Grateful for the Opportunity to Serve

Sunday I was formally released from my calling as 2nd Counselor in the Elder’s Quorum Presidency in my ward. This is the same ward I was baptized into about 5 years ago. I remember hearing from a previous Bishop with such a release can come a flurry of emotions. My most powerful right now is gratitude. I will not lie, I was sad to be released.

For starters release is a term we use in the church to acknowledge our current Calling (position/job) term has come to an end. The only callings that you cannot be released from are if you are called to be an apostle or Prophet/President of the church. So local and area positions can come to an end.

It was indeed an honor to serve the brethren of my home ward. Of course releases can come without warning. sometimes followed by another calling, or the basis that the Lord saw fit for your skills and gifts somewhere else. I am planning on moving soon, and while I am sad to see my time in the Elder’s Quorum Presidency come to an end, it will allow me time to focus on house hunting and packing.

When I called my girlfriend after my meeting with the High Priest, she reminded me of something I had told her a year or so ago, that “It’s a part of serving God, and that the Lord will indeed find work for you to do…”. I pondered long and hard about it, and found comfort in the fact that indeed there will always be work for me to do in the Lord’s kingdom.  One quote, my favorite Book of Mormon quote comes to mind…

“But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it, Amen”

1Nephi Chapter 9, Verse 6

No matter what I know the Lord will guide me towards my truest potential!

As I said before, it was an extreme honor to serve my brethren, some of who helped me out and showed great fellowship when I was a new member of the church. I feel through my service in the presidency, I was taught more lessons from those good brethren. I have no idea what the next few months hold as I prepare to move to a new town, and a new ward, but I’m confident in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, and my kind and gracious Heavenly Father.

This summer has been a very emotionally draining one, and I do know I will now have time to focus on feelings I may have tried submerging regarding the loss of my grandmother. I think within the next month or two, finding myself spiritually and emotionally will be of priority. I’m so grateful for the love of a wonderful family, an amazing girlfriend, and great friends, through this. As I have said, it was my grandmother and her Christ-like example that led me to my faith. She always urged me to follow God in everything I did, and I know I wouldn’t be here without her.

Through it all one thing is for certain and that is the growth in my testimony, that I know that Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are there every step of the way in our lives. I know and wholeheartedly believe that families are eternal, and that This church is true! I know that we have a living prophet in Thomas S. Monson here on this earth, and I know no matter how old I am or what my condition is, the Lord will always put opportunities to serve and teach in my path, and I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ….

Amen.

Gerald R.

 

I promise this will not be one of those Welcome Back posts….

Long time no see Blogging world!

I have been on a bit of hiatus of late due to increased business at work, and seemingly no time for many other things. But I’m back! I can honestly say I don’t think there will be so many breaks between my posts, and I pray I can deliver spiritual posts that help others find a way through this crazy world. Through my testimony I hope I can help others.

So in the time I’ve been gone, I recently as of Sunday was set apart as the 2nd counselor in my Elders Quorum Presidency in my family ward. For those of my friends and family who are not familiar with the organization of my church, Elders Quorum Presidency headed by a President and his two counselors are leaders over the men in the ward. We serve and make sure the men and their families are doing well, and assist as needed. That’s kind of like the 50 cent gumball machine definition. (I promise a more in depth post on Church organization). But I felt so honored and humbled to be given such a responsibility and opportunity to serve in the ward I was baptized in almost 4 years ago. I have no idea what the next months or year or so holds but I know through faith in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father all is possible. Like it say’s in the scriptures

But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold , he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen

1Nephi 9:6

I’ve lived by that scripture these last few weeks. It’s brought me great comfort as the world around me has faced turbulence and tragedy. It has given me faith through it all, and has given me hope that no matter what is thrown in my way all will be well, and I will persevere.

I can testify to all that no matter what you face in life, The Lord will show a way. If you trust in him and hold onto his counsel and guidance you will have a light through the storm of life. You can find peace in Jesus Christ the savior and our Heavenly Father.

It feels so good to write again on here, and I look forward to continuing as I continue to grow! Hope you all have a great day!

Gerald

Thoughts from Sacrament “The Sacrament”

First off I’d like to acknowledge that even though I work for one of the biggest I.T. companies in the country that it took me 3 months to figure out I could change my picture in the above box to the picture of the lovely DC Temple I took a year or two ago!

