Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 24, 2014

Hey Everyone,
   I'm not going to lie, this week wasn't as successful as I would have liked. With the exception of a few miracles, nothing really worked out too well. It's getting warmer which is somewhat foreboding. Summer is coming too fast. I'm just grateful that I have a car for now.
   We got a few new investigators. I'm not sure how interested they are yet but at least it's a start. The one investigator we had set for baptism has fallen off the face of the earth. On the bright side we were able to find and start reactivating four members this week. That made my week a little better.
   One thing I've realized since being on my mission was completely summarized in a talk I read earlier this week. Our society has become more focused on our rights then on our responsibilities. Our world used to be one of moral absolutes. It is now one of moral relativity. The fact of the matter is that God has always, and will always, be a god of moral absolutes. Sin is, and will always be sin. Obedience is a very straight forward concept that has been skewed to be a very relative term. The world now thinks with a mind to bend the rules. What is a sin for one has now become socially acceptable as perfectly righteous for another.
   With this has led to a focus on rights and an apathetic disregard for responsibilities. For example, "it's my right to consume what I want" is one I have heard recently. First off, it's not. Second off, it's your responsibility to keep yourself clean and functional in the body a loving god gave you. It's your responsibility to have a sober mind that you can use to benefit yourself and others the way God intended.
   That was just one of the many things that I've heard on my mission. This world is changing. Sin is becoming more and more common and acceptable, even supported and encouraged. My worry is for my younger siblings and future children. How can they best be safe in a world like this? As I gave this some thought I remembered some insight Elder Meline shared with me a few months back. It's in the Book of Mormon. 1 Nephi 18:2 and 4. In this chapter it's talking about a prophet named Nephi. Nephi and his family have just fled Jerusalem. God has commanded them to cross the ocean to get to a promised land. Because of this commandment Nephi prays to The Lord for guidance. The Lord commands him to build a ship and these verses are the result: "2 Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men. 4 And it came to pass that after I had finished the ship, according to the word of the Lord, my brethren beheld that it was good, and that the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine; wherefore, they did humble themselves again before the Lord."
   This relates completely to us. If we build ourselves after the manner of men, we'll turn out alright. But it will just be alright. However, if we build ourselves after the manner of The Lord we'll turn out "exceedingly fine". That includes what and who we surround ourselves with and how obedient we choose to be. The gospel is simple. Choose the right. Build yourself after the manner of The Lord. My invitation is simply for you to choose to be "exceedingly fine". Nothing else. "Wickedness never was happiness."

     Sincerely, Elder Earl

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