Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Bronson Prayer Challenge

I ripped this off from Conan's blog but I want to share it here, we all need this reminder.
I know it's been awhile since my last post and many of you were probably 
wondering when I was going to make the last post about the third missionary 
farewell I attended on that Sunday over a month ago. Well, have no fear for 
this is it. I saved the best for last, and that's why I took me so long to actually
 get this post up. This post and the subject it covers means more to me than
 anything else, so I wanted to get it perfect. I can't tell you how many times
 I had this post ready to go and then decided to scrap it because it wasn't
 good enough. I finally feel confident enough about this one for all of you to
 read though.
     This mission farewell was the second of the three I attended that Sunday,
 and to be honest, I had forgotten about it completely when I woke up that 
morning. If it wasn't for my friends reminding me, I would have missed it 
completely. How grateful I am that I didn't miss it because the lesson I 
learned meant a lot to me. Now I'll be honest as he got up to start his talk, 
I had no idea what to expect, but I can honestly say that I was forever 
changed by the things I heard in that sacrament meeting. He stood up and
 gave a very good talk, but the thing that shocked me was when he stopped
 for a moment and began to tell the congregation about how he had never 
originally planned on serving a mission. I was speechless. I know there are
 many people out there just like him, but I didn't think he would ever be one
 of them. Then again, many of you know that a mission was not in my future
 plans originally either, and yet here I am with a mission call to the New York
 Utica mission. I can't explain the feelings I felt when I heard I wasn't the only
 one who had gone through most of high school with the idea of serving a 
mission already basically dismissed in my mind. I felt a sense of peace and
 comfort knowing I wasn't the only one who had struggled with this situation,
 but even more than that, I felt my testimony being strengthened.
     Now before you write me off on this one, hear me out. My testimony 
was strengthened because here was another living testament of the miracles
 God can work in ordinary people when they put all their trust in him. I don't
 know all the details of just what made this young man change his mind about 
serving a mission, but I know without a doubt that God's hand was working 
hard in this situation. I know this because it was the same for me. I allowed 
myself to trust in God completely, and He showed me the way. Now, this is
 where the title of this blog comes in. I know this young man and I are not the
 only ones with doubts about a mission. There are many people out there with
 doubts, and I want all of you to know there is no doubt in your mind that God
 can not help you with. You just have to trust in Him completely, and He will 
show you the way just like he did for me and my friend.
     What I'm about to give you is one way to help rid yourself of doubts and
 put your trust in God. I've decided to call it "The Bronson Prayer Challenge"
 naming it after one of my best friends in the whole world who was the one 
who originally presented this challenge to me when I admitted I had doubts 
about a mission. The challenge itself is quite simple. The difficult part comes
 in truly believing that it will work. Here's how it works.
The Bronson Prayer Challenge
#1) Take your doubts about a mission and get on your knees. God knows 
the hearts of all men which means he already knows you're having doubts,
 but He can truly help you once you come to Him for help. Present God with 
your doubts. Explain everything to Him. He's there to listen, and that is what
 He will do - listen.
#2) Tell God the desires of your heart. In other words, make up your mind, 
and give him a clear cut answer. We've been told many times by general 
authorities that this gospel is not for "fence sitters," and the same is true for
 this challenge. It is much harder for God to help you if you are "wishy-washy" 
on the subject. Be honest with Him. I told God: "A mission is not for me. 
As of right now, I am preparing my future plans, and a mission is not included
 in them. If I'm supposed to serve a mission, I have the faith that you will 
show me the way." Present Him with your choice, and if it's the wrong one, 
He will help you make it the right one just like He did for me.
#3) HAVE FAITH. There's an important line I wanted to highlight in step
 two which is why I had it italicized. "I have the faith that you will show me
 the way." In my opinion, this process draws many similarities to that which
 people go through when they seek to know for themselves if the Book of
 Mormon is true. The end of Moroni 10:4 reads: "...and if ye shall ask with
 a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the
 truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." Those who desire
 to know the truth of the Book of Mormon must have faith that God will
 show unto them, and the same applies to you looking for your answer. 
God can only truly show you the way when you have faith.
#4) I can think of many times when I have heard that this gospel is not for
 the faint of heart, and neither is this challenge. I said earlier that the difficult 
part comes in truly believing that it will work. This comes from having faith 
but it also comes from continued diligence in seeking your answer. Once
 is never enough, and neither is twice, thrice, and so on. In other words,
 getting on your knees once isn't going to do the trick. God will see the 
strength of your faith through your continued diligence in searching for an
 answer. We're supposed to do our best to pray to God every day both 
morning and night, and there is nothing wrong with including something as
 important as this in every prayer you offer up to God. The more you pray
 to God about something, He will recognize and acknowledge your diligence. 
Don't get discouraged. Don't become fainthearted. Don't give up. God may
 decide to test your diligence like He did mine, but as long as you never quit
 praying, He will reward your diligence.

     I have a testimony that this process works, and I can't stress how much
 I believe in this process with my whole heart. When I overcame the barriers
 in my life and truly believed that this would work, it did. I got on my knees 
and told God about all of my doubts concerning a mission; I was completely 
honest with God and showed him the desires of my heart; I had faith that 
God would show me the way; and last but not least, I exercised diligence 
and never gave up. I know I quote her in almost every single one of my blogs,
 but this quote fits too perfectly not to use it. "We are blessed from our efforts 
of trying. Not perfection." - Al Fox. I know that this is true. God doesn't expect 
perfection in anything including this process. If He did, I wouldn't have gotten
 my answer. God gave me my answer because I tried. I truly believed God 
would give me an answer, and when I merely tried, God blessed me for it. 
This challenge isn't unique to just me. If you have doubts about whether or 
not a mission is for you, or doubts about anything else for that matter, I challenge
 you to just merely try "The Bronson Prayer Challenge," and I promise you God
 will bless you for trying.

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