Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Work of the Lord - July 29, 2013

There are a few miracles that I would like to share with you. The first is one by way of doctrine: In our recent mission leadership council where we all meet as leaders of the mission to discuss needs and be taught in order to teach others. Our council seeks the will of the Lord, and the end result is incredible. I just wanted to share what the doctrine of this meeting was with you because it really helped me see the bigger picture: The relationship between the Doctrine of Christ, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Gathering of Israel, the Spirit of Elijah, and Our Purpose as missionaries.

Our Heavenly Father gave us a perfect plan that included us coming to this earth in an imperfect state in order to grow and learn. Because of our mistakes and the true doctrine that no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God, it was requisite that a Redeemer or Savior come to the earth giving us the perfect example and means by which to follow him. He taught that we must have faith in him, repent, be baptized by immersion by one who holds the authority of God ( or priesthood), and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost that we may follow him and stay on the path that leads back to God. This is the Doctrine of Christ, or the path that all must walk to receive the cleansing and perfecting power of the Atonement that we all need.

So in order to allow all mankind to have the opportunity to walk this path God made sacred covenants with ancient prophets like Abraham that all the children of the earth would have this opportunity. He specifically covenanted with Abraham that through his posterity (Israel) all the families of the earth would be blessed and that they would carry the holy priesthood required to activate and ratify those saving ordinances. The fulfilling of this covenant lies one who's shoulders? The children of Abraham - the tribes of Israel. 

Throughout the history of Israel, they didn't always heed the prophets, thus distancing themselves farther and farther from God, until because of their wickedness they were scattered to the north and all over the world. The fulfilling of the covenant lied on scattered Israel's shoulders still. To then of necessity gather Israel, the Lord once again restored his church through a modern day prophet named Joseph Smith so that the prophecies of ancient prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel could be fulfilled. The Lord in his wisdom brought forth a record of an ancient remnant of the tribes of Israel that lived in the ancient Americas that was translated by the Prophet Joseph by the power of God and acts as the functional tool to gather Israel. This record is the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. By the thousands, the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints walk the earth as foretold by Jeremiah and Isaiah to gather back scattered Israel wielding the Book of Mormon as their tool to convert the hearts of the children.

The opportunity for all to hear about the Doctrine of Christ is being spread, but there is still more: thousands of our brothers and sisters are on the other side of the veil who never heard of or had the chance to accept the Doctrine of Christ and walk the path that he taught. But the Father has a plan for that. We learned that the gathering of Israel is happening on the other side of the veil in the spirit world ever since the Savior preached to those who were dead, as we read in 1 Peter 3:18;4:6 and D&C 138.They too are being informed. But there is still more:

On April 3, 1836 Elijah the prophet, appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith and gave him the power to seal families together for eternities in holy temples. The power to vicariously perform the saving ordinances on their behalf was also restored allowing all the families of the earth to be blessed and unified after this life and for eternity.

So where do we as members and missionaries come in to play? We are members of the tribes of Israel  who carry the solemn responsibility to declare the doctrine of Christ to all the world. We, through the waters of baptism, gather our fellow brothers and sisters of Israel to continue the work of blessing all the families in this world and in the world to come. When enough saints are gathered in one place, a stake of Zion is built and a Holy Temple of the Lord shortly follows making way for the great work of salvation to continue on the other side of the veil.

This work is much larger than we may presently when we're thinking about talking to that person on the bus, inviting that friend or family member to an activity, or inviting a way-ward brother or sisters back into activity, let this truth fill you and not any fear. For all we know, there are scores of spirits both waiting and already having exited this life counting on us, going before our face and on our right and left, seeking for their living family members to accept the gospel and perform the work necessary for their salvation. This is the Work of the Lord. As my companion has said: "Nothing can stop it, but our personal righteousness can speed it up."

I hope that gives you a little vision of what we're doing here :)    

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