Sunday, April 8, 2012

Faith cannot be proved

Hello Family!
This week I learned a great lesson, and that is that no one can be fully converted to the gospel by proof of truth. I can sit and tell someone of the evidence that the Book of Mormon is true, but it will not build any faith. My MTC teacher was telling me a story; when she was at the Visitors Center a lady came in that was adamant about only needing the Bible. Sis. Maxfield knew the Bible really well and she thought "perfect" I can show to her through the Bible that another book is necessary. She sat down and shared scriptures that told of the need of another book, and the missing parts of the Bible that the Book of Mormon could fill in. By the end of the lesson the lady said "well.. I'm not sure I believe in the Bible anymore." What?! How sad! It goes to show though that no one can prove to someone that something is true, it is a matter of faith. Proof will not lead to action, but faith will! The other day we were meeting with our investigators (me and sister Piggotts "boyfriend" ha ha and his wife) our lessons with them tend to go extra long because the member we bring with us was his high school friend and they tend to get side trackted and go down memory lane and since me and Sister Piggott have quiet voices.. theirs win out! Anyway we got on the subject of baptism and we were talking about how the one thing that sets our church aside from other Christian faith's is that we have that authority from got (AKA the priesthood) to perform ordinances in Gods name. He was baptized in another faith and was asking us if this was valid. Before we knew it our member started going off about how it wasn't.. Even though it isn't, he could have gone about it in a much nicer way. It broke out into a full on argument and they were practically screaming at each other, I couldn't say anything nor could Sister Piggott because 1. Our voices weren't loud enough and 2. When we tried to cut in we would get cut off. It was bad.. the spirit was not there and we were both practically in tears. It is amazing how close we are to the spirit as missionaries and how different it feels and how awful it feels when the spirit is not there. I was ready to just go home... and I think his wife was ready to leave as well. Anyway.. by some miracle we were able to get a word in after 30 or so min. We stated that we were not there to prove anything was true or to prove that our church was the only church that had valid baptisms.. But that it was a matter of faith. For if they came to know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet then they would know it was true, and want to get baptized vs. someone telling them they had to because it was the right way. For them they had not yet received that witness that it is the right way, and by the member trying to prove to them that it was the only right way, just resulted in them being angry... One thing I love about this church is that we are not reliant on proof, but we are reliant on the spirit. No one had to tell me this church was true for me to believe it, I had to find out for myself if it was true. Even though I grew up in the church and always did "what was right" I too had to be converted to the gospel. I don't think I ever truly knew it was true until I really wanted to know. I can read the Book of Mormon over and over again and unless I am desirous to know if it is true, then can the spirit witness to me that it is. It wasn't until I prayed about the Book of Mormon and with faith asked God if it was true, that I found that out for myself, and that is when my faith led to actions such as a mission. But I love that as missionaries we are not here to prove to people how great the Gospel is and how much it can bless someones life, but we get to watch them grow in faith. We don't do anything except simply invite people to pray and read, the spirit does the rest. And unless someone is fully converted to know the truth they will not stay in the church, because the testimony isn't there. Anyways, we ended up talking about how even though their baptism wasn't necessarily valid, that God would not just shut them out of heaven because of it, but that he would recognize it as an act of faith and love his children for doing what they thought was right in His eyes, and then show them how it should be done. We decided that maybe we shouldn't take that member anymore because it left with harsh feelings vs. the spirit, and things are looking better! We watched Saturday afternoon session with them and they loved it!

Wasn't Conference great though?! I don't think I have ever listened so sincerely to it! I think it was because I wasn't watching it for me this time, but I was listening for my investigators, and it was so neat. And of course I learned plenty for myself as well.. I am not perfect at all and have a lot to learn from the leaders of the Church! We watched conference on Saturday with those investigators above and then on Sunday we had a big breakfast with 3 other investigators and watched the morning session. Guess what we had?! Sticky buns and candied bacon (which is bacon baked with brown sugar and is so freaking good!), so it was almost like being at home for conference! It was fun! Ahh.. our investigators are finally progressing! It is the greatest feeling! And sometimes agency is a bugger because we just want to make people come to church and to read and to pray and all that good stuff, but agency is a gift from God and once they used it correctly they will know how great this gospel is! Anyways our investigator is here and we need to go teach! I love you all millions!!


Sister Poulson

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