Monday, February 15, 2016

A Semi-Unhampered, Choice-Making Basis for Action: AGENT C!!!!

(Dooby dooby doo ba)
(Distant sounds of explosions.Blasts of flak cannons rock the aircraft. Agent C, in paratrooper gear, prepares to be ejected from the aircraft behind enemy lines. His radio crackles and springs to life.)
Red 5 (from radio): Red 5 to Agent C! Come in Agent C!

Agent C: Roger that, Red 5. I am ready to be air dropped behind enemy lines!

Red 5: Not yet, Agent C! We've just received new air drop protocol from headquarters! Before being air dropped, it is highly recommended that you be baptized! After drop we would then be able to leave you in the responsible hands of our Allstate Ward Black Ops Squad down on the ground!

Agent C: That's a no go, Red 5. I am not willing to be baptized.
 (Another blast rocks the aircraft. Agent C stumbles and falls to his knees.)
Red 5: Agent C! Are you really going to ignore protocol and then  carelessly toss your puny form into the turbulent night air to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine? I mean, uh, the  storm?

(Agent C makes no reply. He tosses his radio to the side, and leaps out of the open hatch. His limp form is briefly highlighted in a flash of lightning as he is buffeted by the tumultuous weather, before being swallowed up in the darkness of the night. Again, the radio crackles to life as Red 5 vainly attempts to communicate with Agent C)
Red 5: Agent C? Are you there?
(brief silence)
Agent C! Come in Agent C!
(Red 5 lets out a sigh of frustration and realization)
Let's return to base. We've dropped him.

Anyway, that story has absolutely no application at all to missionary work. Just kidding. That actually happened to practically all of our investigators this week, but hope is not lost. Agency is a vital part of the plan of salvation, and without it we would all be hopelessly lost, and completely hindered in our progression, like Congress on a bad day. In fact, we had an amazing experience this week as we taught Nancy. We were teaching her and her two older children, and no one was paying attention. Elder Poland was trying to bear testimony, and the older children were being disruptive Nancy was distracted. The Spirit was kept impressing me to speak up and in a sense, regain their attention, but it was a very intimidating prospect, because what I was told to say was very sharp, very clear, and not sugar coated in any way shape or form. I finally worked up the courage to speak up, it was amazing. The Spirit backed me up completely, and all disruptions temporarily ceased as everyone's attention was quickly called back to our message. One of the children then tried to prove antagonistic by asking questions rapidly to distract us. By the Spirit, we quickly answered each of his questions and then reciprocated with questions of our own, until he fell silent. Our message continued, and it was amazing. Many more things happened that night, and it was incredible how the Spirit led Elder Poland and I specifically to resolve and address Nancy's concerns. Finally, we reached the conclusion of our meeting, after she finally declined to continue learning. That's right. She declined. It was sad, but I knew with all my heart that we had given her a completely fair opportunity to accept it, and afterwards Elder Poland and I were absolutely awestruck at the divine guidance we had received. This taught me two things: 
1. God will not force us to follow him. Everyone has the option to reject the offer, no matter how strong the Spirit testifies of the truth to them. If that were not so, then every single person who ever spoke to President Thomas S. Monson would immediately be baptized.
2. The Spirit is our sword. It is our strength. If we do not teach by the Spirit, then we shall not teach. It is so important to be in tune with the Spirit, because with out it our work would be fruitless. The lesson with Nancy would have been absolutely pathetic without the Spirit there. We are merely instruments in the Lord's hands.
It is wonderful isn't it? I must go now, but I testify that this is the Lord's kingdom here on the Earth. I know that the church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Elder Benge

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