It’s been a crazy month to be honest. The East coast has been getting slammed with winter weather advisoryWeekend storms that for most have either postponed, or cancelled Church services all together. It was something that I had never seen before. In the three and a half years I’ve been in the church I’ve never seen Church cancelled.

SnowWell we were sitting in ward council Sunday, and there was snow and ice coming down. The ward Mission had organized an activity at the Visitors Center to watch the Film “Meet the Mormons”. Something Jason had been working hard to organize. We were all proud of it. Alas a winter mix threatened to cancel it.

Well as I was saying we were sitting in our weekly pre church ward Council meeting trying to decide what to do about Sacrament. Should we cancel it? Should we abbreviate it? What about the Break the Fast potluck dinner, or the activity? Most of these questions took precedence during the meeting. Then I remember my Bishop something along the lines of this…

“Yes the Talks and the sharing of testimonies are important, but the Sacrament is the main reason we come on Sunday. The most important ordinance we can take every week. That’s most important”

Those words stuck with me. It was fast Sunday, so I had decided in my head I was going to get up and speak. But he made me realize something, we come to Sacrament meeting to partake of the Sacrament and remember the Sacrifice our Savior Jesus Christ did for us.

So there we had it, We had our opening hymn, the opening prayer, Partook of the sacramentsacrament, then the closing hymn and then funny enough I ended up giving the closing prayer. It was short, but it was powerful, because it helped me personally remember the sole reason why we are in church on Sundays.

sacrament 3I think some times the true meaning of Church services gets overcrowded with social aspects and other things. We should come to Sacrament meeting with our prayers and our broken hearts and contrite spirits ready to renew the everlasting covenants we made at baptism and repent and prepare for the new week. I dare say it was the best sacrament meeting I’ve attended. And no I’m not saying that because we got out early, (I  actually ended up being there until like 330).

The Truth of the matter is, no matter what happens in our lives our focus should Jesus always be on the Savior. Seeing how I didn’t get the opportunity to do it Sunday in Sacrament I want to do it now, I know that this gospel is true, and I know that our Savior lives. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father in heaven who is always looking out for us, no matter how far we turn from him. I know sharing the gospel and missionary work is a path to happiness, for I have felt the joy in missionary work. I know that we are all here for a reason, and have a capacity to make this world a better place, and I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ

Amen.

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I hate to do stupid little things to a blog post meaning to be spiritual, but I wanted some feed back on the new design route I’ve taken. Let me know what you think in the Poll here below. Stay blessed and Stay safe! I love you all! Even those I don’t klnow.

Free Write (2/11/2015)

As most of my regular readers and friends know, I serve in my singles ward as an Assistant Mission Leader. I’m 25 and I’m a convert to the church. I love my calling, and I love serving in the capactiy that the Lord allows. So my calling and situation in my ward is really awesome and I wouldn’t trade it. It allows me to serve others and share the gospel, and seriously quite honestly, what more could you want?

So in January, I decided to do a self assessment of myself, and also after a regularly PPI, or a Personal Priesthood Interview, with a member of the Bishopric. I wanted to better magnify my calling, and do more service and work. I wanted to give more of myself so that I could carry out the Lords plan.

So I decided to get better at reading the scriptures, praying more, and start making it to my meetings on time, no excuses, and go to the temple more regularly.

Well I’ve been doing those things, and I’ve seen the change, and it’s awesome! I see it makes my relationships with people more better, and I just feel so more connected to the spirit, and able to hear it’s promptings so much better.

So Sunday we had the Monthly Stake Missionary Correlation meeting, and we were prompted by the Stake President to begin praying more for opportunities to share the gospel. But not just pray in general, but to pray everyday, and also to share our testimonies>

So usually most people gain full testimonies of things through basic action and reaction. So I took my Stake President’s council on praying for opportunities to share the gospel…

Lo and behold if it didn’t take three days for something to happen and that council to come to pass.

So I get to my office, and sit at my desk and start the daily ritual of turning my computer on and setting up my stuff for work, when a friend of mine who I ahd worked with at a previous job and had went to high school came up to me. HE lifts shows me “The Restoration” pamphlet handed out by every missionary usually on the first visit.

He asked. “this is your church right?”

I quickly replied, “Yeah dude,” At first I thought he had gotten the one I usually leave on my desk, but came to find out he had indeed met with missionaries, who had helped him at a time, referring to them as angelike in their timing and thier service when his car broke down. I was floored. This person is a long time friend, and here he was telling of this powerful experience he had just had. We shared a few more words and then I finished logging in.

