Today I don't have a ton of time but I wanted to share what I wrote to my mission president this week, and it's perfect because this was what I was going to share anyways!
The email the mission president sent to all the missionaries this week had 3 questions....
1. How can I develop attributes that will make me a more powerful and effective minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
2. How will developing Christlike attributes help me fulfill my purpose as a missionary?
3. Which attribute do I most need to develop?"
My response was this.....
"Now attributes is something I study almost the most. Attributes is the only way to change our entire NATURE. We can't just change our nature by reading the scriptures and praying. We have to be like Christ for it to happen.
Your purpose is to invite them to CHRIST... that's the 1st objective. If they know Christ personally and feel His love because of your personal witness and similar example, then everything else will trickle down. (for example: commandments, or church attendance.)
To me there are two attributes that are the most important... #1 is Charity. Charity is so key; its like the Holy Ghost, which I believe to be the foundation of all other blessings that proceed it. The Holy Ghost is the first gift God gives to us for a reason... so, charity is the first attribute we must learn the best. If we are to have Christ-"like" charity .. which I use "like" in all attributes because we can be similar to Christ, but we can never be exactly like Christ in this life, let alone have as much charity as He did to be able to perform the atonement.
#2 is Virtue. This is key. This is what separates many servants of the Lord in missions or in the church. In order for us to have pure power and divine guidance from the Holy Ghost we must be pure vessels. I also would add virute for missionaries for 2 years also means to forget about home and don't think about what you are missing or what you left behind. Don't think about a girl or boy you left, or all the " fun" things you can't do now. And, of course, for all people, not having impure thoughts, lust, bad modesty.. etc. Doing all of these things is like throwing mud on a white shirt, and comparing it to a pure clean white shirt. If you put them next to each other it is obvious which one we would rather wear. Our mindset must be like that; most people's intentions aren't to choose the " dirty/muddy shirt" ...we all want the clean and pure white shirt. We need to have virtue in our mind and CHOOSE pure thoughts every time, then will our actions and work be Divine!!
D & C 121: 45... is a new favorite scripture. I just found and deeply studied this last week in personal study. If we desire to have these two attributes and really work on them we will be allowed to have "confidence wax strong in the presence of God", therefore charity towards all men and virtue unceasingly in our thoughts will lead us to pure power as a missionary and confidence.
We all need to make a "To-Be List" for attributes! "
I hope this all made sense. I love reading the scriptures and I received revelation on D&C 121:45, and it has changed my perspective. I challenge all of you to read and study it. There's a lot more that came to me that I feel I shouldn't share through email about the verse.
STUDY the scriptures, dont just read them!
Work on Christ-"like " attributes and try your best and He will take care of the rest!
My deepest love to you all,
Elder Justin Taylor