May 12, 2014
Good day to everyone!!!
May is full on and the trees and flowers and plants are FINALLY blooming here in Maine! Yesterday it was 75 degrees and that was CRAZY!
Well, I hope you enjoyed your week and your Mother’s Day. I know I sure did! 🙂 Skyping with my family was pretty awesome, and I found that one hour now is WAY shorter than it was at Christmas. But it was a good time. I got to see the snow on the ground in Colorado, got to see the disaster that is my room, and I got to see my family! They sure are wonderful! 🙂
Besides Mother’s Day, this whole week was pretty wicked sweet! On Monday, I tasted crab. That was gross. It tasted good the first bite, and then I could barely stomach the rest of it. But I did. And I survived. Buuut I don’t think I’m going to try crab again any time soon. On Wednesday, we had a cool experience with a member. It wasn’t all that great in the moment because we’d showed up on what seemed to be the worst possible day – she had a headache, she was trying to help her kids with homework right after school, she had to go to cub scouts later, etc, etc. But we stayed, shared our message about missionary work and committed them to share something they learned in church with a friend. On Sunday, she shared that experience in Relief Society and said that she really loved and appreciated it because of its simplicity. It was really neat to see that even though that day was pretty rough for her, when we shared a message about the gospel, it impacted her in some way. I love when that happens and helps me to keep on keeping on. Because I know that at least once a day, I can touch someone’s life.
We had Zone Meeting on Thursday! Hooray! I LOVE missionary meetings! They always lift me up and teach me what I can do better. Plus, the zone leaders and sister training leaders here in the Bangor East Zone are pretty awesome! Lunch was probably the funniest thing ever. Elder Crane and Elder Crockett, the zone leaders, were sitting at the table that Sister Hall and I were at. Somehow, we started talking about how another elder who was sitting there looked like a pterydactyl, so he starts making what he thinks is a pterydactyl noise. Pretty soon, most of us at the table are imitating him. Everyone else was staring at us like we were crazy. I don’t know what their problem was… Missionaries, crazy? Yeah… Psh. Hahaha!
During the meeting, we talked about our purpose, and about trusting in the Lord. I love that message. We need to trust more in Him because He loves us and He won’t let us go astray. If we’re constantly fighting Him, we’re not going to go in the right direction, but once we give up our will and submit ourselves to His will, everything smooths out and we find MUCH greater happiness! 🙂
Friday was our miracle day! Sister Hall and I were walking the streets of Bucksport, making our way to the senior center to eat lunch with a member, Bertha, and an investigator, Brenda. On our way, we see a couple of guys sitting on a stoop and they wave at us, so we go over, talk to them, share a scripture, invite them to church and give them our number. We kind of assumed that we’d be the ones instigating the next contact, going back to try to teach them, or at least the one that actually lived there. But lo and behold, around 1:00, right when we get back to our apartment, we get a phone call! And guess who it is? It’s Bobby! The one that lived at the apartment we talked to them! He called us to give us his number and set up a time for us to go over and talk with him! Talk about a miracle!!!! Not only that miracle, but another one while we were at lunch. We had a lesson with our investigator, Brenda while we were there. And there was another lady, Doris, who had shared our table for lunch, who sat and listened to the whole thing. At the end, we invited her to be taught and she said YES! So we’re teaching her on Thursday morning! WOOT WOOT! And the third and final miracle of the day… A Four. Hour. Long. Companionship inventory. Yes. Sister Hall and I did our weekly planning in the three hour block we had set aside and then sat and talked and were super open and it was awesome for four hours. The best part of it is that we weren’t arguing or sad or upset with each other at all. We were just opening up and telling each other a lot of things that we felt we needed to share. It was really amazing and I suggest it to everyone! Do it with your spouse, your roommate, your friends, your family, etc. Be open and miracles happen! 🙂
Saturday we did a lot of service. We did some at the clothes closet in the morning and then in the evening, we happened to stop by a member family that was painting their master bedroom, trying to get their house ready to move. So we happened to have service clothes in the car, changed, and helped them sand and paint the room! It took a couple hours, but we finished and they really appreciated it. I love doing service!!! 🙂
That’s the week. As you can see, it was full and it was awesome! I loved it! And now, it is the final week of the transfer… it FLEW by faster than it ever has before and it’s weird.
Anyway! This morning I was studying about the final part of the Plan of Salvation that I need to talk about, because I didn’t finish last week. There’s just so much to it that it sometimes takes a while to explain. I decided to take a picture of the puzzle I have to help teach it, so hopefully a visual will help you understand it. 🙂
The final part I wanted to address today is what happens after the final judgment. Where do we go? Heaven or Hell?
