Monday, May 26, 2014

Mr. Lewis and Sister Nelson

“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Weight of Glory

Puxa vida (my goodness). Mr. Lewis has really just about summed up our inner desires. I find so many people searching for something good, warm, and celestial. I also find so many people searching for something good, warm, and comfortable. And so, when we present the restored gospel they have to make the choice. I´m not saying the gospel is uncomfortable, but it requires a life full of changes and progression. There really isn't any room to idle. Just to rise or fall. The gospel offers this true friendship and meditation that people search so diligently for. They want the truth but they don't know where to find it, as they say. 

So yesterday the Boqueirão stake hosted the Curitiba temple president, Sister Nelson, and Elder Russell M. Nelson. It was such a great conference. Before I left home and hopped on the bus to head over the the stake center, I said a little fervent prayer in my heart, hoping that I could find what I was needing at this conference. We brought 6 investigators to the conference. It truly helped them understand the importance of eternal families and the need for saving ordinances. I would like to summarize a thought given by Elder Nelson´s wife, Wendy.

She let us know that she loves coming to Brasil to see the faithful members here. She loved coming when they came to break ground and later dedicate the Curitiba temple. When she changes flights in her heavy traveling schedule she always sees the sign "ONLY PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT" and at times it brings her to tears. She made the clear connection between flights and our eternal progress towards the kingdom of God. So that we can be a passenger that is permitted to enter the plane and fly high we have to make some prerequisites. We have to pack our bags, we have to get our boarding pass at the reception area, pass through security, wait, and wait, and wait some more and finally give our ticket to the flight attendant so that we can be allowed on the aircraft. She told us that she sees so many people all over the world that want to know how to return the presence of our Father in Heaven but don't know how. Only through completing the saving ordinances of the temple can we give our valid ticket to our Father, have rest in his everlasting and celestial kingdom and then progress forever. She then went on to explain that through baptism by the proper authority (priesthood of God), receiving the Holy Ghost by one who holds the priesthood, being endowed, and then being sealed as a family, is the only way that we can return and receive exaltation -- which is different than immortality. We have to stay firm, humble, and steadfast and only then can we return to God. ONLY PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT. Our life is very much connected with the lives of those on the other side. People that have passed on have literally passed on and really aren't dead. But very much living. I don't think they like to be called dead ;) They are just waiting for us to do the work in the temple on their behalf. 

The conference seemed so clear to me. I felt motivated and happy. These feelings should be the basis of our repentance process. 

Oh yeah and Elder A. Santos will be transferred and I will be training a fresh new American that got his VISA! Wooo português class. 

p.s. It is so cold here. So I wrap myself in my sweet Brazilian green blanket every single moment at home. 1.2.3 geography lesson --- I am living on the other side of the equator....that is so weird, right? And so the seasons are flip flopped. We should be getting snow this year because the summer roasted us.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Seeing Is...

(note from Liz:  if you read the scriptures daily, you can read this and get it done!  If not, these particular scriptures are well worth your time.)
Hello Everyone!
The Lord has blessed us so much in these last days. Yesterday, in sacrament meeting, I was looking at my fingers and moving them around. Wiggling, stretching, tightening, flexing, rolling, cracking, and feeling. I then started to look at all the details on my fingernail then wristwatch tan. I started to sit up straight and move my neck around. I touched my face and felt the heat difference from my cold hand to my warm nose. I blinked, wiggled my toes and then closed my eyes and saw nothing, but I could feel everything. My sensibilities seemed to be sharper and tuned at a higher level. Even when I did not see, I could hear the speaker. I could hear the speaker with more clarity because my ears were stretching to make good use of their function. I was not seeing anything, yet I could feel everything around me. The baby crying seemed softer as I focused on the rasp of the speaker at the pulpit. It worked. I walked out of the chapel and saw people on cell phones, driving cars, yelling at kids, running, crying, and people doing absolutely nothing. I closed my eyes and heard the birds in the trees, the sound of the wind and the two men chatting across the street. We don't need to see to be me more alert. We don't need to see to be more wise. We don't need to see to know proof of something physical. We can trust, feel, and think and have a confirmation in our heart. I know that Christ is our Savior, but here´s thing.  I haven't seen him. How do I know? I feel him. I know the the gospel is true because my faith is slowly becoming a perfect knowledge through the application of truthful and eternal principles. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know it to be the word of God and I know that it is the physical evidence that people are looking for. But the evidence just doesn't do it for me. When I play music or act I don't know if I am performing at a high level until I feel the confirmation between me and the crowd. Someone can tell me that I did well but if I don't know for myself what it's like to connect, I will never have satisfaction, right? 

Chapter 8

The Lamanites seek out and destroy the Nephites—The Book of Mormon will come forth by the power of God—Woes pronounced upon those who breathe out wrath and strife against the work of the Lord—The Nephite record will come forth in a day of wickedness, degeneracy, and apostasy. About A.D. 400–421.
 Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon.Behold, have but few things to write, which things have been commanded by my father.
 And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed.
 And my father also was killed by them, and even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold,they are gone, and fulfill the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, know not.
 Therefore will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither go it mattereth not.
 Behold, my father hath made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, would write it also if had room upon the plates, but have not; and ore have none, for am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that may live know not.
 Behold, four hundred years have passed away since the coming of our Lord and Savior.
 And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more; and great has been their fall; yea, great and marvelous is the destruction of my people, the Nephites.
 And behold, it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it. And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war.
 And now, behold, say no more concerning them, for there are none save it be the Lamanites and robbers that do exist upon the face of the land.
 10 And there are none that do know the true God save it be the disciples of Jesus, who did tarry in the land until the wickedness of the people was so great that the Lord would not suffer them to remain with the people; and whether they be upon the face of the land no man knoweth.
 11 But behold, my father and have seen them, and they have ministered unto us.
 12 And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, am Moroni; and were it possible, would make all things known unto you.
 13 Behold, make an end of speaking concerning this people. am the son of Mormon, and my father was descendant of Nephi.
 14 And am the same who hideth up this record unto the Lord;the plates thereof are of no worth, because of the commandment of the Lord. For he truly saith that no one shall have them to get gain; but the record thereof is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless.
 15 For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.
 16 And blessed be he that shall bring this thing to light; for it shall be brought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God.
 17 And if there be faults they be the faults of man. But behold,we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.
 18 And he that saith: Show unto me, or ye shall be smitten—let him beware lest he commandeth that which is forbidden of the Lord.
 19 For behold, the same that judgeth rashly shall be judged rashly again; for according to his works shall his wages be; therefore, he that smiteth shall be smitten again, of the Lord.
 20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and will repay.
 21 And he that shall breathe out wrath and strifes against the work of the Lord, and against the covenant people of the Lord who are the house of Israel, and shall say: We will destroy the work of the Lord, and the Lord will not remember his covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel—the same is in danger to be hewn down and cast into the fire;
 22 For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.

Read this. Then before you doubt your faith, doubt your doubt. It's a privilege that we have to know that God has opened the heavens once again to reach out to his people and bless them through HIS gospel. 

My invitation to you to know through the connection of the spirit. 

 Behold, would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
 And when ye shall receive these things, would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrueand if ye shall ask with csincere heart,with dreal intenthaving efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow the btruth of all things.
 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore,nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.
 And ye may aknow that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost;wherefore would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God;for he worketh by power, baccording to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.

Until next week,
Elder Forsyth