Monday, April 21, 2014

"Because of Him"

So this was my first full week with my new trio.  We did pretty well this week in every category except for sacrament meeting.  We found 9 new investigators which is the most I've had in a while. It was good to get back in the groove.  Elder Williams has been helping a lot.  We had 6 people lined up to come to church and none of them came... lame sauce. 

It was so cool seeing the "Because of Him" video "light up" Facebook.  All of the members that saw it loved it.  We ended up teaching Gospel Principles yesterday with the topic of Easter.  We showed the Bible video that came out last year called, "He is Risen."  We started talking about the Easter story and why all of that was a big deal.  We tore apart Alma 7:11-14.  Then we watched "Because of Him" to close.  It was a very spiritual meeting.  Too bad that there weren't many investigators.  We'll do better this next week.

I want to share a bit of what I have come to better understand while being here on the mission.  That is the example Christ gave while passing through all that was required to fulfill the Atonement.  As His suffering in Gethsemane was approaching, Jesus said that he was "sorrowful unto death."  He partially comprehended that what he was about to go through would stretch him like nothing that He, or any other human, had ever or could ever experience.  In more modern English, He essentially said to the Father, "Father, I know that you can do anything. I know you have all power.  Please let there be some other way."  And then, he starts his next phrase with the word that has become one of the most significant words for me found in the Bible, "nevertheless, not my will but thine be done."  To quote Elder Holland, "This is the Living Son of the Living God saying, 'isn't there some other way?' And for Him there wasn't."  

So when we are called to pass through our personalized trials, we are often tempted to ask if there is any way that we could get out of it.  We ask for the bitter cup to pass.  But the answer from our Father sometimes will be the same as it was for Christ.  God does not leave the salvation of His children to chance.  Everything that we pass through has been calculated perfectly to give all of God's children the best chance for salvation.  So when we are called to drink our much smaller versions of a bitter cup, we can know that there is always a purpose.   In these moments when we ask ourselves if God's love has ceased, in fact it is often being demonstrated in ways that we are often unable to recognize.

I can't remember who said this, but there was a quote that I heard this week that went, "If the New Testament ended with the death and burial, there would be no good news."  Christ's triumph over death forged the possibility of a brighter future.  Because he lives, we will all live again.  We have the promise that we will overcome our trials and weaknesses.  We have the promise that no bitter cup is bottomless.  Because he lives, all that is unfair will be made fair. 

Elder Maxwell said, "If it is also true (in some way we don't understand) that the cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be the receptacle of joy, how infinitely greater Jesus' capacity for joy, when he said, after his resurrection, “Behold, my joy is full.” How very, very full, indeed, his joy must have been!"  Someday, we too will experience this fullness of joy.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ is essential to our salvation and our eternal happiness.  All these things are made possible because of him.

I hope that you all had a fantastic Easter.  I thank you all for your love and your prayers.

Elder Christensen

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