Monday, January 24, 2011

We Worked Our Little Missionary Tails Off

Hello to everyone this week!  Hope all is just peachy with my long lost family and friends.

The work has progressed here in Obrero by leaps and bounds this week.  We committed ourselves last Sunday to teach 40 lessons total this week.  Blistering heat tried to slow us down.  Thunderous rainstorms tried to keep us indoors.  Punk teenagers tried to throw mangos at us.  But we worked our little missionary tails off, more than doubled the amount of people we talk to every day, and we ended last week with 42 lessons in total!  Does it not show that I´m excited? Haha.  As dead tired as I am - and believe me, I´m completely whipped - I have a real feeling of inner peace and extreme happiness that comes with working to your limits and doing the will of the Lord.  I am finally starting to feel like I´m doing what I came here to do.

But, as with all things in life, there are still obstacles to overcome.  As hard as we work, as much as we study, and as obedient as we try to be in order to qualify for the blessings of the Lord, we just cannot get these people to come to church.  The culture and tradition here isn´t quite haha.  They are excellent
people, but obligations are a little out of their comfort zones.  I know that part of it is their own free will, but part of it is our teaching as well.  I think that if we taught the principle of keeping the Sabbath day holy, more people would come to church.  I´ll be studying up on that and practicing teaching it with my companion.  Then we will have some more baptisms.  I want to baptize.  It´s been a while, and if I´m not baptizing in this mission, I´m sinning.

Ok, so on to the last verse of the First Vision.  After this week´s email, I have another theme I wanted to write about as well.  It is one of my favorite themes of the Gospel because of it´s profound impact on our lives, and because if we understand it, our lives will be much more focused and easily directed.  You´ll see what it is next week!

Verse 20
"He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.  When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven.  When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home.  And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was.  I replied, ´Never mind, all is well - I am well enough off.´ I then said to my mother, ´I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.´  It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me?  Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?"

-There were many things that the Lord said unto Joseph that could not be included in this account of his history at that particular time.  Honestly, I don´t know whether he has disclosed them from that moment, or whether they are things that the world is not ready for yet.  Considering that this history was written by Joseph in I think it was 1836, a time close to the time of his death, I doubt that we have any knowledge of these things not written.  And if we do have them, we do not know that they were revelations given to Joseph Smith specifically during the First Vision.  This is a testimony that the Lord reveals his secrets to His servants the prophets.  There are many things that they know that cannot be shared.  The prophets have rights to know the mysteries of God that, for whatever wise reason in God, the world cannot know yet.

-It seems as though the Prophet Joseph was unaware of his physical surroundings during the time he was speaking with the Lord.  He "came to (himself) again", which to me signifies regained consciousness or awareness of his surroundings once again.  Visitations and visions with the Lord had similar effects on prophets of old: Moses, Paul, Nefi, among others.  I believe that the Lord gives time for the spirit and the body to absorb not only the information, but literally the physical effect of such spiritual glory.  Perhaps the spirit recovers more quickly than the physical body after such manifestation and exposure to the glory and Spirit of God.  This not Church doctrine, but this is why Elder Moore personally believes that God communicates more with man through means of the Spirit than through visions and voices.  The spirit of man handles more effectively the things communicated by the Spirit of God (this particular part is true; there is a part in Corinthians that talks about how spiritual things are received only through the Spirit).

-Joseph´s mother was the first person to ask him if he was alright.  Mothers love us   (Had to include this one.  Love ya mom.)

-Notice that Joseph didn´t tell him mother what had happened.  You would think that he would want to tell his mother that he just saw - and conversed with - God the Father and Jesus Christ the Savior, right?  I´m sure he did want to share his experience.  But some things are just too sacred to be shared.  Some spiritual experiences are for your benefit and your benefit alone.  Joseph only proceeded to share his vision with his family when he was so instructed by the Lord through the angel Moroni.

-Joseph found the promise in James 1:5 to be true.  He said that "I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true."  He received the wisdom that God promises through the Apostle James in the Bible.  He followed the instructions of the scriptures and received one of the greatest blessings to all of mankind.  Each one of us, though we may not see or speak with God, can come to know the truth of all things in the same way that the boy Joseph did.  God is willing to reveal to each and every one of us the truths of His plan if we will ask Him in sincere prayer and with real intent to act upon the answer He gives us.  Ask and ye shall receive.

I hope that at least 1 person has benefitted from the discussion of the marvellous account of the First Vision.  I testify that I have come to know, in the same way that 14 million other people in the world have come to know, that Joseph Smith was and is the prophet of God chosen to open the last dispensation: the fullness of times.  The Savior will come in all His grandeur and glory, and He will come quickly.  God has put prophets on the earth today so that we can do everything necessary in order to be prepared for that great day.  The Book of Mormon is true.  It proves clearly and entirely that Joseph Smith was who he said he was, and that things happened the way he said they did.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church of God on the entire earth, and I come to know and feel it more and more every day.

Love and miss you all.  Until next week!

-Elder Moore

No comments:

Post a Comment