"You will be an official representative of the Church. . . . Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ . . . Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you." Thomas S. Monson

Monday, May 19, 2014

My "Search for Truth"

Well, I have a lot of things to share this week, but no time!  I'll try to be as quick and efficient as I can.  I love my new companion, area, and branch.  Life is going great!  I'm learning so much from my new companion.  Many have misjudged him at times (including me), but I've loved getting to see this side of him.  He's a good missionary, and he's got an awesome testimony.  The area is way nice.  Benin is a definite upgrade form Togo as far as houses, restaurants, streets, etc.  It's a lot nicer and cleaner.

The branch is fantastic.  We have EXCELLENT leaders here who help us sooooooo much with the work, and plenty of youth that are preparing for missions and ready to go out with us.  As far as the work, it is progressing well.  We're focusing a bit more on the members and recent converts, but we still have some good progressing investigators.

Anyways, like I said, I'm short on time.  But there's a great lesson that I've learned very recently. Just today, we had something come up between two missionaries in the apartment.  As I sat down with one to hear him out in an effort to help them calm down and take care of things, I had so many things come to my head.  First, I am so grateful for the vision that the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us of life.  There is something much more than what we have here that is waiting for us, something that we cannot even imagine.  This life is nothing but a preparation for the next life.  Every choice we make on this earth influences our future and our eternity.

The vision of life after this is what gives us the drive and perspective to overcome the challenges of this life.  There are always little things that come up, but the gospel gives us the vision to see them for what they are--merely lessons to be learned to help us prepare and to teach us.  They become speed bumps along the road of this life that leads to something that is difficult for us to see in the distance.  So long as we keep an "eternal perspective" on things, we can step back and lay out our priorities according to the will of God.

This life is hard.  That's a fact.  But the blessing for us all is that God stands ready at every moment, arms outstretched, waiting to help us and save us.  He is there.  He is there for every single one of us.  He wants the best things for us.  He wants us to return to live with Him, and the only way to do that is to put our trust in Him and keep His commandments.  In doing that as well as keeping an eternal perspective, we learn to sacrifice ourselves more willingly, to convert ourselves more fully to Him.

I would like to close with a bit of commentary on the third-hour lesson yesterday, entitled "Our Search for Truth."  I LOVED this lesson.  We had some great discussion in our class here in Fidjrossé.  Basically, we must always be seeking after the truth.  In relation to D&C 130:18-19, I thought of a quote from Elder Nelson in this past General  Conference.  The quote is paraphrased due to translation from French, but essentially, he said, "Truth revealed by God will always be truth, whether it be from the laboratory or by revelation."  (You can find the talk he is referring to here.)  I remembered that as I read a quotation from President Smith in the manual, which was along the lines of: "Truth is always truth.  People may reason.  People may doubt.  People may discredit.  But what God has ultimately revealed as truth will always reign over the philosophies of men.  It will take great faith.  There will be many trials.  But once we learn to put our trust in God, we can obtain the knowledge of Eternal Truth."  My apologies if this paragraph has been Elder Jenkins-ized, but I did my best to remember.  ( The lesson in the Joseph Fielding Smith manual can be found here.)

This stuck out to me so much with the world we live in.  So many people try to use reason to discredit God, but in reality, science, through time, has come to prove many of God's eternal principles which were previously misunderstood.  With time, I believe that we will come to understand many more truths from God, whether it be from the laboratory or by revelation.  But we must take caution to not be fooled by the philosophies of Satan, hence the necessity to rely fully and completely on God in accepting and obeying upon His commandments, or "upon the principles of righteousness."

The things that I have learned this week have been great.  Unfortunately, I am out of time, and I must leave you for this week. My heart is full in my current calling to serve the Lord for these two years.  As I approach one year, I have been looking back, remarking my growth in the past year. I have learned so many things; I have grown so much.  But there are still many, many things that I must learn, apply, and re-apply again.  This is my "Search for Truth."

Avec amour,
Elder Jenkins

No comments:

Post a Comment