Dear California Ventura Missionaries,
What a blessing it is to get to associate with each of you! Sister Felix and I have already endeared ourselves to all of you. We love you and pray for your happiness, success and safety. Of course, one of the elements of behavior that brings happiness, success and safety is obedience. I shared an article with the missionaries in the transfer meeting that was from my mission president, H. Clay Gorton more than 40 years ago. I believe that it is something that fits our mission well.
“The principle of obedience is the first law of heaven. Electing to obey the commandments of God is the noblest expression of free choice. Freedom is exemplified in the ability to make decisions. He who is in control of himself and who chooses to follow the Savior is indeed free. He is given light and understanding: he is given power and influence with others; he is protected from the slavery that results from indulgence in the gratification of appetite.
Everyone has the freedom of choice, but no one is free from the consequences of his choice. ‘But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Romans 6:22, 23
Because the Lord loves you and desires your happiness, He has given you the opportunity to forget yourselves in the service of others-to devote yourselves exclusively to His holy purposes and to bring eternal joy and happiness into the lives of others. As you merit His blessings through your willing obedience, He will open doors for you, He will work miracles through you, He will manifest himself through you to the honest inquirer after truth. It is my prayer that we shall not fail to take advantage of our opportunities, that we may win the accolade of the Lord. ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee a ruler over many things.’”
With this new transfer, we will see miracles as we serve the people within these mission boundaries. Let’s unify our efforts with “both feet in” as we serve with love and humility. “And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care.” D&C 12:8 We can be a Zion Mission.
With love, hope and trust,
President Dell C. Felix