The Church is filled with people who are trying to keep the commandments, but haven’t mastered them yet. “If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed. But if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ, the word of God ‘which healeth the wounded soul,’ and the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, then here you will find them. In this age of waning faith—in this age when so many feel distanced from heaven’s embrace, here you will find a people who yearn to know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and fellowmen, just like you. Come, join with us” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf).