January 15, 2018
A lot happened this week. And it was a great week.
We found a couple of investigators and we have a bunch of referrals currently. So, the work is going great; to me it shows that faith and diligence, combined with patience, brings the blessings of Heaven.
We also had interviews with our mission president and during my interview we talked a bit about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I felt inspired to focus on the gospel: faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Covenants, and receiving the Holy Ghost, daily. In the past, as I have focused on these things, I have seen the biggest changes in myself and I have learned the most about recognizing the Holy Ghost.
To me, applying the gospel of Christ is a great evidence of the truth of the Restoration. We learn the gospel (in its fullness) from the Book of Mormon. And once we know the Book of Mormon is true we know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet.
In Moroni 10:3-5 we are invited to pray about the Book of Mormon with “real intent,” we learn from modern prophets that real intent means to be willing to act on the answers we receive, or in other words act in faith. Therefore, faith is essential to learning if the Book of Mormon is true.
In Alma 32 we learn how we can gain or grow faith. Essentially, Alma sets forth a method we can apply to see if the fruits, or results, of something are good. A central message of the Book of Mormon is that gospel of Christ brings peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come, through Jesus Christ and His Atonement. In the gospel the Holy Ghost and the joy, peace, and happiness it brings are considered the fruits of the gospel.
Sometimes we overlook peace in this life. Of course, everybody wants peace in this life but discount it as we focus on just enduring our trials here until we can get the eternal life in the world to come. However, I have learned that the peace and joy we gain in this life by living the gospel of Jesus Christ is way more important than I first thought.
The apostle Paul states in 2 Corinthians 1:22
“Who [God] hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (emphasis mine).
I want to focus on the word “earnest.” The bible dictionary definition of “earnest” teaches something amazing:
A pledge or security. The word thus translated is a commercial term denoting the deposit paid by a buyer on entering into an agreement for the purchase of anything. As used by Paul (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14) it means that the Lord gives us His Holy Spirit in this life as a foretaste of the joy of eternal life. The Spirit is also the Lord’s surety that He will fulfill His promise to give eternal life to the faithful. (LDS Bible Dictionary)
When we apply the gospel, and feel the Holy Ghost, it is much more than being happy. It is a divine assurance that we will receive Eternal Life. The gospel brings us joy so we can know for ourselves that it is true; that we can know that it brings us ‘good fruit.’ Every time we apply the gospel and feel the joy that follows, it is evidence that the restored gospel is true and good!
And when we know that the restored gospel is true and good, then we also know that the Book of Mormon, which teaches us that gospel, is also good and true. And when we know that the Book of Mormon is good and true then we also know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom, and that we have living prophets today, that God loves us and made a plan for us.
It is my testimony that I have seen the fruit of the gospel. I have definitely felt that joy and peace. I hope to feel it every day. I know that the gospel and the Church that preaches it is true.
Regards from Elder Brown.