First of all, there are more than just Heaven and Hell. If you think about it, does it really make sense to have only two when people have varying degrees of devotion to following Christ, doing good in the world, or choosing badly? To me, it really doesn’t make any sense at all. If one person can get into heaven by just saying “Jesus, I accept you!” and then going on with his life without doing anything more than that, it doesn’t make sense that someone like a pastor or the Pope or whoever devotes their life completely to the Lord and makes it to the exact same place that the previous guy who only SAID he’d accepted Christ made it. So how does it work then? Is there really more than just heaven and hell?
YES! I am here to tell you that YES! There is more than just heaven or hell!
There are three kingdoms, or degrees of glory. The Celestial Kingdom is the highest, and is compared to the glory of the Sun. This is the kingdom where our Heavenly Parents and Jesus Christ live. The Terrestrial Kingdom is in the middle and is compared to the glory of the moon. The lowest kingdom is the Telestial Kingdom. It is compared to the glory of the stars. You can find reference to this in 1 Corinthians 15:40-41.
So who goes where?
The Telestial Kingdom is the place for those who continue in their sins and do not repent. They choose to reject Christ and God and do what they want. The Terrestrial Kingdom is for people who refuse to accept the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they’re good people and did a lot of good throughout their lives. Finally, the Celestial Kingdom. This is the kingdom where those who chose to fully accept Christ in their lives and lived as best they could according to the principles of the Gospel of Christ, repented of their sins and made the necessary covenants (promises) to live with God.
Which one would you want to be in?
I know I’d like to be in the Celestial Kingdom. That’s where Heavenly Father resides and basically, anywhere without my family and with my Father in Heaven is hell. The two lower kingdoms, Terrestrial and Telestial, are kingdoms, degrees of glory. They are still amazing places to be – better than earth, that’s for sure. But God doesn’t live there. Something else we know, is that wherever you’re sent, you won’t be uncomfortable. Because of your choices here on earth, would you be comfortable living in the presence of God? Would you be comfortable living in the presence of those who were good? Wherever you’re comfortable living is where you will go.
We know all of this because of the Book of Mormon and because of modern day revelation – a prophet. Just as prophets of old expounded on scripture and received new revelation in order to know God’s will, and wrote it down (which is where the Bible comes from!), so do we have a current prophet today who does the same thing. In Doctrine and Covenants (revelations given to prophets starting with Joseph Smith) section 76, the heading to the chapter says:
“Upon my (Joseph’s) return from Amherst conference, I resumed the translation of the Scriptures. From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled. It appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded everyone according to the deeds done in the body, the term “Heaven,” as intended for the Saints’ eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one. Accordingly, while translating St. John’s Gospel, myself and Elder Rigdon saw the following vision.” It was after the prophet had translated John 5:29 that this vision was given.
The whole section 76 is completely about the after life, and it describes in quite a bit of detail who will be sent to each of the kingdoms. There are so many things to be learned in that section! I could study that for hours every day for months and still not understand it all. It’s absolutely amazing and so powerful. I know that it’s true and that it is revelation given by a prophet of God. We need prophets today. We need revelation today. Without it, how are we supposed to know God’s will? Who is to say that God is done speaking to us, that we have everything we need in the Bible? God is not done. He has more to tell us as times get worse and worse leading up to the Second Coming. We have to know His Will for us if we are to get to the Celestial Kingdom. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). That means we have just as much need of a prophet now as the people did before Christ came.
I know that the Plan of Salvation is truly from God. Because of it, I have found so much peace in the last year since Tyler passed away. Because of it, I know where he is and what he is doing, and I know what I can do in order to be able to live with him and with our Father in Heaven again forever. Because of it, I am so happy! Because of this plan, I KNOW who I am and what I am supposed to do. I know that I am a Daughter of God, a Daughter of a King. I know that I have such great and divine potential to become like Him and to live with Him again. And I know that each and everyone of you, each of God’s children has the same potential.
Pray about it. Pray to know who you are, who God is. Pray to know why you are here and where you are going. Pray to know what you need to do to live with God again, where you need to be, what you need to change. None of us is perfect, we all have something to change. Pray to know what that is and how you can be better each day. Pray and search the scriptures. If you want to talk to God, pray. If you want Him to talk to you, read your scriptures. I know it works. And I know God loves me. Because I pray to know.
Have a fabulous week! 🙂