Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Well, nothing changed, but the Lord called, so I must answer."

Alright, so I failed to clarify things again.... Sorry! 
So, our investigator that watched Conference, who moved from Iowa and was taught by the missionaries there. We are teaching him, and he will be baptized in the beginning of May!!! We got a call from JS Saturday night, and he asked us if he could come to church with us, and of course we said yes, but when we went to pick him up, he wasn't home and his phone was off. We stopped by after church and he told us he was in Fargo and his phone had died, but we had a good chat and we are gonna meet with him on Tuesday. He is super solid and has an amazing foundation on Jesus Christ and his Atonement and who God is. I don't know why he attends the church he does, cause he doesn't agree with a lot of things they do... L and S are amazing! S knows so much! She could teach most of the lesson and we could just sit back and watch! L is doing so good. I don't remember if I said this, but L came to church last week after telling us he wouldn't be able to make it. When we asked what changed and how he was able to come, he said "well, nothing changed, but the Lord called, so I must answer." So, that essentially sums up L! He came to church again this week and he is soaking the Gospel in like crazy! 

So, the Langemo's lesson went pretty good, but not exactly how we thought it would. We had given them the Restoration pamphlet to read in preparation for our lesson, and when we got there, BJ (the mother) said she had some questions. She essentially told us she was raised to be a skeptic, so she is being just that. She asked if anyone was there to witness the vision Joseph had of God and Jesus Christ, and of course we said no, and she gave us that look, than later asked what happened to the Gold Plates that the Book of Mormon came from, and we answered they were taken up to heaven, which she gave us that look again, so I asked her "BJ, if I were to put the plates on the table right now, would you believe then?" to which she responded with "Yeah, I would" and I gave her that look that all parents give over their glasses when their kids lie to them, and than she said "well, no I wouldn't". We testified of the truth of our message, and told them not to take our word for it, but to read the BoM and pray about it, just as James in the New Testament says. Gene, the father, said he would, and M, their 13 year old daughter asked if she could have a copy of the BoM too. Than, when it was BJ's turn to respond, she simply said that she doesn't want to be rude, but she won't read it because she is comfortable in her ways. Than M, with a bit of a grin on her face, turns to her and says "well that's your problem. You can't change if you are comfortable." So, the lesson may not have gone the way we had expected, but it went pretty good. the spirit was there, and that is the most important part.
Well, something else I have run into a lot out here is the people who when you mention a prophet leading a world wide church, they always talk about how "no matter how pure he may seem, he is still a man, and unless the church is led by God himself, it will have the impure hands of man on it and things will be done wrong." That is what is so amazing about the Restoration. Throughout the Great Apostasy (the time ranging from the death of the Apostles up till 1820) man had his hands aaaaaallllll over the doctrines taught by Christ. The book of Romans in the New Testimant was a letter from the Apostle Paul to the leader of the church in Rome. For those of you who have read Romans, you will know that Paul is rebuking the leader who that letter is to, talking about changing doctrines and Ordinances (such as baptism and it's essential part in our salvation. see john 3:5). Over centuries, doctrine was changed, and there was no one like the Prophets of old to lead the church with direct revelation from God, someone who had the authority (or Priesthood) to make the changes that they did. That Priesthood was restored through a Prophet, just as God has always done throughout all of time. He called prophets like Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and even (or should I say especially) Christ himself, to straighten out the false traditions of their fathers. When man gets a hold of something, they change it to fit what they want. When God calls a man to guide us, it is "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" (Ephesians 4:12-14) There was never a time that needed a prophet more than today. Who God calls, he qualifies. God has always called men to guide his church, and he has never been wrong. Not to say that the prophets he called didn't make mistakes, but they never led the church astray. That is how it still works. "God is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hugh B. Brown once asked a man why God doesn't speak to man anymore like he used to. He continued by giving a few answers to his own question. He said, in essence, "Maybe it's because we don't need him. Or maybe it's because he doesn't love us anymore. He has abandoned us. Maybe it's because we have to fend for ourselves and just figure it out by wandering around in darkness." All of these are not the case, because he does speak to men again today. Pres. Uchtdorf said "Compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God." He would never abandon us, nor would he allow us to be led astray by the "sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive". Than, some might ask "no God that is loving would make only 1 church true. he would never do that." Christ said "Straight is the gate, and narrow the way that leads to eternal life." (I believe that is also in John 3? Can't remember off the top of my head) And that also is a great question. God wants all of His children to return to him, but he knows that that can't happen, because he has given us all our agency. that is why this church is a world wide church. That is why there are 86,000 missionaries in the world today, preaching the good word of God to all nations, in all tongues, to all people. Never was it easier to find truth than it is today, as long as you search with all you've got. God is not the author of confusion.
And, there I go again. Maybe next week i will have time to share some of the quotes I found! I've got a ton now, since it's been a few weeks since I shared any....

Hope all is well, I miss you all, and love you loads!
Elder Carter V

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