Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3
In a more personal way, our lives are an epistle to the Lord Jesus Christ about our stewardship, written not on paper or in electronic media but on our hearts; not with ink but through the Holy Ghost.[ii] President Russell M. Nelson spoke to the new mission presidents and their wives on June 25, 2015, about this, referring to full-time missionaries and how they can manifest having a good foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and in His doctrine.
The process of embracing the doctrine of Christ starts the moment we are taught His restored gospel by His true messengers. As we receive said teachings, if we do not harden our hearts, we gradually recognize the word of Jesus Christ by the influence of the Holy Ghost.[iii] As we act according to the teachings we receive, our faith in Christ increases. We then recognize those things for which we have to ask God’s forgiveness and that we need to correct by going through a genuine repentance process.[iv] After having witnessed “…before the church that we have truly repented of all our sins[v]…”, we can be received as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints through baptism and confirmation. Forgiveness of our sins then comes from the blessings of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and we are born again as new creatures. The blessings we receive from forgiveness include being able to feel the Holy Spirit, being full of true joy and having the peace that comes of having a clean conscience.[vi]
That is not the final step but the beginning of our walk on a glorious straight and narrow path of ordinances and covenants. By keeping them we shall arrive at true conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Part of the process is that we will have the opportunity of accounting for our stewardship, our life and conversion before leaders called by inspiration who will interview us so that we can demonstrate our worthiness to receive all the ordinances and covenants. If after that we continue forward on the path with firmness in Christ and we persevere to the end, Heavenly Father promises that we will attain life eternal.[vii]
The Vision of the Caribbean Area invites us to be more converted as we walk the path. We can do this by keeping our covenants with the Lord and being more accountable and self-reliant before God. As we evaluate our life week by week, we can determine if we are worthy to take the sacrament in church on the Sabbath. The bishop can help us. Sometimes we will examine our behavior and find out that we have failed at something that requires immediate correction. If we are honest with ourselves and humble, we can truly repent and put off the natural man through the Holy Ghost.[viii] Then we shall partake of the sacrament in full worthiness. As we keep the Sabbath Day holy at home and at Church, our faith in Jesus Christ and our testimony of His gospel and His church will grow. We will go to the temple as often as our circumstances allow and there make the most sacred covenants and then do the same for our ancestors. The blessings we shall receive will allow us to be self-reliant and accountable before God and men. Witnessing these blessings will help us achieve a higher appreciation for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and a greater desire to share his gospel with others so they can have the opportunity to choose the same path that leads to eternal life and not perish,[ix] which we will do through our words and our good example.[x]
As we ponder concerning the interviews, reports and evaluations previously mentioned, we will have the blessing of recognizing the hand of the Lord in our lives continually. He prepares us for callings in the future by extending callings in the present, by life experiences, and by the righteous influence of others in our midst. He also prepares us for the trials that we will experiment in this life. We will see how our burdens are much lighter than they could have been without the Lord’s intervention. Surely we will see our prayers answered, usually through the ministration of another person sent to help us. The necessary means and strength are given to us at the right moment. To be able to perceive all this, we must walk by faith in Jesus Christ during our life, because the evidence of His presence by our side will not be seen until after we have been proven in all things. Then we shall see the best writing, meaning our conversion by the Holy Ghost, written in the fleshy tables of our heart.