Prove it! 1/18/16
Spiritual truths must be learned by the Spirit.
When we showed up to Mila's to teach she had a friend over who was interested to learn more about the gospel. Best thing ever! It's a bit funny because she doesn't live in Wycombe but she'll be back next weekend so we'll get to teach her a third time. She's interested in different religions and seems really excited to discover the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon for herself. On top of it all, her name is Connie so I can't forget.
Besides that the most exciting thing that happened was moving into a nice big flat. It's so good to be spoiled again!! Now I have some personal space in the evenings.
It isn't a rare occurrence for someone to try to prove or disprove the Church, the existence of God, the resurrection of Christ, miracles, etc. This morning I studied in D&C 50 and I had this sudden realisation that there is only one way to develop a real testimony that will last. That's through the Spirit. I don't know if I can explain what's in my heart properly but here we go.
17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
20 If it be some other way it is not of God.
I have expressed similar thoughts before but now I understand that if we try to convince people about the truthfulness of the Restoration or try to prove it in any other way than through the Spirit, than it's not God's way. He has given us the way to do missionary work in Preach My Gospel. People sometimes want a big secret to easy success, but there is no secret. The manual is there. People want a big epiphany to know of the reality of God, but he has told time and time again of how to know. It's the same thing we tell people repeatedly.
In the information age people are more inclined to trust a dodgy website more than ecclesiastical leaders inspired by God Himself. The part that bothers me is why? This mistrust may come from a limited perspective on a piece of history they cannot understand. For these people I recommend a prayerful study of Jacob 4:14.
Thinking about the early Latter Day Saints being persecuted and banished reminds me of Jesus telling a group of skeptics, "A prophet is not accepted in his own country" (Matthew 13:57, Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24, John 4:44). It's probably the same reason missionaries are sent away from home. How would the neighbours in our area respond to my teaching if they have memories of me speeding down the road with the music bumping or doing wheelies on the bike? Plus it'd be pretty weird to see people I know on my mission!
I guess what I'm saying is that there is a lot of things I don't know, but I know that the Lord's hand is in this work. When we are humble enough to trust Him we experience miracles. The only way to ultimate joy is through the gospel of Jesus Christ and that was restored by Joseph Smith.
PS We woke up to a whole inch of snow Sunday morning! :)