Today I received a packet from my mission president, President Wilkey. Now, if you read my very first post from when I first opened my call, I said I was pretty disappointed when I found out I wasn’t going foreign. Eventually, that went away and turned to excitement. Each step towards my mission whether it be shopping for clothes and shoes, taking mission prep, taking temple prep and interviewing for my temple recommend, making an appointment to receive my endowments, or studying and learning more and more about being a missionary has made me more and more excited and so extremely happy! I know serving a mission is what I need to do at this point in my life and everything is falling into place. My life has been quite a bit better since making this decision and receiving my call. But, I never really received confirmation, exactly, that New Hampshire is where I need to be. I told myself over and over that it is, because I know that these calls come from the Lord. At least, I didn’t have that confirmation until tonight. As I was reading the page about the history of the New Hampshire Manchester Mission and saw how much church history is in that mission, I just suddenly knew that this is where I belong. New England is where I’m needed. I still don’t know why. Maybe I’ll find who I’m supposed to marry. Maybe there’s something I need to learn that can only be taught by the people there. Perhaps I’ll find someone who wouldn’t open the door to anyone but me. I may help convert a lot of people, but more likely, I’ll only plant the seed needed to start their faith in God. Whatever the reason, I know this is where I’m needed the most.
Many people may not agree with what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes and teaches, but maybe I can at least introduce them to God and help them be better people. As a person who has been called to serve as a missionary and official representative of the Church, I need to share what I know. I can’t sit around and pretend it isn’t real, that there is no God and that He doesn’t speak to us, doesn’t have the ability to speak to us every day. I can’t deny that I know He is real. I have received my own testimony of that and of the truth of His word. God is good. God is there for you and me. If you’re not convinced of the truthfulness of His Gospel, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that’s okay. I’m not here to convince you. My purpose as a missionary is to introduce people to the truth and teach them what we believe. I’m who testifies of what I know to be true and the Holy Ghost is who convinces you of the truth. If you’re open to a new point of view and a new way to know God, listen to what the Spirit is telling you, because I know without any kind of doubt in my mind that God is real. He loves us and wants us to know Him so that we can come back to Him. I have felt His love and kindness. I have been so blessed in my life to have Him with me wherever I go. As long as I know this, I know I’ll be alright. Nothing can hurt me or keep me from true happiness as long as He is there.
This is a Primary song that says exactly what I want to say. Excuse the “rock” version, it was the only one I could find. So, no, we don’t actually sing it like this. 😉
If you’re still pretty skeptical about what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes, here’s a bit of an outline that we call the Articles of Faith. We learn these and are encouraged to memorize them from the time we set foot in Primary as little three-year-old children.
1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Still not sure? Ask the missionaries! 🙂
I will post my thoughts and other references of each of these Articles of Faith at some point. Hopefully soon.