The good news right up front is that Elder Lindley and I are sticking together for another week, the bad news is nothing terribly exciting happen this week. We do have one investigator who is getting close to baptism but most the others are struggling to keep commitments so that has been a challenge to resolve. (insert from Elder Lindley's email: We are moving in with another companionship down the road. Elder Harris, and Elder Elms. They are like our best freinds in the zone and we hang out with them a lot so this transfer is going to be dope!
So a quick story that shows my and Elder Kruegers lack of experience. One day before we went out to work, we looked out the window, we decided nah, we didn't need our umbrellas that day. So we went to work. I kid you not, I will never make the mistake of forgetting my umbrella again during tagulan! It started to rain! It is not fun! Me and Elder Krueger were soaking wet! And then part of our area had a flood in it. And we had to trudge through that black nasty crap water. Not the best day but it was an experience none the less. )
However, we have to understand how often foolish the wisdom of men really is. For example just a few hundred years ago people thought the Earth was the center of the universe and was flat. Therefore we can assume all of our wisdom today is also most likely lead to be somewhat false. The point is, God knows. In the dealings of science a theory cannot be proven, it can only be dis-proven. In the dealings of God, His wisdom cannot be dis-proven but only proven.
The more I read the holy scriptures the more I know God to be real. An interesting thought, as I was reading the other day in I believe 3 Nephi and came across a statement that Nephi makes in which he states the Sun to be the center of the universe some 2000 years ago. The revelations of God are ALWAYS eternal truths. However, sometimes I do believe he reveals this in terms of symbols for the reckoning of men. Like I said earlier about the days perhaps being periods, because of our limited scope of mind we cannot begin to fathom the full range of eternal truth.
I stand in a firm belief that in our period of mortality on Earth there will always be holes and questions unanswered. "How unsearchable are the mysteries of God", Jacob 4:8 I believe. Joseph Smith taught that, "Every man is inevitably pushed up to the wall of faith and there he must take his stand". By FAITH are all things wrought, and by FAITH did Christ create all things. We can therefore assume that the key eternal purpose to our entire mortal existence is specifically to obtain FAITH.
Now if we knew all things and comprehended all things, if the veil of our pre-existence was not so firmly over our minds, then how could it be any way possible to obtain faith. A simple warning if our doubts appear to be rivaling our faith, would be to pick certain principles that you know with all certainty to be true and build upon those rather than building upon your doubts.
We are of the dust of the Earth and have so little knowledge of truth, but what we do know we must cleave to with all our being. Until we become perfected in this life or the next I promise there will always be opposition and there will always be doubts. Interestingly enough the very first principle of the Gospel is in fact faith, but more than that, it is faith...in the Savior Jesus Christ. I know that there is no vision greater than that of our Heavenly Father and there is no plan greater than His plan of happiness (salvation, mercy, redemption whatever you prefer to call it). Therefore since there is no dream possibly conceivable to be any greater, if these things were to be not true than there would be no purpose whatsoever to living another moment.
However, I have chosen and I do stand in 100% firm faith that these things are true. I know them to be true for myself independent of any other because I have obtained a knowledge of them from God himself. This kind of knowledge cannot be taken or denied of men because it cannot be given by men. Only through the still yet piercing voice of the Holy Ghost can we know the eternal truths, "of things as they were, as they are, and as they will be".
The trick however to receive such knowledge is simple and yet difficult. In the introduction to the Book of Mormon it states that the way to receive a testimony is through 3 steps. Reading, pondering, and prayer. I would add an emphasis however to each of these 3 steps.
First we must read not for entertainment or educational value but rather with a deeper interest dissecting the words and focusing intently upon the words of the prophets as if they were standing in front of us, speaking them directly.
Secondly, we must truly ponder, apply, and think about each and every principle and feeling that comes to our mind as we read.
To set up the third step i believe the first two to be the most crucial. Before we receive the answer to the prayer we must have a desire to know it's true, so great, that it literally consumes our every thought and feeling. We can think of nothing else, we must want to know whether it is true or not more than we even want to breathe or live another moment. For our own protection, God will give us an answer to our inquiries according to our readiness to receive AND to act upon them. For an
example, Alma the Younger saw an angel, tangled over the torment of his sins for many days, and finally received a remission of his sins. However, even after all of that he STILL had to obtain a testimony of these things for himself through the Spirit after wrestling in mighty prayer and fasting.
All other experiences, signs, and facts about the restored gospel and Jesus Christ all only serve as the guiding signs towards the humble reception of undeniable knowledge through the Spirit.
I pray now more than ever, as the world seems to crumble away in wickness of its own wisdom, that we will stand firm and obtain, or retain a remembrance of, that testimony that cannot be denied. When you are up against the wall of faith, do not turn and run nor try to push through, but rather get down on your knees first to pray and then walk with firm faith that the Lord will crumble the wall before you as you walk to it.
Elder Krueger T