Saturday, November 30, 2013


How is work going besides the fact that you are incredibly busy? Was that last letter that you sent to me a copy of your talk? It was phenomenal! I really did use it through out the week. Our unique message to the world is just that: Through a modern-day prophet, the Lord Himself has restored his true plan and the power to fulfill it; He guides that church today through a modern day prophet. This is the message that all need to here.

I really enjoy the message that you sent about the members being the angels that are inviting and preparing the hearts of the people. We play a crucial part in the gathering of Israel in fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, allowing all the families of the earth to be blessed. There is no greater use of our time, energy, talents, or hearts than on this great work

I was able to teach a lesson in Priesthood today about the Priesthood and just what a joy it is that we hold it! Can you imagine just what would happen if we all followed the counsel of President Uchtdorf and (1) understood the Priesthood, (2) lived according to the understanding we receive, and (3) continue to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. He made the comparison to a Piper Cub and a F18 and just how they differ in mastery of the laws of aerodynamics; however, the joy of flying was the same. Regardless of where we are or how many/few the priesthood is in our ward/branch, the joy of the Priesthood and the responsibility of the Priesthood are the same. 

It's a real pleasure to be here on my mission and grow...I do need to consecrate myself even more to the work, but I'm not doing too bad of a job serving the Lord - thanks be to Him for His patience in allowing me to make all the mistakes I have and do to get to this point. 
Isn't it wonderful just how the Lord answers our prayers! I think that the most incredible thing about our church and religion that differs from every other church that I have met with here is that we believe that we really can receive revelation. We shouldn't think of revelation as anything strange, visions, etc. (although that does happen); we should remember that revelation is just the simple revealing of truths from God to us. He hears our prayers! What a supernal thought! Can you imagine that all of us sitting here on this world are so small in comparison to the cosmos that our Father in Heaven directs...think of how many of us there are...and yet, he still listens to every sincere prayer of each of his children. 

This week we were able to talk about that a lot! Answers to prayers. We are here as missionaries not to convince anyone to come into the Church, or even to baptize them to increase the numbers of our attendance. We are simply here because of our burning testimony of the truthfulness of this message and all that it contains, inviting all to come to know for themselves. The foundation to any conversion to the Church is not even conversion to the Church at all! It is conversion to Jesus Christ Himself, and a witness of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. 

In one lesson that we had this week, a man was arguing the ability that we had to come to know truth. His metaphor: there are three blind men who are all around a massive elephant. One grabs the elephant trunk, thinks for a moment and yells "It's a snake!" The second grabs the leg, exclaiming "No, it's a tree!" And the last, grabbing the tail, exclaims "It is neither a tree nor a snake, but something small, skinny and fluffy at the fact, I'm not quite sure at all what it is." And so the world and philosophy looks on the notion of truth today. On the streets and in the circles of mankind wisdom you hear over and over again the words theory, hypothesis, assumption, and hunch. Some go so far as to claim they are true...however with time, or put against other philosophies, the honest seeker of truth just can't seem to wrap their head around it all and often gives up. This last week I was really seeing the fruits of pondering according to my own wisdom. I have to make a point and say that this is important! We must use our heads and ponder, think, hypothesize, decide, etc., but that is thankfully not the end of our quest for truth. 

Like those three men feeling the elephant, there was no way that they could find out what the elephant was due to their lack of abilities. However, our loving Heavenly Father plays the role of the man standing behind the three blind men, waiting to be asked. He sends us messages along the way - a tap on the shoulder, a reminder to ask him, trials to help us turn to him - but in the end we have to ask. I am so grateful for my ever-growing testimony that God really does answer prayers and that we can know truth as it really is. God has called a Prophet today to reveal to us Eternal Truths and has given us the Scriptures to continually solidify that knowledge. However, it is part of God's glorious plan for us all to ask ourselves and receive an answer ourselves. For me, it was a powerful experience to get on my knees for the hundredth time to ask if the Book of Mormon really is from him, if the plan of salvation really is the plan that will govern our existence, and if Jesus really is my Savior. I am pleased to say with wonderful listening, the answer I received is that it is true. All can receive this witness from God through their feelings and impressions that come to our  mind and heart when we ask in faith. To quote the Savior: 

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (Matt 7:7)

I love you
Elder Claypool

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