Quickly I felt prompted to give him the Book of Mormon I kept in my desk for just this type of sitation. I wasn’t sure if they had given him one, but I decided to take a chance. I held the book in my hand, a little nervous, as anyone is before sharing a big part of their faith. I decided to just do it. I went over to him when I had a little bit of time, and I hadned him the book, explained a little about it, and then he shared he was going to be coming to church next weekend. He’s married so there wouldn’t be a visit to the singles ward. I told him I’d love to go if he’d have me there, and if he had any questions that he could come to me. He was gracious and thanked me.

It was such an extraordiany experience. I have had many missionary opportunities, but it really cemented my testimony on the daily prayer of such opportunities.

Simply put the Lord is going to put those opportunities in front of his disciples when the time is right. Pray for such opportunities, stay versed in the gospel to the ebst of your abilities, and keep yourselves in a lifestyle and mindset to recieve direction and inspiration of the spirit, and you will indeed have the fire and power of Heavenly father, and be a great missionary.

Being a missionary is not just putting on a name tag, as Elder Neil L. Anderson in the April 2013 General Conference talk said-

If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” And returned missionaries, find your old missionary tag. Don’t wear it, but put it where you can see it. The Lord needs you now more than ever to be an instrument in His hands. All of us have a contribution to make to this miracle” 

We can all be representative of Christ without putting a suit on. In my experiences with sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, the best missionary work comes from everyday disciples of Christ like you and I. We will see the blessings that come to one’s life when they accept Christ, and we will also feel the joy of missionary work.

I testify as you choose to lift your voice in the name of Jesus Christ that you will be empowered and you will have the Holy Ghost with you to direct your actions in conjunction with God’s plan. I bear my testimony that the gospel is true, and that we can all spread the message of love and salvation in the example of Christ, and we can lead other’s to salvation through our daily actions and words. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ…

Amen

Gospel Principles- The Gift of the Holy Ghost

So I felt impressed to share with you my thoughts on the gift of the Holy Ghost. A few months back I gave a talk in sacrament on the subject, and I felt that it was a good talk. So here’s that talk! (This talk is from October of 2014)

Good afternoon. Today I was asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. I’d like to introduce myself formally to those of you who may not know me.

My name is Gerald Royster. I’m the assistant ward mission leader. I currently work for Verizon as a DSL tech support agent and im currently in school for computer networking. I was born here in Maryland and as of October 30th  I will have been a member of This church for 3 years!!

As I said in the beginning I was asked to give a talk on the holy ghost. And I’d like to do things semi unorthodox before getting into the bulk of my talk by bearing my testimony of the holy ghost and how much of a spiritual compass it had been to me and.truth be told it was what brought me to this pulpit after all my 25 years of life. Amen…

Think of a GPS. A GPS can get you from point A. To point B. GPS are pretty awesome. Your cars GPS is good for. You the best possible route .

Much like the holy ghost…..

Think of life as a road. A series of high ways, overpasses and back roads. Our personal destinations are to live and return to our heavenly father.

The holy ghost is Our constant companion to get us back it’ll help give us detours in moments of struggle and strife. But like a GPS in the middle of nowhere sometimes it can falter and we may find ourselves. Off track. The holy ghost can. Work the same way when we find ourselves in situations we know we shouldn’t be in.

So last night Jared and I were out a an Apple festival earlier that day with my girlfriend and her friend and used the GPS to get back home. And we wanted to take a route the GPS didn’t want us to take. We wanted to take a route that would avoid the tunnel because we didn’t know if we had cash. Sadly they don’t take credit. I mean it is the 21st century.

So anyways we tried going our own way and the GPS kept saying no go this way through the tunnel of 895 after trying our own route the GPS kept rerouting us and eventually we gave in and took the route probably best. Luckily I had a ten tucked in my wallet from earlier.

The holy ghost works the same way. When we start trying to take our own route, that could possibly lead us in a bad direction it tries to get US on track. Now if we hadn’t listened to the actual GPS we would’ve ended up in Baltimore city and who knows where we would’ve ended up.

The scriptures in doctrine and covenants 130 verse 22 say

22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Being a personage of spirit allows to holy ghost to be any where and everywhere. Think of a constant companion that’ll always be with you. It’ll help ya out and like the GPS anology get you from point A to point B. But it’s powers can be weakened when we find ourselves in places we shouldn’t be.

