Monday, March 28, 2016

The Clause of Christians (Also, Happy Easter!)

I'm pretty sure the title is a punitical allusion to something, but I have no idea whatsoever where it came from... 
In any case, this last week has been one of great pondering and reflection for me. Our current cloud of potential investigators is just like a giant nebulous bubble that we have recently been unable to have any traction with. It's just an overwhelming, intangible blob that has become rather frustrating to work with. As to interesting happenings and goings-on that have occurred this week, I can think of none. So, in order to actually leave you with something of value (whether real or imagined), I will let you in a little ways on some of the "insights" I've had this week.
Mostly, I have been pondering on society, and it's utter rejection of anyone who sincerely follows Christ without fear of man. This past week, my companion and I have faced rejection numerous times, and not only that, but lately they have become increasingly more vehement and/or obnoxious in attitude. While I have become rather accustomed and calloused to rejection (don't worry about me), it caused me to reflect on how selfish society is.
Most people don't really want to follow God. Yes, many people profess to follow him and loudly proclaim that the love the Lord on occasion, but in reality, most people want religion to take a back seat in life. They don't want, heaven forbid, God to actually be the center of their life (In case you couldn't tell, that statement was positively dripping with sarcasm).
No, whenever religion presents itself outside of their pre-determined time for "religion" (usually, that time is once a week, when they go to church), they find it irritating and offensive. Relatively few people are actually willing to serve God. Rather, most people want a god that will serve them. They profess to love and follow Him with their lips, but in reality, they "have removed their heart[s] far from [Him], and their fear toward [Him] is taught by the precept of men." (Isaiah 29:13)
The reason I bring this up is not to pronounce judgement on the world. True, it is sad, but we all have our agency. We cannot complain that others have made bad decisions. We all have. The reason I brought this up is because I wanted to warn all of you not to have religion take a back seat in your lives. No, it's not easy to devote your life to God. But it's worth it, and it is the only way to find true and lasting happiness. That's a promise. It is hard work, but every moment of it, every single right decision is rewarding, fulfilling, and satisfying. So, in a way, it isn't that hard to follow Christ. the hardest part is starting. Once you allow the Atonement in your life to change your erroneous ways and habits, it begins to be easier to do what is right. Not because the nature of the thing has changed, but because we ourselves have changed and increased in our ability and proficiency at it. How? By becoming more like Christ. We change for the better by using the Atonement.
I'm sorry if this letter has not been as bubbly and absurd as you had hoped it would be, but the truth is, everything has a time and a season, and this week I just felt like writing about what I you have just read. I do love the work here. Finally, here is an uplifting Easter scripture that touched me this week:
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
I especially like that last phrase: "shall have the light of life".
Jesus Christ is the light and the life of the world. He is the light and the life of my life, and I am so grateful for Him. I am almost out of time, but I want to say at long last, that I love all of you. I know that God has restored his true church here on the earth, with all the power and authority and validity it had when Jesus Christ set it up on the earth. I know that my Savior lives. I know He loves each one of you, and each and every person you will ever come in contact with. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Benge

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