Last Saturday I was teaching a lady and I began to really think about promises. She is brilliant, three degrees, does research on the side, knows three languages, studied in Switzerland for 10 years, and is currently doing social research that is published in all sorts of science journals and on the weekends goes into the country and gives medical care to old farmers. She is very accomplished, but she also lives at home alone with just her dog and her turtle (I swear if I don't have children and I get to be that old I will just adopt or something). She mentioned that about 20 years ago she got a copy of the Book of Mormon while her brother was taking the discussions and at the same read the entire thing. So while we were discussing it she asked why God would give it to us. Although she couldn't remember all of it, she did remember that it was veyr similar to the Bible in a lot of ways and so she wanted to know why we couldn't just have the Bible. We began to explain to her why we need the Book of Mormon and then promised to come back next week and discuss more about the priesthood.
The next morning while I was reading in Doctrine & Covenants I came across D&C 3:19 which basically says that the Book of Mormon was brought to forth in order to fulfill God's promises to his children:
"And for this very purpose are these plates preserved, which contain these records that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people; "
I thought a lot about that, how important it is to God that he fulfills his promises. I thought about how he says that we are his promise generation, we are the "coming for of His church out of the wilderness-- clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (D&C 5:14). We are a generation that has to make promises and keep promises and that has had many promises given to us.
While teaching another lesson last night I noticed that bit about "clear as the moon, and fair as the sun". On Sunday nights we teach a group of older people who work at a furniture store. They have a lot of desire to learn English and listen to our gospel message with varying degrees of interest. We brought a member with us to teach and there was this very remarkable difference that I noticed- he shone. He is not rich, in fact he recently quite his job as a business man so that he can spend more time studying and currently he is a janitor at a school while he has to support his family and fulfill his many callings. He is not rich, he is not amazingly educated, he doesn't own his own furniture store, but in the midst of those people his countenance shone and his happiness was visible.
I thought a lot about some of the other blessings the Lord has given me personally and how I have seen them fulfilled. I flipped back through my journal and found some of the things that I wrote from the blessing I received when I was set apart to be a missionary and made a short list of promises I have seen fulfilled:
- Gift of tongues--although it is not how I had imagined, I can now speak Korean. This was one thing that took a lot more effort than I had ever imagined (aren't gifts supposed to be free?), however, I have realized that although I do not speak like a native Korean I can carry on a conversation and every day I am able to memorize more grammer forms and vocubularly than I ever did before my mission. Things just begin to make sense and I can understand the majority of things spoken to me.
- Patience with members-- I didn't understand this one at the time, why would I need patience with members who I didn't think were progressing? Wouldn't I be working just with investigators? Oh how much I needed to learn.
- Safety-- Korea isn't actually dangerous by any means, so it's not a big worry, however, I have feel protected nonetheless.
This week's challenge-- tell me some promises that you have seen fulfilled in your life.
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