I hit the 17 month mark this week– my time as a missionary is now quickly coming to a close. Only 2 more group emails and I will then quickly and silently be released as a representative for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…. However, I can never be realeased from being a doer of the word and trying to be a humble and meek disiciple of Christ- that calling will just be starting.
Entonces, no tengo mucho por compartir, but I have some scriptures as always and some thoughts for y’all, but menos stories for this week. In mi lectura del Libro de Mormon I found his verse in Jacob– Jacob is one of those prophets that for me really just enters well into my heart and head(kind of like the teachings of Boyd K Packer as well before he passed away) and in chapter 2 verse 21 he says–
21… And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments and glorify him forever.
Which lead me to another scripture in Doctrine and Covenants which kind of cut me just a liiiiiitle bit–
11: 20 Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength.
There it is simply put by the Lord what our purpose is. Keep my commandments. Nothing else, in this life that is literally ALL that is required of us…
I gave a surprise talk yesterday with like 3 minutes of preparation called Tenga Anhelo por Cristo(not really sure what anhelo could mean in English sooooo), and then a stake counselor followed me and used practically THE SAME scriptures to talk about conversion. Anyway, so I was thinking about something he said– “what are we waiting for to put our lives in order?” and I realized that like Marta (Martha) my life before wasn’t in very good order…It was sometimes just full of ridiculous nothingness– like class rank, like getting scholarships, like worrying about clothes, like trying to be the best and make it look easy or just silly nothingness like that. But now I hope that the Lord will be able to say of me as he said of Maria
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
[41 Pero respondiendo Jesús, le dijo: Marta, Marta, afanada y turbada estás con muchas cosas.
42 Pero solo una cosa es necesaria; y María ha escogido la buena parte, la cual no le será quitada.]
I didn’t think much about my own salvation before, we tend to just assume that all is well in Zion. But I think maybe we should have a little bit more fear of the Lord. Santiago 2 teaches that REAL WELL.
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Especially in verse 19– Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Even the devils believe and TREMBLE…. Therefore should not WE also tremble before the Lord? We got to talking about repentance the other day after reading this and it gave me a stress allergy attack(the first one in literally year when I was in Riberalta) so we’ve avoided the subject since then. But basically the scriptures are clear. Doctrine and Covenants 19 makes it PAINFULLY clear the horrors of not repenting–
4 And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.
5 Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.
6 Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.
7 Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory.
The Lord himself then continues explaining what HE, THE GREATEST OF ALL, suffered so that we could repent.
15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.
20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.
I pray that His sufferings will not be in vain, and that we can repent NOW while we have bodies so we will not have to suffer ETERNALLY.
Yesterday I had a very very very wonderufl experience with the Sacrament– I just feel so squeaky clean today. I feel like a whole new person from my time here on the mission. Maybe outwardly and through an email I am not, but I feel so much different and better and cleaner and more confident and alive and focused on why I am here on earth. My feelings bring to mind several primary songs, but specifically this one.
I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I know who I am.
I know God’s plan.
I’ll follow him in faith.
I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ.
I’ll honor his name.
I’ll do what is right;
I’ll follow his light.
His truth I will proclaim.
I know the Church is true, I know that Christ directs His Church through a living and modern prophet…. I don’t understand everything about the Atonement, but I know that Christ suffered for me. I know that I am a new and better person, that I have been born again because Christ made it possible for me to do so. I know that missionary work brings this light to other people, and what a glorious bessing I have had to teach and preach and call to repentance to the people here in Bolivia and you all. I know that I was just a little girl who decided to serve a mission and share her spiritual experiences with y’all here, but really now, my intent is to invite you to come unto Christ. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done no one is too small or too big to come unto Christ and be saved. He has called and He calls us still and the way is upon to chose eternal life or eternal misery and woe according to our own desires.
62 I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.
O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice!
38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.
39 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye?
2 Nephi 2:27
Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
Last week– Alma 7: 14-16
14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to
cleanse from all unrighteousness.
15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the
waters of baptism.
16 And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me.
this week– Jacob 1:8
8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, [Erin], take it upon me to fulfill the commandment of my [Elder Brother Christ].
Hna E Butikofer