Monday, January 10, 2011

Priesthood Blessings are Incredible

Hello everyone!  There isn´t much to report on this week, sorry.  That´s because I was sick and in bed for 3 days.  Boo!  I had a major cold, a giant headache, and a doozy of a fever.  Got up to like 102.  But I got better in a jiffy and am out teaching and working again, thanks to some resting time and to a priesthood blessing from my companions.  A little side note that´s not the purpose of my email today: priesthood blessings are incredible.  I´ve given more blessings in my mission than I think I´ll ever do in one calling, and seen countless more.  And I´ve seen them work.  I have no doubt in my mind, because of my experiences and because of the spiritual testimony given to me by the Holy Ghost, that the priesthood is real, is on the earth today, and does miracles when righteously used to bless the lives of others.

And with that, we continue exploring the First Vision :).

Verse 18
"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join.  No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) - and which I should join."

-Joseph didn´t think before that all of them would be wrong.  He states in earlier verses that that question did indeed entered his mind (meaning he had thought about that possibility), but here he clarifies that it never entered his heart and did not believe that all the churches on earth would be wrong.He had such faith in the Lord and His love for us that he was sure that God would be guiding us somehow through some church - he just wanted to know which one.  He didn´t set out to start a church, he wanted to join one of them already in existence.  His intentions were pure.

-The importance of works (as opposed to faith alone) is heavily implied here.  Why did Joseph receive an answer the first time he set out to pray vocally?  He had works.  Accompanied and driven by his faith (the first key element), Joseph acted (the second key).  He studied, read, prayed, pondered, visited the churches, talked with various people on various occasions.  He did his part and showed his faith to God through his works.  When he asks Christ in verse 18 about the true church, he doesn´t say "which I should believe in".  He asks which one he should join.  He intended to act on the Lord´s answer.  This is the meaning of the part in Moroni 10:4 that says in order to receive an answer, we need to ask "with real intent".

The more I write about these, the more I love them.  I´m studying the scriptures right now like I´ve never studied them before (hint: this does not mean that I´m spending more time reading them).  If I can take this out of just 5 verses from the story of Joseph Smith, imagine what you could take out of the entire Book of Mormon.  From the entire standard works.  How much would you learn and come to know?  I invite everyone to try it out and see if you don´t learn more.  Don´t just read the scriptures; study them.  I promise that it will bless you like it is blessing me right now.  I love and miss you all!

-Elder Moore

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