Encouragement for a Missionary

It is becoming more and more common while interacting with members from the LDS church for them to say “you don’t know what the LDS church teaches” or “oh no you don’t you won’t use my scriptures against me”. I grew up in the LDS church and even though I removed my name because God told me to, I still go to an LDS church when I am around English speaking ward when I can. I do it because I care about the people, they are my people I grew up with them and care about them. In addition after Jesus resurrection those who believed in Jesus Christ as the Messiah did not just stop going to the synagogs with the other Jews, but kept going to learn the scriptures aka Torah (first five books of the Bible) and Tanak (the Old Testiment) with others and to gain and to share their insights also. And also I was taught growing up in the LDS church that doctrine does not change, so why wouldn’t I still know the doctrine? Sadly though LDS doctrine does change, there are a plentiful examples of this along with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon teaching about such things. And regarding about not using “their scriptures”, no one owns scriptures. God gives scriptures to all to learn and profit from. And on top of that the Book of Mormon Title page writen my Moroni lists the gentiles, which Joseph Smith was as it was translated by a gentile and even the LDS D&C says, last in who it was writen for.

But because of comments like this I got to mormon.org on occation to get links to articles from LDS leaders that shows what the LDS church teaches. I figure are they going to argue with the LDS leaders? You would think they wouldn’t argue with the Book of Mormon but they do, like that doesn’t apply to me, or we have modern revelation that changes the word of God ect ect. Despite the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith warning aganist this.

Alma (LDS 7:20) (RLDS 5:34-35) I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; NEITHER DOTH HE VARY FROM THAT WHICH HE HATH SAID; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round.

There have also been ministering angels in the church which were of satan appearing as an angel of light:— A sister in the State of New York had a vision who said it was told her that if she would go to a certain place in the woods an angel would appear to her,— she went at the appointed time and saw a glorious personage descending arrayed in white … he commenced and told her to fear God and said that her husband was called to do great things, but that he must not go more than one hundred miles from home or he would not return; whereas God had called him to go to the ends of the earth; and he has since been more than one thousand miles from home, and is yet alive. Many true things were spoken by this personage and many things that were false.—How it may be asked was this known to be a bad angel? … by his contradicting a former revelation. – Times and Seasons 3 [April 1, 1842]: 747

I find it very sad that people take authority for truth instead of truth for authority.

One time after chatting with one missionary we then started emailing each other. This is copy of one email I thought I’d share because it helped her out a lot, so I hope it will help others also.

Missionary,

I remember transfer days, very hectic. Serving in upstate NY I had to find a way to get to my new area, generally got a ride from a member or an AP. I remember one some distinctly going from the Greenwich area to the Syracuse portion I went to. Someone I taught and that accepted the message took me. Makes me cry some. He was a preacher for other churches, but he saw how God gave us the BoM to bring us closer to Him through His Only Begotten. It was a big thing for me. I remember how he liked to play little pranks on me, but all good hearted ones. He is a great example of accepting truth despite all the false traditions he grew up with, he even gave up smoking which was no easy task. Transfers in my day were 6 weeks long, is that still the same.

Female district leader, is that only in the Temple Square mission or is that in all missions now. Things have changed so much since I went on a mission. PDAs were new when I left and you were not allowed to have on the mission, and the last time I had a chance to feed missionaries they had a tablet and shared a video. Video was nice, but I’m personally more for one on one.

Personally I believe there is no substitute for one on one preaching. Tools and other resources are very helpful, they are only a tool not a substitute for listening to the Holy Ghost to know what the person in front of you needs. Videos cannot do the one on one that is needed, they are great for giving the general message across, and to help some in becoming interested. But it is by teaching by the spirit that we can touch others spirits that can ignite someone to love Jesus Christ and to hope for a better world which keep them abounding in good works. When we share God’s actual words it will burn in the hearts of God’s sheep. We should do our best to be nice to everyone, but are to seek out those who will listen and obey God’s voice. In the beginning of my mission I thought it was not the most effective thing to be repeating the same message over and over to different people. But as time passed God softened my heart and taught me how important the one on one is. A great deal of the scriptures are records of people teaching others one on one and listening to the spirit to know what is best to share. Nephi himself said he had a hard time writing but could preach with the spirit with much eass. I also find teaching one on one is much easier than trying to prepare something for a large audience for many reasons.

For sure it is easier to do things on your own than working with someone who has a different ideas about things. It can be hard to trust others. But while learning to trust others, don’t to forget to trust yourself. It can be a tricky balancing act at times. Don’t forget you can reach people that others cannot, because of how you see things, and your experiences, and your manners. But in no means you should use that as an excuse to not to improve. The closer to Jesus Christ you become, relationship wise and emulation wise and knowledge of the scriptures, the more people you will be able to help come to Jesus Christ. Work with your companion, talk through things with her, and when there are disagreements explain why you think such and such is a good idea.

With helping others, first you need to seek to know God’s word before you can completely be able to dispense it. All believers are called to share God’s word, you have an opportunity to focus on this 24/7 right now, take full advantage of this. But continue to seek the depths in the scriptures. Every word matters, and don’t forget the context surrounding the verse. What was going on, what prompted this statement or question, who said it ect. Search the scriptures for the definitions of the words to gain deeper insights to what is being said. Here is a little one for you, in Alma 32, faith is compared to a seed. One of the Hebrew letters in the Hebrew word for faith represents a seed.

Here is a little Psalm I was inspired for myself I have shared before.

Oh that I might have my wish to be a worker honey bee that I might search for nectar that I may chew it and that what flows out of my mouth people would find sweet to the taste.

I’ll give you one insight into this, chewing is symbolic of thinking over the word of God. This is one thing that is symbolic with Kosher animals in chewing their cod, they are going over the word of God over and over again.

God is pleased with your desire to serve Him. Remember you are his servant and not someone else’s, and He will direct and guide you directly and personally if you will let Him and listen and obey. It is easy to follow a man who tells you exactly what to do, but to grow in the Lord you must rely upon Him and His words. Make note of when Thus Saith the Lord is in the scriptures this is the prophets quoting our God, things that God wants everyone to know. Take head to those words.

Take care, may God be with you and that you will know and remember that.

PS: When you get time see some of SLC, that is where I grew up. You need to take care of yourself while you are doing the Lord’s work, don’t run faster than you can handle.

Your brother in Christ,
Steven