Follow the Leader 5/6/15
-Working on converting entire congregations.
-I <3 the scriptures!
-Diligently try to understand what the scriptures mean for you.
Hello all! Monday I had to go to
to pick up my companion and
my iPad Mini so I didn't get to email like we normally would've. So p-day is
Wednesday on moves week but we would usually email Monday and have that much
less time on Wednesday. Technology is being introduced somewhat slowly but soon
we will be on Facebook and using the Area Book and Planner App. Hopefully
that's not too confusing. England
My new best friend is Elder Hartshorn (+) from the
area. He is really easy going, likes running in the mornings, and a potential
Aggie (give it time). Elder Hernandez's new companion is Elder Deaton who
is from Uncle Greg's homeward. Pretty good! Spokane, Washington
My favourite new investigator is a man named James. He is a devout Christian and he's been able to serve a few missions globally to spread the good word. He is a Methodist minister but he does not believe in "-isms." He is open to the Book of Mormon and if he keeps reading and praying like he has he'll know that "Mormonism" is right. He came to church last week and gave the best testimony out of the entire congregation. It was truly inspiring. He stayed for the whole block too. If we can convert some ministers do you think the whole congregation will follow? We can only hope.
During the course of this last week I finished studying the book of Luke. Throughout reading the synoptic gospels I have had the recurring question, "How did the 12 disciples not understand Jesus' life was fulfilling Old Testament prophesies and that He would be resurrected?" They walked with Him daily and yet they lacked to grasp that he would die and rise again. He told them figuratively at first and then blatantly later.
Luke gives more detail about what happened after he was resurrected and I learned how much it took for them to understand the magnitude of what that means. There were multiple times while I was engrossed in the story and I wanted to literally reach into the scriptures, grab them by their shoulders to shake them, and shout, "WAKE UP!" It wasn't until the very last chapter of Luke that I came to understand that often I don't appreciate the magnitude of that myself. Jesus Christ rose that third day and we will too. He lives today! All things are possible through Him!
The other thing that struck me was the part when Jesus is walking with two disciples on the road to Emmaus and expounding the scriptures to them. He hid His identity from them and talks as a stranger would. While I was reading this I was imagining myself hiking down this dusty road with one of my best friends and talking to this man we just met. I was imagining I was having this conversation with Jesus and not knowing who he was. I saw myself coming near to the village and then asking Him to come in for dinner. My heart was pounding at this point (best dinner appointment ever). Verses 30-31 say, "And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight." Still imagining myself in this scenario, I saw two men in silence looking at each other awestruck. "And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" (verse 32). As I read this line I felt this burning inside my heart. It was not in a painful way like heartburn but an almost overwhelming feeling of realisation, peace, and warmth that we call the Spirit.
I came to better understand how each person will receive the portion of the word they allow themselves to receive. Personal revelation through the Spirit is required to understand the scriptures. Through diligent study we can be ready for when Christ comes again. Elder Robert D. Hales taught about the value and power of teaching from the scriptures:
If the Savior were among us in the flesh today, He would teach us from the scriptures as He taught when He walked upon the earth. In the synagogue at
‘there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. … And he began to
say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears’ [Luke 4:17,
21]. Later when the Sadducees and Pharisees posed a difficult question, ‘Jesus
answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the
power of God’ [Matthew 22:29]. And after His Resurrection, on the road to
Emmaus, His disciples ‘said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us,
while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?’
[Luke 24:32]. To His disciples then and now, His words ring out: ‘Search the
scriptures; for … they are they which testify of me’ [John 5:39]--a testimony
borne by the Holy Ghost, for ‘by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the
truth of all things’ [Moroni 10:5] (“Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our
Salvation,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 26). Nazareth
The institute study manual helped me understand the contrast in the lives of the disciples once they understood the scriptures. It reads:
The Gospels record that initially the followers of Jesus did not fully recognize how Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. This lack of understanding contrasts with their later vivid understanding of His saving mission and the ways it fulfilled prophecy. For example, in Peter’s first public teaching after the Resurrection, he quoted Psalm 16:8–11 and Psalm 110:1 and explained how these prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus (see Acts 2:22–36). In Peter’s next recorded public teaching, he explained how the prophecies in Deuteronomy 18:15 and Genesis 22:18 were fulfilled by Jesus, and he taught that “all the prophets” had “foretold of these days” (see Acts 3:22–26). Later, Peter, Paul, and other disciples consistently referred to ways the scriptures of the Old Testament testified of Jesus and His work.
If all members of the Church understood the scriptures and the doctrine there would be very few who would fall away. If their foundation is on the rock of our Redeemer they have a sure foundation and cannot fall (Helaman 5:12). If I ever stop reading my scriptures I expect someone to send me this email and set me straight. I am so grateful to be in the true
where we have the true doctrine on the Godhead, continuing revelation,
pre-earth life, and baptisms for the dead. Soon one of our investigators will
discover this for themselves and we'll be able to dunk them. Until then, keep
praying. I love you! church of Jesus Christ