Thursday, January 30, 2014


Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your uplifting letters always! You are absolutely right that I need to stay focused on the work, and you can be the one counting how many days until I come home.  

Sometimes it's not so easy to keep focused, but Heavenly Father really helps me. He really is so merciful. I am so impressed at your inspired letter again, because the last few days I have been studying about grace and just how grace works. I never really understood it,  and never really realized that the main reason that I was trying and trying and it never seemed like I could keep up was because I was relying too much on myself. 

I'll give some thought to your High Council message again, but my first and foremost advice is that to strengthen your faith in Christ, you have to just do it. When I say do it, I mean that you really have to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ to its fullest. 

For me on my mission, the times that I have been closest to Christ is when I follow his counsel, try to do as He would do, and really focus on Him and learn of Him. 

In the book Doctrine and Covenants it sums it perfectly "Learn of me, listen to my words, walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall find peace in me" (D&C 19:23). Peace is what we are all seeking, isn't it? Isn't that why we have faith in Christ? But we can't do it without the word of Christ to get us there. Christ says, speaking of grace as it would have it, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing..."

So, What does it mean to abide in Him? John describes the answer in 1 John 2:3-6: "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."

And What does it mean for Him to abide in us? Let's read further in Christ's sermon on grace...

"...If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:5-7). 
We must have his words abiding in us at all times if we are to strengthen our faith in him. Ultimately it comes down to the same three things that the Lord himself said to Joseph Smith in the cited revelation above: We must learn of him from the scriptures, we must listen to his words (And I would add to this that we follow the Spirit - see Mosiah 3:19 - focusing on the importance of following the Spirit to become like Christ), and walking as he would walk. This has worked for me to strengthen my testimony of our Savior.  

Even by grace are we prepared to do the work that the Lord would have us do! (see D&C 88:78-80)

I love you! 

Elder Claypool

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