Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Message

(In addition to his most recent letter, posted just before this, here is the Easter Message we received from Elder DeMille last week.)

Never have I worked so hard, felt so much exhaustion, been so utterly hopeless, felt so incredibly alone, or been so inexpressibly grateful for the positive attitude that I've been blessed with in my entire life. Please believe any missionary, in any circumstance, when they say this work is hard. So many people don't want to talk to us, blatantly ignore us, criticize us, attempt to expose us, and tell us we are ignorant young men; a disappointment to our families. There is a world filled with inappropriate things everywhere that tempt us and taunt us as we strive so persistently to retain the Holy Spirit. 

Being a servant of the Lord, a valiant messenger of hope and happiness; someone who stands for truth and righteousness is no easy task. The language is hard, working 24/7 is hard, and altogether being a missionary is hard. But I love it. I love it because I know that you (yes you, and you and you) and my family are all being magnificently blessed back home. I love it because my wonderful siblings and father get to read my spiritual thoughts and various testimonies in my emails, and I love how it brings my grandmother and I closer together. I love it because it is shaping me into the kind of instrument the Lord will be able to use many years after my mission. I love it because it gives me the opportunity to change even just one person's life for all of eternity. I love it because no matter how difficult it may be, how inadequate I may feel, or how discouraged I may get, the Lord called me because He knows I can do it. And, in comparison to our Savior, my trials often seem even less than insignificant although they sometimes carry such tremendous weight. In the words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, 

"I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up upon that cross. On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain. Jesus, their Savior- the man who walked on water and raised the dead- was himself at the mercy of wicked men. On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled; it was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God. I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest. But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously as the triumphant Savior of mankind. In an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays - those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We will all experience those broken times when it seems like we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays, but no matter our desperation, no matter our grief, in this life or the next, Sunday will come. No matter how dark our Friday, Sunday will come."

Today is our opportunity to remember that glorious Sunday. Forget your Fridays; your darkest days, and your heavy burdens, because today we can lift up our hearts in knowing that because He, the Son of God, overcame His Friday, you and I can do the same. I know with all my heart and soul that it was He who rose from death to live again, who burst the bonds of mortality and provided us with the opportunity of success. When the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, because He will never abandon us. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: I know, that my Redeemer lives!

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