Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Well hello friends and family,

Well this week was a good week. We were able to begin teaching new people we met and that was pretty neat. They are nice people and are willing to learn about the gospel. Its always good to meet people who sincerely just want to follow Jesus Christ.  We were able to teach a lesson to these two girls but one of them was asking a lot of contentious questions. It still went well though, because we were able to keep directing them back to the big questions - Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God? Did he really translate the Book of Mormon? We also kept refocusing on how they could know for themselves. I invited them to ponder the following: Was Noah a Prophet? Yes!? Well, why did so few heed his words? Was it because he wasn't a true prophet? Nope. It was simply because the people were convinced that he was crazy and that they all ready knew that what he was saying could never happen! 'THERE COULDN'T BE A FLOOD BECAUSE THAT'S NOT HOW THE GOD WE KNOW WORKS'. Who knows what was going through their heads... We know now though that he was a prophet. Would you have believed Noah? Next, If God had a wonderful, miraculous message of greater knowledge and truth that He wanted to deliver to all man kind how would He do it? How would He restore it? How would He get it to you? It would be in the same manner in which He has done so for centuries. He would call a prophet to reveal, organize, and serve as a shepherd over His flocks.
I related an analogy similar to the following to them:  If our friend Colt told me to tell you to do something that was super important, and you didn't believe that he actually told me to tell you, would you just reject a really important thing? Or would you call up Colt and ask him if it was true?

That is what we as missionaries do. We pass on the message. If you don't believe us then just try out the message to see if its really good - ask God if He sent us. Simple.

Many people are just intimidated by the idea of Spiritual truth being delivered by a stranger.  Let's draw another parallel. Mormons do this thing every holiday season where they make cookies and baked goods and then go and ding-dong ditch another member's home and leave the cookies; hopefully making their escape before the other people see them.  

Well, the other day a member was telling us a story of how her son and some of his friends went to do the very same thing, with one exception: they were going to leave the cookies on a random person's doorstep with the intention of brightening the hearts of someone else. So they went about their baking and preparations and began their adventure. As they left the cookies and hid to watch the reactions of the people from afar they were disappointed with the reaction of nearly all the people. Most of the people were irritated, bothered, or angry that someone would pull such a 'prank' and some even tossed the cookies while in plain view. Their reaction was dictated by the fear that someone was trying to deceive and/or destroy them, and in turn these random acts of kindness were perceived as pranks.

The difference between my parents letting us eat the cookies that showed up on the doorstep and the people who tossed them was expectation. Many lies are propagated about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by people who, in all actuality, know nothing of our faith and have never attempted to learn if it was true by simply 'tasting' of the 'cookies' that we walk around trying to share. I walk around with a plate of revealed truths, testifying that they are indeed sweet and amazing, and that they will bless peoples lives.  Many times they reject me, even though my very existence as a missionary testifies of its truth.

No one can make a 19-26 yr old do anything they don't want to do. PERIOD.

And the only reason I would ever do this work is because I know it is true. I have read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, not as a skeptic, but with the same desire that any true adventurer or scientist, who has ever discovered something great or amazing has proven their desires and hopes true. A skeptics answer is ignorance. Too often skeptics do not do all that is required in order to find the truth.

In order to learn of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon for ourselves, independent of any other person, being, or influence on this earth; an individual must read it, and then pray to God, in the Name of Jesus Christ, and ask if the book is true. Those who meet the qualifications of possessing faith in Jesus Christ, a sincere desire to know the truth of it, and real intent to act on the message if it is true - will receive an answer from God through His Holy Ghost, of the book's truth, purity, and divine origins.

Anyone can know, if they are willing to try the cookies. :) That's why members need to work to share the gospel, its a lot easier to eat a cookie from a friend than a stranger!

I hope this all makes since. If not, I would be happy to explain to any who have questions. My contact info is on my blog page.

Elder Britton Winterrose

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