I don’t have very much time to type today because they are trying to close the Family History Center where we are emailing.
Yes, Mom, I got the package. I thought I said that. The blackberry jam is fantastic. General Conference was fantastic. For me, the main themes were:
1. God is hastening the work, and that is accomplished through US, the members. Every needs to do everything possible to share the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone.
2. Gender is a sacred identity and each gender comes with specific roles and responsibilities throughout the eternities.
3. Sorrow and pain are essential parts of life. Without them, we would not grow. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be happy despite the fallen state of the world.
4. Christ’s church is one of diversity. All of us are unique and we need to love and accept everyone with open arms.
A lot of people this transfer have asked us as missionaries why “Mormons” are always so happy, and that is something I have been thinking a lot about. I mean, logic and science show us that a life free from drugs, alcohol, addiction, and infidelity will be happier and more successful than a life where any combination of those are present, but is that it? For a long time, I really didn’t feel like members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were any happier than anyone else. I mean, we all have trials and sorrow and pain and suffering. But as I have served my mission, my eyes have really been opened to what it means to be happy. Most people in the world don’t know how to communicate with their Father in Heaven, how to truly study the scriptures, how to receive divine revelation for their individual lives. Without the knowledge (not the belief or hope) of the Plan of Salvation, what reason is there to be happy? Without God, what is the purpose of life?
I know that Jesus Christ lives and is my personal Savior and Redeemer. I know that God is not only my Father in Heaven, but the Supreme Creator of the Universe. Without a doubt, I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that we can come closer to God by abiding by its precepts that anything else in this world. I know that the Bible is the word of God and that by diligently studying we can gain deeper and richer understanding of the nature of God. I know that God is perfect, but humanity is imperfect. Despite living in a fallen and wicked world, we can have lasting happiness. Not the happiness of a good day at the lake or of getting a dream job, but an Eternal happiness that can buoy us up even in the darkest of times. And why do I know these things? Because I have tried the word of God. Because I have to rely on God when I can’t stand up. As we learned in General Conference, it is better to doubt our doubts than to doubt God.
Believe in God. Believe that he is. Believe that he hath all power in heaven and in Earth. This knowledge and His hand will bring Eternal happiness.
For all of you that didn’t have the opportunity to watch general conference, do it. The messages contained there are key for us to be happy. You can find it on:
I miss Spokane! I miss seasons. I miss free time. I miss my family and my friends. I have really gained a deeper love of my family out here, a love that in some ways I don’t feel like I can properly express.
By the way, the transfer ends this week and Elder Loutensock is becoming a Zone Leader. He will be staying in our zone, but moving to the Singles’ Ward. Elder Coen and I will be staying together and our new companion’s name is Elder Bledsoe.
I love all of you!