Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God
November 10, 2014

This week had to be the most insane of my whole entire mission and life, but I can honestly say that I've never learned more in my life. I feel like I'm really dramatic every time I write these emails but I really mean it!

I prayed about what I should write this time and all that came to my mind was "the first vision" and "your experience." A lot of different stories could be told about what happened this week, but I feel like I need to humbly tell you how I felt during it. I truly have come to know the meaning of Ether 12:27 in the Book of Mormon which says:

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

As I tell this story, I would just pray that the Spirit will convey to you how I truly feel about the Lord and about my mission and about this gospel. I wanted to start by reciting the First Vision from Joseph Smith's experience when he was called as a prophet to restore Jesus Christ's church today. When he humbly asked in prayer to know which church to join and which church was closest to Jesus Christ's church that had the full truth, and nothing but the truth, he said, "I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. when the light rested upon me, I saw two personages, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other, This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him!"

I want you all to know the greatness and glory of this experience. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ CAME to Joseph Smith when he asked them a question in humble prayer, which sparked one of the greatest times in history. The truth being restored to the earth and to the children of God.

This is why I'm here as a missionary, because I know this is true. I know without a doubt that this event happened! and that it is what brought forth the power and way to be ETERNAL FAMILIES forever. Yes, people can say that they think they are going to be with their families forever, but this gospel is what makes that thought turn into knowledge. This gospel and religion is more than a belief. It's not just a new church, or something established to keep our lives in order. It's HERE because it's the FULL TRUTH. It's not changed things, not new things, but restored truth that we all once knew. It's the truth telling us that we can know the mysteries of God here on earth. It's the truth telling us that we are going to be eternal beings and we are important. It's the truth telling us the truth of ALL THINGS! So much I can't even contain myself or fit it in this email! Oh,  also Elder Rhoades of the seventy came this week and in the middle of the fireside he asked me to come up and bear my testimony and recite the first vision...I forgot part of it while I was up this email is me making up for it haha. embarrassing.

Overall, what I experienced this week was the truthfulness of the gospel. I can say I know without a doubt that our Savior lives and loves us, which was so apparent in the First Vision. The picture of the first vision is the perfect symbolism. God is there to represent justice- He is a just God and we are accountable for our actions. Jesus Christ is there to represent mercy- He is our advocate and since He satisfied the demands of justice with the Atonement, he can apply mercy, and Joseph Smith- showing that we have to use our agency to search. to ask. to plead. to pray. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God!

I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers! I know that He literally hears every word. Never doubt that. God gives us trials in general on earth so that we can recognize our weakness and then with Him, become strong. I made it to my breaking point this past week on my mission. I knew I was weak and I didnt think I could come out of it. So much of my mission has been spent helping sisters, and doing things that seem like things OTHER than missionary work and it was making me so mad! because it really felt like it had broken me to a point that I had never been broken before, but through this experience I was able to learn that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are ONLY in the service of our God.

We can all change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, even when we don't think we can, or that others can or that we feel like we have before, but this time it's 'not working' or that you have done everything for someone and they still aren't changing. Never blame your circumstances- we can always change. I knew I had to and that was the hardest part, but that is how we learn about our Savior. I'm grateful for the change and growth we have to experience here on earth. I know it's always possible. and that is how I know this gospel is true, because I have learned that even the seemingly impossible is possible with Christ. JESUS CHRIST LIVES!

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