Think of a loud party. A large house party. As your driving your friend is telling you, “maybe we shouldn’t go here. This seems like a bad idea”. You continue on your way. Yet you can hear his voice loud and clear in the comfort and safety of our cars. But you dismiss his council

You get to the party and as you walk up the lawn his voice a little bit more faint yet you can still hear it says “look man THESE people are up to no good. We could just go home and play video games or do some studying for that big test. I just don’t think we should be here”. You’re not inside the party. But the closer you get to the door more louder the music got. You hear conversations in the background. You even here some loud laughter and familiar voices. You push that counsel away again.

You open the door to the party and the music overwhelms your ears. People come to greet you pushing your friend to the side but you can only faintly hear his voice say “please let’s get out…” by that time you’re so engaged in the party your friend is virtually non existent.

Eventually you find yourself engaging in less than righteous activities… Only to wake up with a headache, some half memories and a heart full of regret and sorrow. Because you didn’t listen to that friend.

That friend is the holy ghost…. He’s with us always but his influence can be weakened when we find ourselves in places we shouldn’t be.

Elder Robert D Hales in the April 2013 conference said
“Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved. Standing obedient and strong on the doctrine of our God, we stand in holy places, for His doctrine is sacred and will not change in the social and political winds of our day.”
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Now it is important to remember that these holy places aren’t always geographical. It can mean avoiding certain websites, and certain forms of entertainment. We must always be in constant search of the companionship of the Holy ghost!

We live in a day and age where values of man are being rewritten… But Our heavenly fathers values cannot be rewritten. No they stand eternal.

I wouldn’t be where I am without the companionship of the holy ghost. Before I was a member I sought out this church. A few of you know this story…

I was about 19 or 20. It was 2008 In the news they spoke about our church and they also spoke about a radical sect. I’m a writer and have always had a curious mindset. I was so curious as to number 1 who were the Mormons and number 2 why in the world won’t they stop talking about them… I me an other church’s were in the news at this time. There was the Catholics and a radical sect of the Baptist church in the news but no it was this mormon church that made me so curious.

Hbo had TV shows about this extreme sect where they virtually villanized our church. I was so confused why they villanized the Latter Day Saint Church.

So I sought out answers. I began researching. I swore I studied out the lds church better than the mid terms due around that time.

Well after months I discovered something. I discovered a book .I went on mormon.org where it offered a Book of Mormon. I hit the accept offer button, entered my address and number and that was it. Little did I know that I had created a digital missionary referral. I also ordered some dvds that never came…. But most importantly that book was the book of mormon.

One day my door bell rang. I opened the door up to 2 elders driving a red Ford focus. They told me they were with the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. They gave me the book and we said a prayer and then they left.

The whole time I thought the Book of Mormon was going to show up via UPS or FedEx. I was wrong.

They kept calling. I was an insecure 20 year old kid. I was nervous and scared what people would think If I were taught by these elders. At the time in was preparing for college football and a million other excuses that I could think of.

I went off to college after dodging those elders. Believe it or not I enjoyed that hbo show. At the time it was as close to the church as I could get. I was smart enough to know the differences between the two sects And wanted to follow the true lds sect. .

Like I spoke about the party that’s how college was for me. It wasn’t always a party but it was cloudy and loud spiritually. I became an insomniac abd in those late hours alone I was on the net taking a personal inline course teaching myself about the church.

I came home that summer and things spiralled out of control until I asked a friend who was a menber if I could truly learn.

She invited me to the visitors center and then through conference where I heard our prophets voice. 1 month later on october 30th 2011 I was baptised.

A week later I received the full gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands and baptism by fire.

Brothers and sisters the Lord wants us to return to him. And he sent us the holy ghost to get back to him. He sent the holy ghost to a 21 year old boy at an overpriced school in a four bedroom apartment that now stands before you as a man today. The voice was faint but it was just enough to get through. It was enough to get me here

It guided the prophet Joseph smith towards the restoration and guides each and every one of us today and everyday. Its our jobs to live in a lifestyle that can harness that constant companionship . .

3 years later and I still know this church to be true. I know that the gospel is alive and we are led by men directed of God and the holy ghost. I know the holy ghost to be our companion forever and I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ… Amen