August 12, 2010
The most exciting news I received this week is that my Sister-in-law is having a baby in February.
I'm a little at a loss of what to write this week. Not only have I just barely written on Saturday but I also just spent the past half an hour pouring my heart and soul into a computer with the intention of sending it to my mission president. The Internet crashed and it has now been deleted. This is probably the worst p-day ever for this to happen because we're suppose to be running on a schedule.
On a happier note, Nauvoo is still a spiritual powerhouse to all that come. Just yesterday Sister Bitter and I met a man named Lou. Lou grew up Catholic. He is not Catholic anymore. In fact, he seems to be stuck between not being able to deny the existence of a God and the temptation to demand tangible evidence of that existence. We took him on one of the most powerful and short tours that I or Sister Bitter have ever taken. We shared with him Joseph's Smith's experience. We began from the very beginning at Joseph's confusion over what God wanted Him to do, what the scriptures meant and more importantly what it all meant for him. To this Lou said, with exasperation, "Well, I think I can connect with that". As we moved on he talked about the doubts he's had with the rest of Joseph's experience, the confusion lifting and his prayers being answered, his mind enlighten and as a result the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. He wants to hold it in his hand. Part of me wants to say that holding the restoration in your hand is like trying to hold a sunrise in your hand. It's an event, not a something. When we watch the sun rise into our view we do not say, "Did the sun come up? I'm not sure, I need to touch it". We know the sun has risen because of the light that fills our world and the warmth that creeps into our skin the longer we find ourselves in it. In the same way, we know the restoration has happened..... not because we can touch it, but because of the light that fills our life as we abide by and believe in the truth that has been revealed to us through the Prophets and the warmth that rises in us the longer and longer the spirit has opportunity to testify to us of this truth. We don't touch it. We see it and we feel it. But, for Lou, and anyone else who does wish to hold it in their hands, Joseph Smith was asked to translate The Book of Mormon by the power of the Holy Ghost. The same power that brought about the restoration and has built up the Kingdom of God on the earth in our day. One can hold the Book of Mormon and in a sense hold the restoration, and even better, one can read the Book of Mormon and feel Heavenly Father's love for them and know that it is true. The same way one touches a hot stove and feels that it is on. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It testifies of Christ and stands as a beacon to all who seek His face. I echo men of God when I say that I invite all people everywhere to read it and feel of it's power. I Promise you can know it's true. I promise God will bear witness of it in a way that you will recognize.
If anyone is wondering what happened to Lou, he felt the spirit. He filled out a referral card and requested the missionaries to bring the Book of Mormon by. As he reads he plans to call the missionaries in order to get any of his questions answered, and more importantly to call upon His Father in Heaven to recognize the spirit clearly.
These are the things that happen in Nauvoo. These are the things that I plead will follow me for the rest of my life. I will open my mouth. I will speak on His behalf.
I love this place. I love this work. I love the Book of Mormon and I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
I love each of you.
2Nephi 33:10-11 "...All ye end of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye shall believe these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto to me; and they teach all men to do good. And if they are not the words of Christ judge ye--for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory that they are His words at the last day...