Friday, May 18, 2012

"Howdee Hi-Oh!" 4/16/12

Dear Family of Mine,

In reference to my last letter, in which I commented that the previous week
had been the hardest in my mission, I still hold to that statement, but I
have come a ways since then. I've learned a lot. The day following my
last letter we had interviews with Presidet Gulbrandsen. In the letter
that we send weekly to him, I had expressed my frustrations, pains, and
troubles. When I entered his office, his words to me were "Well, you've
had quite a week!" We then proceeded to discuss the contents of that
letter. I had expressed pains and concerns in which I had had the feelings
of wanting to return home. I had already determined that I would not
return home until I had faithfully completed my mission, but I was still
troubled. As I expressed in my last letter, I had learned a bit in how to
cast my burdens upon the Lord, but I was still holding back some of the
pain. In short, after certain events, a few recent converts of mine were
seriously offended and hurt and deciding whether or not to remain with the

In the interview with President Gulbrandsen, we spoke about the Missionary
Purpose and the story of Enoch. The missionary purpose is to "Invite
others to come unto Christ through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement,
repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to
the end." That may not be the exact quote, because I was translating from
Spanish. So we talked about how it is our purpose to help other people to
receive the Gospel as taught by the scriptures and Christ himself, whose
words can be found in 3 Nephi 11. Another way to put it is to quote the
third, fourth, and fifth Articles of Faith.

"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved,
by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. We believe that the
first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
Ghost. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by
the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel
and administer in the ordinances thereof."

So, to receive all the blessings of God for us, even up to eternal life, we
must obey and follow the laws and ordinances set forth by God, which must
be performed by those who hold the proper authority to do so. I have
learned a lot about this Doctrine by studying it in the scriptures
this last week. Specific parts that I studied were in 2 Nephi 31 and
32, Mosiah 18, 3 Nephi 11, and other places and verses connected
through footnotes and Preach My Gospel.

The other thing that we discussed in my interview was the story of
Enoch. This morning I took the opportunity to really read the whole
story as found in the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. It
starts in Moses 6:26 and goes up through the end of chapter 7. Many
things in these two chapters are discussed, among them the Doctrine of
Christ as taught to Adam, but from which I want to focus on only a
part. Well, two parts. How Enoch start out, and how he ended. When
he was first called of God to be a prophet, he asked "Why is it that I
have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people
hate me; for I am slow of speech; [why] am I thy servant?" To this
God responded "Go forth and do as I have commanded thee... Open thy
mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance." So
after asking why he was called, God told Enoch "go and do" (think
Nephi) and he would be given the words to say (think Samuel the
Lamanite). So Enoch obeys and at the end of verse 37 in chapter 6 we
see that "all men were offended because of him." Now I'm sure that
Enoch was hurt that the people didn't want to hear him and certainly
many rejected flat out everything that he was. But now listen to the
end of the story. Many people began to believe in the words of Enoch,
and they gathered together and built a city "The Lord came and dwelt
with his people... And the Lord called his people Zion, because they
were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness" (Moses
7:16,18) "And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt
in the midst of Zion." After 365 years of existence this way, Zion was
taken up by God unto himself (Moses 7:68-69). So what President
pointed out to me was that in the beginning, even though he was hated
by every one and he offended everyone, after plenty of time and lots
of patience, his people were exalted and taken to dwell with God.

So after having studied more in depth these things and learning more
about the life of Christ, who Himself was despised and offended many,
I have been comforted in the fact that if I do everything I can the
rest will be made up by the grace of Christ.

I know this Church is true, that it is the only church on the earth
today who has the authority of God to administer the ordinances
necessary for salvation in the Kingdom of God. It is something that I
have taken time and personal pain to learn, and I suppose that I will
continue to be tested the remainder of my life. It is in the trials
that our faith is tested. After all, we "receive no witness until
after the trial of [our] faith." Every time I teach about the
Restoration, which is the lesson we teach the most often, my testimony
is strengthened and I want you all to know that I do indeed have a
testimony of the divinity of this Church. The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's Church once again established as
that of old and holds the priesthood authority as given to the
Apostles of old. The Book of Mormon is the proof of all of it.
Through reading its pages, pondering its messages, and sincerely
praying to God in Jesus' name to know if it is true, we will receive
an answer, no matter how many times we may have done so already. That
answer will be that the Book of Mormon is indeed a true book of
scripture. Joseph Smith was called of God to restore His church to
the earth, and Thomas S. Monson leads it today as a modern prophet and
revelator. It's true.

I love you all. Please let me know if I can do anything for any of
you. I miss you.

Elder Dewsnup

No comments:

Post a Comment