Monday, April 26, 2010

Faith To Move Mountains

Hey everyone!

Another week down.  Well, half a week this time haha.  This week has been good.  We´re working hard, Elder Silva and I.  I don´t remember what I said in the last email about him haha, so here´s a little bit more.  He´s from Costa Rica, which is different.  Nice to get to know somebody not from Paraguay, Utah, Uruguay, or Argentina lol.  He has 14 months in the mission, so he´s on the downhill slope.  He´s a hard worker, but not serious and rigid so that´s a good thing.  Really nice guy, pretty funny too.  We get along well.  Yenno how we live the 4 of us in our house, us two and Elders Alvarez and Freeman?  Well Elder Silva was companions with Elder Alvarez a while back, so they´re living in the same house again haha.  They are good friends, so that´s kinda cool they already know each other.  We´re doing well - working hard and going strong.

As for people to teach, pickings are slim right now.  Haha.  Happens sometimes.  We´re spending a lot of time looking for new people, which is alright.  Some days are really good and we find a lot, and some days like yesterday we don´t even get into 1 house haha.  It´s fun to see what´s going to happen every day.  It doesn´t bother me when we don´t get into houses or have many to teach.  I know as long as I´m doing my personal best and working hard, I´m doing what I´m supposed to be doing and the Lord is happy.  We have one guy with a baptism date for May 14th.  His name is German (like Herman in english lol) and he came to church with us yesterday so that was good.  Seems pretty promising as of right now, but anything could happen.  It´s Paraguay, after all haha.  We´ll just keep teaching and praying.

Mother´s Day I believe here in Paraguay falls on the second Sunday of May.  I´ll find out more about calling home from my Zone Leaders when I get the chance to ask them.  I should have more information when I write again next week.  The time just changed back an hour here, so I have no idea what time it is at home lol.  Right now it´s coming up on 1:30pm, so email me right away and let me know what time it is there so we can figure out the time difference and set up a time to be ready for my call.  I´m excited to be able to talk to you guys again!  Seems like just last week I talked to you haha.

That´s cool that Cory and Mike were hired at the Ritz!  Tell them to get to it, they have legacies of Bryce and me to live up to!  Haha.  Tell them I said hello.

Because there´s not much action in terms of missionary work at the moment, I thought I´d share with you guys an entry from my study journal I wrote a few weeks back.  I was studying about faith.  Faith seems really basic on the surface, but aside from the Atonement, to me it is one of the most profound doctrines there are if you study it enough.  Here´s my study journal entry from April 5.  I called it Faith to Move Mountains.

"Christ teaches us that if we have faith `as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.´  We read in the Book of Mormon about men whose faith was so great that all they desired would be granted.  Many think of the profound concept as a reality of times passed, and that such acts and promises could never happen to or through us (in this day and age).  So what was so special about these men that they were granted such power by their faith alone?  You have faith, I have faith, surely at least as the grain of a mustard seed.  Why is the same not granted to us?

The key lies in the last statement of the Lord to the Nephite disciple Nephi, which reads: `...and I will make the mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word´ - that´s the power, now here´s the qualifier - `for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.´  Therein lies the secret.  Our faith is brought into action and effectiveness when our desires are aligned with the will of the Lord.

Now, you may ask yourself `Why have faith if we can only do what the Lord wills?  What is the point of having faith if nothing is possible except what the Lord wants?  Does it really matter what we want then?´  To you, I propose a question in response:  What is the point in desiring something that the Lord does not?  Does He not know better than we?  Is that not the very essence of sin, to desire - and eventually act - contrary to the will of God?  The Lord will never will something to happen that would not be for some benefit to one of His cihldren, or for some positive and holy purpose.

I propose a thought.  As we know, Christ has all power.  He is able to do all, and He was able to do so during His life on earth as well.  He commands, and so it is.  Even the very elements obeyed Him.  But why?  Yes, He is the Son of God, the God of this earth.  As the Master, all things obey their Creator, and He has that right and ability to work many miracles by right of inheritance, even unto the moving of mountains.  The created obeys its Creator.  But it is my belief that there is a little bit more to it, apart from Christ´s inherent divine power.  Christ was able to impose His will because His will is exactly the will of the Father.  For this purpose, God the Father and Jesus Christ are `one´.  We read in all the Book of Mormon the phrase `thus saith the Lord´ and His words and will are stated.  But when Jesus comes to the Americas in 3 Nephi, He often says `and thus saith the Father.  Christ neither thought, said, taught, nor did anything that was contrary to the will of His Father, as shown in the ultimate act of love, sacrifice, and submissiveness while suffering the pains of hell in the Garden of Gethsemany.  Despite suffering beyond comprehension of man, He said that if it were possible that this cup be removed from Him, but showed His conformity to the will of the Father and said `nevertheless, not my will, but Thine, be done´.  The scriptures are full of examples, mostly said by the Lord Himself, that He did nothing but the will of the Father.  For this reason, all was granted unto him, He sinned not, and He had and has all power.

Do you see that when our desires are aligned perfectly with Heavenly Father´s, we need but the faith of a mustard seed to believe that such things can and will be done, and the Father will grant them to us?

Mountains are not moved to satisfy curiosity.  Miracles are not performed as a means of proof or testing the power of God.  They are not the way through which we gain personal satisfaction or wealth.  Miracles are a function of faith.  To truly have faith to move mountains, it must be the will of God.  We must align our desires perfectly with those of God, as our Savior Jesus Christ has shown and done through example, and only then will we be given faith to perform miracles.  Only then will the powers and blessings of heaven to do all things shall be bestowed upon us.  Only then will we have the faith to move mountains.  This is my witness, to which I add that God lives, and His Son is our Redeemer and Lord Jesus Christ, who also lives, and I give it in the name of Him, even Jesus Christ.  Amen."

Hope you learned as much from it as I did.  Love and miss you all.

-Elder Moore

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