Monday, August 4, 2014

Ebola and the Book of Mormon

So you are probably wondering what is happening with the Ebola outbreak. I have copied the letter that my Mission President has sent to us. That way you can know as much as I do. It reads:

Elders and Sisters,

Some of you may have heard that the Church has released an announcement that all missionaries assigned to Sierra Leone and Liberia are being reassigned to other missions due to the Ebola outbreak there. No missionaries there have contracted this virus. Missionaries are safe and have been screened for any health concerns. We understand that missionary reassignments from these two missions will take place throughout this upcoming coming week. It is unclear at this time missionaries who may be reassigned to our mission but we expect to get more information about this early in the week.

As you know, the safety and health of each of you is uppermost to Sister Hill and me. Since no Ebola cases have been reported in Ghana, there is no cause for concern here. We continue to monitor the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone and will update you as any new facts occur that may be relevant.

It is always wise to practice good hygiene and follow healthy habits to maintain our own personal health. So, we would encourage you to do the following which should be considered as standard practices in our Mission:

1. Take Doxy every day. It is an antibiotic and will help with combating other diseases and infections in addition to malaria.
2. Wash your hands 5 times or more each day with antibacterial soap for which the mission will reimburse your apartment leader.
3. Wash kitchen and bathroom surfaces each week with bleach or a similar disinfectant. Wash your sheets with bleach each month.
4. Use bed nets each night and spray them with promethium every few months.
5. Do not eat roadside beef or bushmeat. Do not eat any meat your may not recognize even in members or investigators homes.
6. Use your Seychelle bottles and apartment water filters and drink 4-5 liters of water each day.

Following these standard practices means that we will enjoy each day more and be able to serve the Lord more effectively each day.

President and Sister Hill

Ok so moving on. This week was very good. We've found a lot of success this past week in our work. I am happy that my mom and dad were the only ones to do it this week. Still sitting at two. . .we can improve. This week I would like to share what I learned from PMG. Before I get into it, we need to read something:

 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me yeblessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?
 Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you?
 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfectremembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?
 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having theimage of God engraven upon your countenances?
 I say unto you, can ye think of being saved when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects to the devil?
 I say unto you, ye will know at that day that ye cannot besaved; for there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.
 And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?
 Behold will they not testify that ye are murderers, yea, and also that ye are guilty of all manner of wickedness?
 Behold, my brethren, do ye suppose that such an one can have a place to sit down in the kingdom of God, with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, and also all the holy prophets, whose garments are cleansed and are spotless, pure and white?
 I say unto you, Nay; except ye make our Creator a liar from the beginning, or suppose that he is a liar from the beginning, ye cannot suppose that such can have place in the kingdom of heaven; but they shall be cast out for they are the children of the kingdom of the devil.
 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the songof redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?
 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.
 Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped ofenvy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.
 And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?
 Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand that he must repent or he cannot be saved!
 Yea, even wo unto all ye workers of iniquity; repent, repent, for the Lord God hath spoken it!
 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.
 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely;
 Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire—
 For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit, or whosoever doeth not the works of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn.
 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 sheephaving no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice!
 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.
 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a childof the devil.
 For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.
 Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.
 And whosoever doeth this must receive his wages of him; therefore, for his wages he receiveth death, as to things pertaining unto righteousness, being dead unto all good works.

Some of you know where this is from, others do not. I want to ask all of you some questions:
     1. Where is this coming from? The Devil or God?
     2. Would the Devil really want you to search your soul and ask yourselves such questions?
I don't think so. So if it isn't from the Devil, it must be from God, through one of His Prophets named Alma the Younger in the Book of Mormon. Now some people out there feel that the Book of Mormon is of the Devil. However, judging from what we've all just read, I want you to truly ask yourselves if Satan would really want you to ask yourselves these kind of questions? 

Now like I've already mentioned, if it is not of the Devil, it has to be from God. Because the opposite of Evil is Good. But even then some people reject this book. They argue, saying all these crazy things, 'can't add to the bible', 'where are the gold plates', etc...pointless questions...really, faith is believing, the not seeing! NOT the other way around. Others hear rumors, lies, that sorta crap, but honestly, Christ himself said, "Judge not after the appearance, but Judge righteous judgement. John 7:24
Yea, it is a Blue Book and it has nice gold writing on it. BUT HAVE YOU READ IT? NO! I have seen people open it and still not believe it is true. All of them when I ask why not, I ask if they have prayed to know if it is true or not. All that I've asked have said no. They did not pray. They did not ponder. There is a reason in the introduction of the book it says that you need to not only read, but to ponder in their hearts the message it contains and then to ask God if it is true. THEN. . .THEN you will know if it is true or not. 

Why is this so important?  Joseph Smith Jr. said it perfectly, "The Book of Mormon is the Keystone of our Religion." Take away the Book of Mormon and everything else is false. However, if the Book of Mormon isn't taken away, then Joseph Smith and Co. stand. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true Church on the face of the earth. Why is that so hard to understand? Think it through. For those of you who have a 3rd grader in your home, ask them to write a 531 page book in less than 90 days. Ask them to write one Chapter of such a book.  Include in your story 54 chapters dealing with wars, 21 historical chapters, and 55 chapters on visions and prophecies. And, remember, when you begin to write on visions and prophecies, you must have your record agree meticulously with the Bible. You must write 71 chapters on doctrine and exhortation, and here, too, you must check every statement with the scriptures or you will be proven to be a fraud. You must write 21 chapters on the ministry of Christ, and everything you claim he said and did and every testimony you write in your book about Him must agree absolutely with the New Testament. 
I ask you, would you like to undertake such a task? I would suggest to you too that you must employ figures of speech, similes, metaphors, narrations, exposition, description, oratory, epic, lyric, logic, and parables. Undertake that, will you?
So now you understand where you must stand. Find out if it is true or not. I know that this book is true. I have read it several times, and I know with all my heart, that this book is true. 

I love all of you and can't wait to hear from you next week. 


Elder Bowden

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