Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Galesburg 4.20.15

Dear Family and Friends,

Tuesday night we had one of the new member lessons with Jo Godsil. We taught her about some of the commandments. It was such a powerful lesson. The spirit was there so strong. She is such a great lady. She has suffered through a lot of things throughout her life, but she is just so grateful for the gospel in her life. The Holy Ghost was with me so strong during this lesson and I felt like I knew exactly what to say. I say this not to boast of myself (Alma 26:12), but I am so grateful for the opportunity I have as a missionary to represent the Lord and be an instrument in his hands. 
After the lesson she asked if we could give her a blessing. Elder Riggins did the anointing and I sealed it and gave her a blessing. Satan bruised my heel (Genesis 3:15). We went back out to the car to get the oil, and when we were coming back I shut my foot in the door. It was really hard to not freak out and not swear. It was awesome to be a part of that night and witness what God can do with "raw materials" as the prophet Joseph once analogized to Brigham Young.
So for some reason I have decided that if I ever have a girl I am going to name her Annie. So every time she is mad or upset I can play Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson to her. Annie, are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?
So we were out around our apartment knocking on some doors, and this one house we knocked, a big  guy answered and we told him we were talking about the Book of Mormon. He just looked at it and said, "I want one". I was a little taken aback because everyone tells us to buzz off. So we gave him one, and then he said, "Saturday morning, 8:30" Jim Murray was that guy's name. So I guess we have an appointment on Saturday!
It has been a good week. Thanks for all the prayers and love. Love you all!

I was asked to speak yesterday on the importance of the scriptures. Here is a basic outline of what I talked about. This is a lot better than my 2 1/2 minute farewell talk (;

The Importance of Scriptures

1. What are scriptures?
The standard works of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are the Bible- Old Testament, New Testament; Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants; Pearl of Great Price
These are the canonized scriptures that we use and teach from.
The scriptures teach us doctrine, which are the essential truths that God wants us to know. Through different stories in the bible and Book of Mormon the prophets teach us these doctrines.

Scriptures are sacred writings of prophets, apostles, and other inspired people. God reveals his words and instructions through these prophets, seers, and revelators. These inspired people record their revelations from God.

Alma 13:20 "... Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction."
Alma 17:2 " ... they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God"

The holy scriptures are here to help us, guide us, and direct us. They can give us guidance, but only if we use them. 
-can't help us by sitting on a shelf.
--no osmosis learning from scriptures.

2. The Scriptures can help us find answers to questions.
-Elder Bednar has said that when he gets a new Book of Mormon he writes a question in the front then reads it through and looks for the answer to that question.
There are about 16 times in the New Testament when The Savior asks his disciples if they had not searched the scriptures when they had questions about things that had already been answered by what was written in the scriptures.
Joseph Smith solved his great question about what he should by reading in the scriptures.

3. The Book of Mormon
The most important book of scripture we have in this church is the Book of Mormon.
In introduction it says that it contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel.
The Book of Mormon also explains the plan of salvation, which is something unique to this church.
Most importantly, The Book of Mormon, along with all the other Standard Works of the Church, testify and teach of Jesus Christ.
233 of 239 chapters talk about Christ
Over 100 different names/titles
The Book of Mormon is the convincing evidence of the restoration. It is the tool that God has given us to know that Joseph Smith is a prophet.
Moroni's challenge (Moro 10:3-5)
-If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph is prophet.
-If Joseph is prophet, then priesthood restored. 
-If priesthood restored, then true church led by a prophet today.
-If prophet, then modern guidance from the lord.
Modern guidance is the most important scripture we have, uncanonized.

4. God has always revealed his truth through prophets.
1 Nephi 10:17-18 Nephi after hearing of his father's dream.

"... I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.
For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; ..."
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 
Moroni 8:18 says:
"For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity."
If God is unchangeable and the same yesterday, today and forever, then he would continue to reveal his "secrets" (Amos 3:7) to his chosen prophets.

Joseph Smith said:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded upon direct revelation, as the true Church of God has ever been, according to the Scriptures..."

Elder Garrett F. Scherer
Illinois Chicago West Mission
Galesburg, Illinois 61401 (309)

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