Funny story: the internet at the chapel mysteriously tinkered out in the past week, leading E Brumpton and I to email at a local internet shop. Believing that these computers have more viruses than you could shake a stick at, I'm withholding pictures for one more week to protect my camera from complete annihilation. But they will be here next week!
We have an investigator, Keolebogile, who has just received a witness that the Book of Mormon is true (and there was much rejoicing)!! We're looking forward to continuing to work through hurdles preventing her from accepting a baptismal date, but we have complete faith that she'll be on date soon.
Her next door neighbor, who we've recently tracted into, is golden. She read the entire Restoration pamphlet, took notes, and answered all the questions in the back before our second meeting. She's soaking in the Living Waters of the Gospel like a sponge! After she practically taught us about the Restoration, she committed to follow Moroni's promise:
"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read [the Book of Mormon], if it be wisdom in God that ye should read [it], that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:3-5)
Seeing this promise having been fulfilled for Keolebogile and being fulfilled by Ororeseng has been truly humbling for me, as their journey towards complete conversion is well underway. There's a lot of power in these two verses if one applies unto them with faith like these two sisters.
Whenever I've read Moroni exhorting me to 'remember', I've immediately looked back into history to remember the miracles of God's grace towards His people, which are nothing less than marvelous. But as I've recently read about King Mosiah receiving the peoples of Zeniff and Alma, and reading their records to his people, I was totally caught off guard how his people remembered:
"And now, when Mosiah had made an end of reading the records, his people who tarried in the land were struck with wonder and amazement. For they knew not what to think; for when they beheld those that had been delivered out of bondage they were filled with exceedingly great joy." (Mosiah 25:7-8)
Though the people proceeded to mentally think and ponder on the mercy of God in the verses following, I was taken back by the fact that they first beheld the people in front of them to remember the mercy of God; their first step of remembrance was to look to the present! I found that so interesting as I read these verses.
Reflecting on my attempts at remembering God's mercy, I'll be the first to admit that I've rarely looked first to what was in front of me before looking to the corridors of history as I've been exhorted to remember God's mercy. Yet as I pondered on how these people remembered by first beholding what lay in plain sight, I looked up from my copy of the 'Book of Mormon' and attempted to 'remember' by first 'beholding'. Here's what I beheld in a few objects that were around me:
- A loving companion, who's example continues to strengthen and support me in my final weeks of my mission
- God's Word, strewn around me in abundance, for my pleasure and education during my morning studies
- Warm sunlight, filtering through the window, filling the room with energy and light and testifying to me of the existence of my Father in Heaven
After beholding these few objects only, my heart ached with gratitude and love towards my God in His richly blessings towards me. Like the people in Zarahemla, I was filled with exceedingly great joy! These feelings of love and gratitude were indescribable.
I think overwhelming experiences such as these point to what Moroni describes for one to 'receive these things'. I was dumbfounded at my receiving of so much joy my simply 'beholding'! As I remembered by first beholding, I received these feelings that only God could provide with such power.
Through this experience, I've come to know that as we remember, by both examining the past and beholding the present, we open our hearts to the Spirit, filling our souls with feelings of gratitude and love, and testifying to us personally that what we are reading is true.
So, my friends, remember to remember. Remember by beholding. It works for me, Keolebogile, and Ororeseng, and it will work for you.