Hello all. Well, this is it, my last week as a full-time proselyting missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has been two years in the making, but as I will mostly likely have a chance to write next week, I will stay out of the sobbiness of the final mission words.
This has been another excellent week. Not exactly easy, as perceived by most, but excellent nonetheless. There have been many lessons learned and much patience gained and exercised. I’ll not get too much into that today as I don’t have much time.
As I was thinking about what I was going to write today, I was sure that I wanted to bear my testimony of the mission experience. I have also been asked to teach a lesson at our Zone Training Meeting tomorrow, and so I got on pondering about both subjects. As of yesterday, Sunday, I still wasn’t quite sure. But during the third hour of Church (and after studying the chapter again after the fact), it was quite clear what I needed to speak about.
Yesterday, for the third hour of Church, we studied chapter 10 of the Ezra Taft Benson manual. I have been looking forward to studying this chapter since I received the manual in January. Our discussion was slightly under enthusiastic in my personal opinion, but I still learned. Thankfully, when we got back to the apartment, I had some time after lunch to go through and study the whole chapter again. Here are a few quotes (or rather, roughly translated paraphrases from the French text) that I LOVED:
"There is a difference between a person who has constructed his conversion on the rock of Christ through the Book of Mormon and who holds fast to the iron rod and someone who has not done that." (Hint: this may be a teaser for my homecoming talk depending on my assignment)
"We need to be convinced and engaged."
"I have the following conviction: the more we will teach and will preach with the Book of Mormon, the more we will please the Lord and the greater our power to speak will be" (Now THAT is a prophetic promise!)
"... We have all the resources and the world needs this book. So act now!"
"I have the vision of the entire Church drawing closer to God in respecting the precepts of the Book of Mormon.
"Yes, I see the Book of Mormon flooding the earth."
These are just a few of my favorite quotes.
Like I said, ever since reading this, I have felt inclined to share this both in my blog post today and in my Zone Meeting lesson tomorrow. To confirm this, Elder Yamapia, our Zone Leader, called me last night to inform me of the topic he wanted me to share. He said, "Well, we all know you're an old missionary now. How 'bout you just share your testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it's helped you throughout your mission, etc." I was like, "I testify of that revelation" and then proceeded to explain that that was what I had already been planning for.
I will close with a brief testimony of this sacred book. Many people persecute members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because we put too much emphasis on the Book of Mormon instead of the Bible. Well, let me share one thing with you all: The Book of Mormon is just as much the Word of God as the Bible. THAT is an eternal truth that God himself has declared, and as such, I give my personal witness before God, angels, and men.
I KNOW that this book is true. Alma, Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni were just as much prophets of God as Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Samuel, and John the Baptist were. These formers' words were just as inspired by God as the latters'. I'm sorry that I'm a bit cut short by time today, but I testify that the Book of Mormon is the driving force of the work of God today. He loves this book, and so do I. I invite all of you to read and study it, to ponder it, and to pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ to ask Him if it's true. I share this testimony and this promise with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.