Full-time Missionary

Missionary in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from August 2015 to August 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Peter, Do You Love Me?"

February 20, 2017

Heppy Presidents' Day! Well, it probably won't be as Heppy as mine because I don't have to think about el Presidenté, but that's okay, not everyone gets to spend 24/7 serving the Lord like I do!

This week was better in some aspects than others, unfortunately we weren't able to move the work forward too much here in the Oquirrh Lake Stake, but we did a lot of work with the stake on getting Ward missions up and going more effectively. We also spent a lot of time working with the Zone, trying to be sure every companionship gets at least one baptism this transfer. Wednesday we had one of the best Zone conferences I've ever been in, it was all very inspired.  It was perfect for me, considering that I will hit my 18month mark this Sunday, and I am finally starting to realize that the mission won't last forever. It's nice that I still have a while left, but even nicer is that while I will eventually be released as a full time missionary, the call to serve the lord is forever.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland gave a talk in 2011 in the MTC that I've read a hundred times, but something really stood out at me when we watched a portion at Zone conference. I will include the excerpt:

“Peter,  do  you  love  me  more  than  you  love  these  fish  in  this  net  here,  and  these  boats,  and these  oars?” And  Peter  said,  “Yes,  I  do  love  you,  more  than  these.” And  a  second  time,  Jesus  says,  “Peter,  do  you  love  me  more  than  you  love  these  fish,  and your  nets,  and  your  battered  old  boat?” And  a  little  distressed  at  that,  Peter  said,  “Yes,  I  do.  I  said  I  did.  I  do.” And  the  Savior  probably  took  a  deep  breath  and  smiled  and  looked  Peter  right  in  the  eye.  And though  He  didn't  verbalize  it,  apparently  He  was  conveying  to  Peter,  “May  I  now  say  to  you  for the  third  time,  do  you  love  me?”  And  Peter  is  very  very  sensitive  about  threes  right  now.

And  Jesus  says,  really  in  effect,  “Okay,”  for  the  last  time,  “do  you  love  me  more  than  these? Than  what  you  do?  And  what  you've  just  been  doing?” And  Peter  says,  “I  do.  I  do  love  you.  More  than  anything.” And  that  is  the  moment  that  Peter  became  the  great  apostle.  Forget  the  denials,  whatever they  were.  Forget  the  cut  off  ears.  Forget  the  impetuousness.  Forget  the  confusion.  Forget not  knowing  more  than  to  come  back  to  fish.  Right  here,  face-to-face,  again  from  the  honesty of  his  heart  he  said,  “I  do  love  you,  more  than  anything.” And  to  that,  the  Savior  of  the  world  said,  “Then  feed  my  sheep!  I  have  asked  you  before  to leave  your  nets.  And  I'm  asking  you  again,  and  I  don't  want  to  ask  you  a  third  time.  When  I said,  'Leave  your  nets,'  it  was  forever.  When  I  asked  you  to  follow  me,  it  was  forever.  When  I asked  you  to  be  an  apostle,  it  was  forever.  When  I  asked  you  to  be  a  Missionary,  it  was forever.  When  I  asked  you  to  see  this  through  to  the  end,  it  was  because  it's  not  over  'til  it's over.  Now  forget  your  nets,  and  forget  the  fish,  and  jettison  your  boat,  and  throw  those  oars away  for  the  second  time,  and  feed  my  sheep.  We're  in  this  'til  the  end.” And  that's  the  day  Peter  strode  into  eternity,  and  became  the  man  within  hours,  within  days  at the  very  least.  When  people  plead  that  they  could  be  taken  into  the  street  and  left  on  their  cot in  hopes  the  shadow  of  Peter  would  pass  over  them.  That's  the  Peter  that  he  became  with that  little  confrontation  on  the  shore.  And  the  issue  is  for  all  time  and  eternity,  “Do.  You.  Love. Me?  Do you  love  me?”

I realized at this point that each of us who have made covenants with God in the baptismal font —or beyond— have Covenanted to follow and serve Christ. Forever. That when I return home, it is not a release from missionary work, but a transfer to a new area. That the way Each of us can become the man or woman that Christ wants us to be is by serving him, Forever. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith the following revelation to those who have this desire to serve him, commanding to "reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God" (D&C 6:3). This Treasure we will gain from such service will make us rich as to the things of God, who says that "He who hath eternal life is rich" (6:7).

Enos, in the Book of Mormon, was a prime example of "never getting released" when he labored his entire life, declaring the gospel for the welfare of his brethren. If we can do the same, then just as Enos said we can say "I have declared it in all my days and have rejoiced in it above that of the world."

If we desire this, we "shall be the means of doing much good in this generation"  just as Peter, just as Enos, just as Joseph Smith, and many other great servants of our Lord (6:8). Oh how great shall be our joy! The scriptures are true, read 'em. 

  Elder Ray
RayBreak Utah 

Elder Ray in Daybreak

Elders Bottari and Ray

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