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STIMULATOR message for the week of January 18, 1972

Message from President Eugene C. Ludwig, dated January 18, 1972


Dear Missionaries,

One of the greatest tests of testimony to the Lord and His program is the test of casting aside our own personal desires and doing what the Lord expects of us.  Throughout the history of the Church many men’s allegiance to the Lord and faith in Him and His gospel program have been tested to determine just how honest and true their allegiance is.   Many times we are placed in positions to test our allegiance.  Failure comes first by means of a negative attitude toward ones’ assignment and those who preside over him.  The Lord refers to these attitudes as pride, vain ambition, etc.  (Doctrine and Covenants 121.37).  With these types of negative attitudes, vision is limited, personal motivation ebbs, the Spirit of the Lord is withdrawn, and all of our efforts seem in vain.

One of the basic opportunities of this earth life is to have experiences wherein attitudes, emotions, desires and ego are involved.  When everything goes the way we continually want it, and life presents no challenge, that’s not much of a test, and certainly doesn’t present many opportunities for growth.  But growth is our challenge in this life — not the type of growth we desire, but rather the type of growth the Lord may desire for us.  Just what type of growth does the Lord desire of us?  First, that we have faith and a testimony of the truthfulness of His Gospel.  Yes, missionaries, faith and testimony will determine our future and each test will determine the strength of our faith and our testimony.

During the Zion’s Camp march, a number of elders of the church, along with the prophet Joseph Smith, marched back to Jackson County, Missouri to help the saints.  Some of the men, when they became wearied by some of the hardships, gave up, but others, who were Savior-oriented, sustaining and supporting their prophet leader and the cause of the march, stayed strong in the faith and positive in their responsibilities.  One of the purposes of the Zion March, in the wisdom of the Lord, was a test to select the strong and valiant and faithful.

George Q. Cannon states the following in the “Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet”:  “One day, when Joseph had assembled the elders in Kirkland, soon after the establishment of the quorums of Twelve and Seventy, he said to them that the test had been made, the purpose of the journey to Missouri was now clear, and God had chosen his Twelve and Seventy from a body of men who had offered their lives, and who had made as great a sacrifice as did Abraham.”

May the Lord bless us in this New Year with the faith and testimony necessary to do His work effectively.

Faithfully yours,
President Eugene C. Ludwig

“The past cannot be changed: the future is still in your power.”

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