Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day!!

Dear Family,

Nothing too extraordinary to say. I'm finding words to be a very special gift from the Lord. In a day, I wish I could remember all that is said and heard. But I know enough of it...if I truly am listening, finds its way into my heart, and cannot be forgotten, so long as I keep listening to the Spirit.

That has always been a dream of mine... I wish I could remember everything.

But I am always amazed... somehow... is really is never forgotten.
At far as testimony wise, that is. Or spiritual learning. It doesnt leave.
But it never quite stays the same. But that same Spirit.

Said and felt in so many ways... I feel it such a joy, to dwell in the Presence of God. Seemingly as one man so poetically stated, "These were days never to be forgotten sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom!"

I solemnly profess... that 'these days' of which Oliver Cowdery captured in such Simple of a feeling, every one of us may embrace, when enraptured by the light and the fire, even the Third Member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost. Directed by this voice...dictated, inspiration from Heaven, in the very Presence of the Father, I do believe Oliver Cowdery captured, in term, the very essence of our lives.

And I do believe, to some small extent, I've lived and pray to continue to live, within this moment of which he hath spoken.

I have oft had the opportunity to reflect on two points of doctrine... in particular, I believe it has become yet another turning point of my life. I do not profess to understand perfectly this thing, only that now I understand somewhat more fully than before. It is a fire I hope to cultivate in my being, a manner after which I would have become my life.

The first... is so simple. It is perhaps exactly as you have all heard, exactly as you all know. We have always heard this. We have always believed this. But do we understand? It is a question... in humility, we must find the courage to ask ourselves. Do we truly understand... so simple a thing?

The first revolves around the truths of which we all hold dear. The very core of who we are. Whatever they be... can we trace them here: There is a God. There must be. He loves me. And I am His child. He is the worker of miracles. He is the maker of dreams. There is nothing beyond him. There is a God. And He loves me. And if He loves me... and can do any miracle, because he is able, doesn't it just make sense... that He would love me enough, to hear my prayer... and Answer Me.

I have gained such a witness... through seeing the Spirit awakened in man once they know... and seeing another, remain...never having found the faith to ask. I have seen, questioned, asked, promised, prayed... pondered enough in my own heart concerning this promise, to know... this simple truth, to be of the Greatest. I say this, day after day, moment after moment, and I am so Happy... because I believe now, that I finally believe. He will answer. He will always answer.

And the second, revolves around those things which we deem as "what matters most" To such a manner of life, to such a pursuit of happiness, to every man, woman, and child that undertakes this life... I echo the promise of Mosiah:

"And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep His commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you." (Mosiah 2: 22)

This is perhaps one of the greatest truths of which I know. It is perhaps one of the Greatest truths of Life. We cannot live this life, and become who we must become... and find the Happiness reserved by God for His children, unless we come to a knowledge of this simple phrase. These are the words that resonate, in my being... these are the words, from which I recall the Power of the Priesthood. These are the words.

No matter what. No. Matter. What. If it is a commandment of God... we shall be able to do this thing. As Nephi had promised us concerning commandments of the Lord. In Ilonggo, the term is "ipasarang": "ipasarang niya Kita" "He will make us able" ("he will cause us to be able"; "he will enable Us"); I love the meaning in Ilonggo. That simple phrase.

For every possible obstacle. He will provide a way. And he will grant unto us a Happiness countless-fold. For keeping his Commandments is Happiness. If we want to live this life... lets do it the right way. The One Way. His Way.

I often tell people... another truth, of which I've come heavily to rely... 'No, I apologize...I don't know what will happen if... [..] ... I only know, that I can promise you, of a surety, what will happen, if [we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ]'

I don't know the answer to anything else... save the one certain promise... if we live His way. And that is enough for me.

(A note for myself: future reference ... this second principle came in particular strength to me this week in overcoming all obstacles of the Less Actives (LA), of all obstacles to Investigators coming to church or keeping their commitments, and also in particular when explaining, truly for the first time, at least from my heart, while on my mission, to someone I had barely met, the subject of Fast Sunday, Fasting and Offering, and Tithing) ( P.S. 82 in attendance up from 65... aiming for 100... we can do this. For the miracle, is for someone else. It will be His miracle. And these LA's, and the Vision of this area, I know...
is Divinely Inspired, for this time.)

I know now. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

--Elder Christopher A. Lewis

P.S. Happy 4th of July!!!!
My companion and I have been chit chatting all about it, and are celebrating later and spoiling ourselves with chicken and ice cream and the works!! (and Pledge of Allegiance and other wonderful songs and anthems and good ol' American Pride!!) xD!! Thanks for the stories. God Bless America! (please xD!)

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