A week of Service and Cold and Technology.
Tuesday we had zone conference. While there we received our new smart phones. We have a Samsung. That has been weird. But what was weirder was setting up our FB accounts. That was extremely weird. I won't lie I have been extremely timid about using it because I just don't want to look at it. Instantly Satan tries to distract and I'm not about that. Before knowing about this coming to my mission I was almost at the point of never using social media again after my mission so this has been interesting.
I will say that I am grateful for the blessing it is to learn how to use technology more appropriately. Every time I use it I have a clear purpose in mind of why. Never will I use it to just look at stuff. We have been taught "Safeguards" for using technology. The four safe guards are.
1. Be in tune with Spiritual Promptings
2. Be focused on the Missionary Purpose
3. Be Disciplined (choose to overcome)
4. Be One (with companion)
There are also three steps to take if you are feeling vulnerable
1. Be aware and acknowledge
2. Choose to Act
3. Learn and Improve
The teachings that further explain these principles can be found in the Gospel Library. Click on Missionary. Click on Safeguards for Using Technology.
Not sure if this is mentioned in that document but we also conduct device audits once a week where we review the other's device in an effort to keep each other accountable.
Over a year ago we had a visit from a general authority and I prayed in the days leading up to that conference that I would be able to understand and know why I was called to serve in the Missouri Independence Mission. My answer was that I was called there so that I could learn how to repent. While sitting at this last zone conference as we were trained on using this technology to fulfill our purpose the Spirit taught me more specifically that I was called here so I could learn how to repent of using technology in the wrong way.
The reason I am sharing this with all of you is because technology is here for the sole purpose of moving forward the work of the Lord. While there are many other blessings of having this technology we should not forget that God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. That is his biggest goal and focus. Technology has not been invented so that we can surf the web for endless hours or scroll through the same social media feed that we have already seen 10 times in the last hour. Technology is here to help bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
I extend the invitation to anyone reading this email to go read through the Safeguards for using technology and personally commit to begin applying these teachings. I promise that if you do so you will be protected against the temptations of the adversary. You will be inspired of ways to better use technology to fulfill the Lord's will. You will begin to see as Lehi and his family did with the Liahona that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. These Safeguards and the other teachings are inspired by God and should be applied accordingly.
Specifically to my family I will not be writing another weekly email until you have taken the time to read these safeguards and the teachings together and counseled about where you can improve. That includes Erika and Camden. I know you guys are all busy but this is seriously important.
I have a testimony that the Lord's hand is in all things. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and is just as much a prophet as was Joseph Smith or Moses or Noah. I know that we live in this the dispensation of the fullness of times for a specific reason. God's plan is perfect and our Savior Jesus Christ is the only way that we will succeed in fulfilling that plan. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.