Monday, June 8, 2015

The Book of Mormon is where to find safety for the soul

It's beautiful here right now. There are a couple really lovely trees in bloom that I just love. My favorite two being a blue and a yellow flowering tree. They take my breath away. There are a lot of flowering bushes as well that are just indescribable. Anyways, things are going wonderfully in Tamworth. Last week we had transfers and I got a new Companion, Elder Peterson. He's a great guy!
I continue to learn so much out here, every day. My first two transfers taught me a lot about patience and problems. I was reflecting on my transfers thus far and recognized or came to realize that.
I was just having a nice conversation with a guy sitting next to me, and it ended up lasting nearly an hour, so I'm a bit short on time... So perhaps I'll talk more about problems later. This week has been wonderful. It's been sunny and cheery,and filled with nice people. Working with Elder P is like a cake walk ( this helps a lot )
Yesterday was by far my favorite day of the week. We attended a video conference being broadcast from Edinburgh to the whole of the British Isles, and the Nordic countries. Elder Holland was attending, and he blew it away. The conference was absolutely amazing,in fact Elder Holland regarded it as the most touching area conference he had ever been to. There were so many great speakers, but my favorite by far was Elder Holland.
The conference seemed to have a theme (unplanned) of the meeting seemed to be unanimous. All the talks touched on the difficulties of being a saint in these last days, and the importance of individual effort/ uniting our efforts. Elder Holland topped this with the solution. His talk summarized, would be the BoM as a means to traverse our way through the trials, and having a rock solid testimony of the BoM to make it possible.
His talk was much similar to his conference talk, 'Safety for the Soul'; however it focused ( in a much more emotional and logical stance) on the obvious truth of the divinity of this book. It absolutely blew me away. It was like a sequel to my favorite talks ( or one of), wherein the sequel was better than the original. I hope that talk is open for public consumption, because I would love a copy. He incited ( with much exactness) the account of the witnesses to the divinity of the book (the original witnesses, and his own) with such simplicity and power, that it would be hard for any person mentally present to ever deny the words he spoke. One of my favorite things he said, was that it would be an infinitely greater miracle if Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, than if he translated it.
One of the most amazing things to me is that there were people in that room who got nearly nothing from it. Because they were not listening. I think this is a wonderful type. If we don't open our spiritual ears, we will denounce the wonderful gifts and love that lay at our feet. I would urge all my friends who come to read this, to ask how you can further open your spiritual ears. For it is never to late, and you are surely not complete..
I wish I could even come close to conveying the spirit that confirmed the words which were spoken at that meeting. But alas, I fear that I cannot. But I will say this; it is clear to me that the Book of Mormon is the literal word of God. That knowledge I can give, Not that it came easy or quick.
Anyways, Stepping away from Elder Holland and the conference (as I assure you that you'll hear more about him next week)... I have really come to appreciate the words spoken in Helaman 5:12. Up and downs, come as they may... With Christ as your sturdy foundation, you shall not fall. The more I center my understanding on Christ, the less I recognize my potential and ability. I have seen that in Christ, all things are possible.
I really love this Gospel, it is astounding how much change it offers.
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week, and that you may choose to more richly fulfill your life, by the words and deeds you already know are good.
And thus I make an end, Amen ;)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Knowing it in your heart.

The gospel has given me the perspective to attain and retain desires for things that are lasting, such as knowledge. I think it is a necessary perspective to have for everyone. At the end of the day, genuine love and sincerity are the best thing you can do for others. And also, ensuring that you hold up on your personal spiritual roles. We need to understand that the Gospel brings out good actions, not just desires.

There's a family in the ward who openly tells the story of their son leaving the church because of the parents actions.(the parents were acting pretty poorly) Later the son rejoined the church because he saw how much it made them change. Obviously I wouldn't compare you to those parents, but I do want you to hear this... For me at the very least, I never saw who you used to be. I only ever saw you as a lovely mom, who had the gospel wrapped around her life. I never saw the change. If I had a mom and Dad who were such great people and yet all they ever did (that I could see) was go to church, and occasionally read the scriptures with the family... Then surely the same would happen to me. I'm not at all implying that's all you personally do to have your faith, I know how much you do now. But as a child you don't see it. Same as all these people out here who have never even thought about a God or an afterlife. We reflect what we see around us. Our notions of normality come typically from those we observe.

In my opinion, here's how you can help anyone, the important thing is that they see you doing what is right. They need to understand by watching you, that having the gospel isn't enough. That we have to dig to digest it, and that the more you dig the more you get. That's a really long way to put it, but I really do think it's important to help them see that you're not willing to skip out on things like reading scriptures. That's a great starting point, and I'm sure just being 100% will be a huge blessing. Once there, you can take it a step farther. Like a 5 minute gospel discussion. The basic things carry so much weight. It's not about them getting it, that will come with time. It's about them seeing it. It's the difference between knowing it in your mind, and knowing it in your heart. That's why I prayed to God every day for 16 years and never felt he was there. I didn't search Him out like I needed to, I didn't understand that I needed to. It made no sense to me that I would need to search him out. Why would I? Isn't He loving and doesn't He care? Our notions of what is required and what should be desired are the things that will makes us get it in life or not.

One of our investigators thinks he needs to be converted in a matter of 3 weeks or it's not right. We have no idea where he got that Idea, but we know that if we don't help him out of this line of thinking, things won't get better. But the important thing is that, he believes something that isn't true, there for it's not allowing him to see what is. I cannot convert somebody through my logic, no matter how much sense I make the gospel seem. I have already learned that. The true necessity is a personal desire.