Sunday, April 7, 2013

"He is Risen. Jesus is the Christ" - April 1, 2013

Good day family and friends from Ukraine!

Can you believe that it is 10 degrees here and people are in shorts and t-shirts? We are for our prep day. Feels like spring!  Okay so there's a difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit, but it is pretty beautiful here! Happy Easter to you too!  

Some news from me...

President Campero (our mission president that was in USA being treated for cancer) is officially back! He flew back to Ukraine on Friday and is already back in full swing working. Everyone needs to meet this man. We were talking with a less active about the sacrifices we should make and he was just making excuse after excuse. We kind of stopped the light speech and really just talked to him straight up. I realized how incredible of a man our president was as I related his situation: A mission president,  life-threatening cancer, from Bolivia serving in Ukraine, had to be in America, meeting with as many doctors as he can, and all why? To get back to serve the Lord. Without even knowing if his disease was going to be fatal or not, he planned on coming back and has come back, either to die in the service, or live to serve Christ some more. We really do not have excuses. Especially when we compare ourselves to the Savior of mankind.

In this Easter season, I have been blessed with the opportunity to really ponder some more what I am actually doing as a missionary...and how I am thanking my Savior for what he did. 

This morning I was reading in Moroni 7 which states "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men. For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens. And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased?" 

That is, Moroni is asking us whether or not Christ's work is finished, - whether or not the miracles (or the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ) has ceased. He continues:

"Behold I say unto you, Nay;"

How have they not ceased?

"...neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men." (Moroni 7:27-32)

Take a moment to ponder just what Moroni and actually what his father Mormon is teaching us (which they left us these writings from over 1,600 years ago for us today).  In my words I would say this: Our Father in Heaven has created a perfect plan for our fullness of joy in the unit of families, unified with our Father in Heaven. Because of the nature of His Plan and Eternal Law, all mankind fell so that they could have joy, in the future, become full. Jesus Christ, our Loving Advocate and Intercessor  before the Father, whose name we praise especially this Easter season, took upon himself all that was made wrong by the Fall giving to us, all the children of the Father, an unconditional blessing of immortality and the returning back to the presence of God. But  we are held accountable now for our own choices. Hence why all prophets and apostles from the foundation of the world have said what? (and this is where Mormon's writings come in) Come unto Christ in order to partake of the blessings of the Atonement that are conditionlly given based upon each individual's personal usage of the Atonement. Or in the words of Mormon: "...lay hold upon every good thing...and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them." (Moroni 7:19, 24) 

Imagine to yourself you are with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who are sitting on their eternal throne in the heavens having completed the Miracle that is sufficient to save all men that will use it. You would see them, in order to allow all to use this gift in full, make a covenant with Abraham and all the holy prophets in the history of the world. You'd also see them giving the prophets the keys to access this gift and administer the ordinances (and thus the covenants) required to obtain the fullest blessings of the Atonement to all men. So now in the Perfect Plan of God the Atonement is completed (or The Miracle), the opportunity exists for all to obtain it (or to obtain the miraculous blessings of the Atonement), but do all have the opportunity to do so? This is why He sends His angels from His presence to testify to mankind that all may "...have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men." (Moroni 7:32). Who will carry the Good News to the world? We will. 

As Children of the Covenant of Abraham it is our privilege to carry the message of the Gospel to all the world until this opportunity has reached every corner, every man and woman, and every island, so that the Covenant may be fulfilled; that we "...[may] bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them." (Alma 42:31).   In this Easter Season, let us deepen our understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ by realizing the angels that declared "He is not here, for He is Risen" are none other than those who carry to all the world, to all the city, to all friends, and to all the families this glorious message: He is Risen. We are those angels. We are living testimonies that He is indeed Risen, that miracles have not ceased, but that His work continues with full-force. This is who we are. This is our marvelous work and wonder. This is what is really worth living for. I know it all to be true.

Happy Easter my wonderful Family! I love you so much! 

Elder Claypool 

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