December 12, 2016
Hello, as many of your may have heard, I had a hard time last week. But this week has been very good. I relearned the importance of obedience this week, and from that I have found great power and great joy.
Today I also want to fulfill the #LIGHTtheWORLD challenge, which is about teaching. Since I learned so much about obedience this last week I would like to focus on that.
First I would like to start with a question. Why does God have rules and commandments? Here is a scripture that gives me an answer. It is Alma 42:16-24 and it says:
Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.
Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?
Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.
Now, if there was no law given–if a man murdered he should die–would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?
And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.
And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?
But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.
For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.
What this scripture means to me is that if there was no law then we would not be motivated. We would be so confused and we would not be able to tell what was harmful to us or not. And I bet we would want some guidelines on what to do.
So basically, the commandments are for our good.
But as a missionary we have far more than the commandments; we have the mission rules as well. And there are a lot more mission rules than commandments. One might ask, “why do we have mission rules? Shouldn’t the commandments cover all that?” The reason is simple, missionaries are expected to represent the Savior, and thus they need to be as the Savior was and that is to be obedient.
Jesus Christ did everything Heavenly Father asked him to do. Even when he was afraid he submitted to his Father’s will. He literally underwent the most painful experience ever, because he was asked to do it.
As missionaries we are not asked to do things that are remotely as hard and painful as what Jesus did. The things we are asked to do are not difficult. In actuality, the things we are asked to do are really good for us. And if we can’t do those really easy and simple things, that literally only benefit us, how can God trust us to help others and do something that is selfless? He can’t.
I truly believe that missions are made not only so that we can bring others unto Christ; but also for us to build trust in God and do whatever he asks. And if we can do that, if we can put our full trust in God, and do what He asks of us, then we will be prepared for anything.
Regards from Elder Brown.