A lot can happen in a mission. Heck, a lot happens in a WEEK. But I've noticed that each week sort of has a reoccurring theme. It's funny too because yesterday, we heard the Plan of Salvation explained 3 times. Somebody wanted to get a point across.....
I've been thinking a lot about "what's the point in all of this?" It's a question Joseph Smith asked once (he didn't use that terminology though.) and I think it's something a lot of us tend to say when we've collapsed on the floor at 2:30 am after throwing up all night (more on that later.) But in this case and instance, "what's the point" isn't in a negative light. Let's dispel those clouds around such a wonderful question.
I spent the latter end of my pday at my most thinkiest thinking investigator's, mulling over the minutae of church pamphlet phraseology and getting involved in the microscopic aspects of how to pray. As we left, all I could think of was "What's the point of religion?" Again, not in a negative connotation! And then the rest of the week spent its time proving my conclusion (which was Ether 12:4):
Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.We've been teaching a TON of children lately. A lot of them are the offspring of some LA's (less-active members). It's really fun when these kids-- who are already close to the spirit-- grab hold of these lessons. They bring such joy and innocence... I love teaching the gospel so simply. Because these kids understand it! We're taught at a very early age the blueprints by which we need to align our lives. A lot of people call it brainwashing.... I call it "being trained to deal with the people who call it brainwashing". From the time I was toddling, I knew I was a child of God, I knew my family was going to be together forever, and I knew that I was loved. I've spent my life laying that foundation down. Now I get to share it with others who don't have that same knowledge.
That knowledge is a bulwark, folks. It keeps you safe.
Because sometimes in life, there are bad things that happen to good people. Sometimes, you see scars that shouldn't be there. I've talked before about Dakota and the saddest thing I saw this week was trying to explain the concept of eternal families to a boy who barely has a temporal family. I told him he could be with his wife forever. He said "unless we get in a big fight and get a divorce." What 7 year old says that?! Someone without a solid understanding of the Plan of Salvation. This pain cuts me so deep!! SO deep, I didn't know I could feel that far...
Heap and I got an intense little beastie in our tummies. Friday night was spent alternating from bathroom floor to bed in a carousel of nausea. Got to know a lot of GC talks (General Conference--happens twice a year when the leaders of the church talk to the world) really well as my only friends were the May Ensigns for 2012 and 2013 (magazine that the church puts out and includes these talks). And they always talked about, in some way or another, this "balm of Gilead" that comes only in and through our Savior. The Atonement does much more than we realize. Much more than I realized. How dare I limit His perfect, infinite Atonement to Alma 7:11-13?!
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.How dare I ever believe that it doesn't work for me?!?!
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
By the time Sunday rolled around, I wished everyone could hear what Sister Heap and I were hearing. All week, I heard case after case of anguish and pain that could easily be solved in 5 seconds with some scriptures and some prayers. The only things that hurts now is that God's arms are forever extended and we neglect to take those hands.
What's the point of all of this? Alma 34:32 says we better prepare to meet God because soon cometh a night wherein no labor can be performed... but why would we work, why would we want to be with God?
- You're His child and
- Ether 12:4. (see above)
So often, we complain of the trying world in which we're placed. Too often do we curse God and wish to die. Too often, we do little to alleviate the situation. I like better worlds. I like better days. I BELIEVE in the power to make that happen and I live for it every day. My corner of the vineyard is flippin' Disneyland because I MAKE it the happiest place on earth by using my Savior's already paid for sacrifice. Please don't ever ask God if He knows you, because He does. It's you who doesn't know Him.
Standing still with the utmost assurance,