This week has been full of teaching wonderful people. We are teaching a man named Const, and he’s from Russia! The language barrier is a struggle sometimes, but he is just the greatest and I love him so much. He composed a song on the piano for Sister Lung and I and it was just epic. He brings us treats every time we teach him. He’s just the best.
We are teaching three Michaels as well! One is a magician and photographer, one is getting baptised this week, and the other has such an incredible spirit. Teaching each of them has been so great. We are even starting to teach a fourth Michael, ha! We have taught several other friends, and I’m so grateful to know each of them!
The Elders are teaching a man who is getting baptised this Saturday as well. He is Muslim, and if he returns back to his country and they find out he has converted to Christianity, he could face the death penalty. It’s incredible to see his faith grow and his sincere desire to follow Christ, along with what he is willing to sacrifice and risk. The people I meet never cease to amaze me.
The Visitors Centre continues to be wonderful. One great thing about it raining all the time in London is that people come into the Visitors Centre to get out of the rain. We then get to talk to them a bit. The other plus side of the rain and the huge glass windows in the Visitors Centre is we can see all the people being blown away by inside out umbrellas… It’s quite a funny sight to see, until you happen to be one of them… And you’re wearing a skirt…
I just wanted to throw a little comment about food in here as well because if you know me, I really really really love food. Connor asked me, “What’s the best English food you have had since you got there???” Well, I haven’t even had English food. I’ve had meals prepared by people from Nigeria, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Columbia, Malaysia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Scotland, Albania…the list goes on! I have yet to eat English food, and I’m not sure if I ever really will! But the chocolate here is fantastic. I buy a chocolate bar almost everyday.
With today being the Fourth of July, as America celebrates its independence, I have pondered on our freedom to choose. Beyond the ability to choose now, we have been able to make our own choices from the beginning of time. We are blessed with the gift of God-given agency.
The gift of agency began in our pre-mortal life. We were able to choose God’s plan, including Christ’s atoning sacrifice, or we could follow Lucifer’s rebellious plan, which would destroy any ability to choose on Earth.
Satan’s idea was for each of us to come to Earth, but through force, each of us would return to God after death. He wanted to receive all the glory, and our ability to make choices for ourselves would have been non-existent.
God said in regards to Satan’s plan, “Because … Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, … I caused that he should be cast down.” This then led to a third of the hosts of heaven exercising their agency to reject God’s plan. They chose to follow Satan’s rebellion, resulting in the loss of their divine destiny.
Christ then using His own agency said, “Here am I, send me.”
“Thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.”
Christ completed God’s plan by allowing us to choose for ourselves here on Earth. He wants each of us to return back to Our Father in Heaven, and His merciful Atonement makes up the difference between our mortal choices and God’s perfect character.
Each of us who are here today are here because we decided to follow Christ once before. We made the choice and used our agency to follow God’s beautiful plan of happiness.
As we are now here on Earth, we have the ability to choose every single day. We are blessed to make our own choices, from simple ones to life changing decisions.
And most importantly, we have the ability to choose to follow Christ again.
Through the happy moments and the difficult times, our choices can determine our destiny. Therefore, it is so important that we are aware that our choices have long-term effects.
President Thomas S. Monson said, “As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day–whether to make this choice or that choice–if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice.”
I’m so grateful for God’s miraculous plan in which because He loves us, He allows us to make choices for ourselves. I know, however, that we have Christ to help show us the way so we may make the correct choices to return to our Eternal Father. When I do make a wrong choice, as I am imperfect and make mistakes daily, I am thankful that my Savior Jesus Christ allows me to correct my path. He helps me back up when I’ve fallen, He guides me, and He is my dear best friend.
As we celebrate our freedom today, may we remember how blessed we are to have agency. May we continue to make each decision count, and be forever grateful to have the freedom to choose.
I love today. It’s just my absolute favourite. Shoot off some fireworks for me. Eat a hot dog and way too much watermelon, and drink tons of root beer for me as well. Happy Fourth!