Monday, June 6, 2011

Why Is God Invisible?

This week has been so great.  I´m really enjoying these last few months of my mission.  Last night and this morning, I was doing some thinking and praying about my mission, and I just had an incredibly overwhelming feeling of gratitude for all that I´ve been given in my mission and in my life.  It humbles me, because I know all the mistakes I´ve made, and yet the Lord continues to bless me even when I feel like I don´t deserve it.  I´ve begun to notice (and express gratitude for in my prayers) even the small things, like allowing me to feel the Spirit so strongly in Sacrament meeting.  It is such a peaceful, happy thing to feel the Spirit.  I´ve really come to appreciate it.  I have been so blessed in my life with so many things - and more importantly so many great people - and it overwhelms me.  I owe all this to my mission, because it has definitely changed me for the better.

We have a possible baptism this Saturday.  They´re Pedro and Sonia Coronel.  They have all the lessons except tithing, and they came to church yesterday.  We just need to be sure that she´s ready to get married this weekend, and if she says yes, they can get baptized this week.  They´re just a great family.  Keep them in your
prayers that she will be able to make the decision and be at peace knowing its the right thing to do.  I´ll inform you next week about what happens!

Nana, I have a special note for you.  I get your letters and read them every week.  I love you so much and am thankful for your consistency in writing me, even when responses are few.  Know that I read every one of your letters and am so thankful for them and for you.  I read that you wanted some Paraguayan recipes to try.  I asked some of the sisters here to write me up some recipes for customary food here, so I´m just waiting for them to get back to me.  One of the sisters, Nancy, asked me for some American recipes as well to try out.  In your next letter (or maybe in an email you could have Mom send me) it would be great if you could include some things you like to cook so they can try out, and I´ll translate it into Spanish for her.  Really anyone who knows how to cook is welcome to send me recipes for Nancy to try out here, but it was just something special that she asked Nana to do.  I´m sure that when she cooks whatever you send her, she´ll have me try it, so make it yummy!

I got a great note today from Elder Perales, my old companion who is in Obrero still.  He said that Juan, David, Victor, and Mirna (4 of the investigators we were teaching, a mother and 3 of her boys) got baptized a few weeks ago!  I was so excited to hear that.  I figured they were going to get baptized when I left, they´re a great family.  Also, I may have written a few times a while back about a 14-year old kid named Gustavo Ojeda.  He is the middle child of a family of 8 members, and he is the only non-member.  We worked so hard to try to get him baptized, but it never happened.  Well, Elder Perales said his parents finally stepped up to help out as well, and he got baptized last weekend!  I was just thrilled to hear that.  Now that family is complete, and they can all go to the temple together and be sealed as a family.  I´m so happy for them.  I wrote him this morning telling him that he´s a jerk because after all the effort and prayers I spent on him and his family in the 6 months I was there, he got baptized AFTER I left haha.  But no, I´m so glad that those people I taught and came to love took the steps into the waters of baptism.  It will be so great to see them again with Dad when we go back to visit.

Yesterday in Priesthood meeting at church, the branch president (Presidente Garay) taught the class.  He made an interesting comment that I´d like to share with you guys.  He asked the question:  Why is God invisible?  We know that He has a physical body of flesh and bones, but to us He is invisible because He is not here.  In this time of great need when the world is in such circumstances and getting worse, why doesn´t He show Himself more often?  Why doesn´t He come down here to help?  Why is He invisible?  There are likely many responses to this question, but the one he gave was quite insightful.

Imagine if God really WAS here right now.  Imagine that He was in some place here on the earth ministering to the people.  What would happen?  The same thing that happens to people who worship idols: we would all go to where He is and we would only focus on Him and nothing else.  We would forget about everything and everybody else and direct all our attention to him.  We would forget about our neighbor.  Don´t forget that God has a plan for us to become like Him.  He desires that we obtain the blessings that He has, and we do that by following His example.  And what example did the Lord set for us here on earth?  Service.  Love thy neighbor.  As I have loved you, love one another.  He set the example to serve others.  In the scriptures it tells us that the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.  In the 4 Gospels when the Lord is washing the feet of the Apostles, he says that he that is chief among you shall be your servant.  Well, the Lord is Chief of chiefs and the greatest of us all; does that not mean that He serves the most?  He serves and loves all; therefore, we must do likewise.  If He were here, we would forget about all that.  Most of us, out of honest love for the Lord and desires to serve Him, would forget about everyone else and focus all our love, attention, and efforts to serve on the Lord.  Thus, in being "invisible", He gives us the chance to fulfill this commandment and become like Him.  In doing so, we really are serving Him as well, as made clear by the well-known verse "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me" and as thus taught by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon "when you are in the service of your fellow man, you are only in the service of your God."  A quote I heard in a talk by John Bytheway:  "One man died and went to heaven.  He was talking with God, and asked Him ´Do you see all that is going on down there?  There are horrible tragedies going on, people are suffering, why don´t you do something, or send somebody to help?´  The Lord replied, ´I did.  I sent you.´"  Let us all take advantage of the chance we have to feel the joy in serving others and our God.  Go out of your way to do something for somebody today.  "Have I done any good in the world today?"  Let us ask ourselves the question posed in that well-known and well-loved hymn, and respond accordingly.  The progenitor will be happy, the Lord will be happy, and you will be happy.  I bear you that testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Élder Moore

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