My wife Helen and I joined the Church in 1970, 45 years ago.
One day two missionaries came knocking on our door. This was in 1970 when Singapore was still part of the South-east Asia Mission.
Helen thought they were selling books and told them, “Come back in the evening and talk to my husband. He loves to read.” The missionaries came back and introduced us the Book of Mormon.
Helen and I began reading the Book of Mormon and we were eager to learn more about the Church. One week before our baptism, the missionaries told us that they were invited by a Lutheran pastor to give a talk about the Mormon Church and invited me to go along.
At the Lutheran Church, we were ushered into a room with a few other people. I was curious to hear what the missionaries would say to a Lutheran pastor. However, the missionaries had hardly spoken a few sentences, when the Lutheran pastor got up and delivered a strong anti-Mormon sermon against the Church. He went on for about 15 minutes. The two missionaries and I were shocked. We left that meeting discouraged, upset and shaken.
Soon after, the missionaries called me and asked if I still wanted to be baptized the following Sunday. Standing here 45 years later, I am glad that I said YES.
Having faith in ChristHaving faith in Christ
Elder Neal A Maxwell said, “God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability.” (Ensign article, July 1975)God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability.”
Within a week of our baptism we were called to serve in the MIA. M.I.A. stands for “Mutual Improvement Association” – a weekly program for young people to come together, learn and have fun. MIA has since been replaced by the Young Women and Young Men programs. We did not receive much training but we did our best. We did not have a nice building like this Stake Centre today. Over the years my wife and I have served in many positions in the Church; never ever turning down a calling.
Looking back, I would say, living Gods’ commandments in the last 40 over years has helped us developed a set of habits that sustain our faith from day to day, from month to month, and year to year. Habits are things we do often, almost without thinking. You may say, our life as members of the Church consists of a series of habits.
For example, we pay our tithing as the first expense of the month – this is our financial habit. Come the first Sunday of the month, we fast – our health habit. When we are offered a calling, the response is always “YES” – our service habit. Habits save us from debating against ourselves.
The blessings of having enduring faith in ChristThe blessings of having enduring faith in Christ
I can divide our blessings into three categories: To Be; To Do; and To Have.
Blessing 1: To be…Blessing 1: To be…
The TO BE blessings are related to the kind of person that we can become because of our faith - in other words, developing the Christ-like character. We have seen Church members becoming spiritual, patient, loving, forgiving, kind, charitable and even happier because they live the gospel. In this category, I am grateful for many members in the Church who are our role models, including former Mission President Soren F. Cox. We lived with Bro. Cox and his family for over two years when I was going to BYU. When we left, we asked him how we might repay his kindness. His response was, “There is no need to repay us. If you can, do the same to someone else.” Bro. Cox is 92 this year. In the years I have known Bro. Cox I have never heard him say a harsh word, or lost his temper. I am trying to be like Bro. Cox.TO BE to be
Blessing 2: To Do…Blessing 2: To Do…
The TO DO blessings are our physical and mental capability because of the resources the Lord has blessed us with, including our health and relationships. Besides taking care of our family and serving within the Church, I am grateful for the opportunity to make the Church known in certain circles through my professional work; and to bring the Church out of obscurity so that others may come to know of Christ and the Book of Mormon. It is a blessing to be able to do so much.TO DO to do
Blessing 3: To Have…Blessing 3: To Have…
The TO HAVE blessings are perhaps the most obvious and visible that we can see and touch. The Lord has given me much, perhaps more than I need. However I must not forget that what the Lord has given me is for making sure that the work of Salvation goes forth. I am extremely grateful for my wonderful and supportive wife and a harmonious family, and being worthy to hold the priesthood and a temple recommend.TO HAVE
A member told me recently, “See Brother So and So… see how he now drives a BMW, lives in a condo, and goes on holidays every year.”
He continued, “Look at me. I read the scriptures every day, take care of my old mother, pay my tithing, but I am as poor as ever. No promotion, no big bonus. Sometimes, I think God has forgotten me.”
I say to this good brother, “Do you not see your own blessings? You have good health and, you have a steady job. You study the scriptures daily, and pay your tithing faithfully. You have good friends in Church, and the Relief Society sisters are visiting your mother every week. You hold the priesthood and you bring your mother to Church every Sunday. Are these not your blessings?”
He looked at me and replied slowly, “Yes, yes. Thank you for reminding me.”
Endure to the endEndure to the end
The ultimate purpose as we endure with faith in Christ is to develop a Christ-like character, which cannot be achieved in one month or one year. It is constantly practicing the ‘habits of holiness” in our lives – habits that reflect the godly virtues found in Christ himself.
The Lord loves us, blesses us and strengthens us as we exercise our faith in Him. Enduring faith in Christ has certainly blessed my life, and I’m grateful for the ability to see and recognize these blessings over the years.
-AC Ho – delivered as part of a talk for Stake Conference, March 2015