This week was....crazy! Literally, everything flew by in a blur of awesome sauce. By the time I am writing this to you, I don't know where to begin, or what even happened... It's a weird feeling. But I do know that Elder Spencer and I basically had the flu this week. See, when we went to Mission Leader Council, we had the Terrace zone leaders over with us for the night... And Elder Aldredge had the flu... Thus, the Plague of Terrace was spread to Burnaby. Literally, we were drained of all energy. Super stuff noses, coughing, and just general death. I felt as if someone had taken a syringe and literally drained all of the energy (I mean, there wasn't too much there to start with...) out of each and every one of my muscles (again...not much there... ;) We were toast. And there was no way out of this predicament. Especially since on Tuesday, we were to stand before the zone and conduct a zone meeting to relay the information gained at MLC and to build the faith of our missionaries.
We were sick.
And looking for help.
The Assistants, Elder Engelstead and Elder Cottingham came by on Monday night and went through our agenda for the zone meeting. They noticed our awful and wretched state, and decided to help us out. We received some priesthood blessings, and went on our merry way, feeling pumped up and ready to go. The promised blessing was that we would be able to endure through zone meeting...we assumed that we would be healed after that, but...obviously I didn't read the fine print.
Literally, we were miraculously not sick for our whole zone meeting, and then as soon as our missionaries left, everything started flooding back.
But this is not a Work for quitters. And so, partly out of obedience and our love for the Savior, and partly out of stupidity, Elder Spencer and I decided to work through it.
There was no way out. But, as Alma said, "If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed" (Alma 15:8). I can testify to you all, that if you put your trust and faith in Christ, and seek the knowledge that He can heal you, that He will. Now, I'm not saying that we said a fervent prayer and worked, and we were OK. Not at all. We didn't even know why we're still going! I fell asleep on a bus and almost fell on somebody! We looked like fools walking around Metro Town, and we didn't even see any crazy success stories or find any new investigators. But we kept working.
Healing doesn't come, usually, in miraculous moments of realization. I mean, it can, don't get me wrong. God is ALL powerful. Which means He can literally do ANYTHING. But if you turn to the scriptures, when Christ visits the Nephites in the Americas and ministers unto them, He say, "for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you" (3 Nephi 17:8). Whoa....
According "to our faith in Jesus Christ, He can heal us, both physically and spiritually" (PMG, pg. 62).
So, if it's according to our faith that we are healed, and if faith is something that we need to work for, to earn, then it makes sense that Christ doesn't usually automatically heal us. Because we always need to learn something from our trials. In Lehi's Dream, Lehi walks through a mist of darkness right as he begins to follow Christ (1 Nephi 8). We will all face those mists of darkness. Our trials won't stop just because we are seeking to follow Jesus Christ. But we will ALWAYS be rescued from these mists, at some point in time, as long as we just continually hold fast to the iron rod, to the word of God, to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
That is truth. Yesterday, I met a man who argued that all religion was "subjective truth", that the only truth was what you could see right in front of you. He held up a newspaper. "What shape is this?!" he scowled.
"A rectangle..." I responded curtly.
"Exactly! THAT's truth. Watch this...I am going to 'share' my truth with everyone on this street, and they will agree with me, while you will share yours and no one will."
Before I share with you what happened next, let me just tell you: the only truth that we can actually trust is that God is real, that He loves us, and that the gospel that He has provided for us is true. Everything else is man-made fluff. That rectangle? Named by a human being. The more I live the gospel, the more I realized that it is the only truth worth following. Because it does not change. No matter if you believe in Him or not, God is real. He is our Heavenly Father. And He loves us. That's His motivation for everything He does.
So back to the encounter. The man then walks up to everyone walking by, screaming at them, "Excuse me! What shape is this?! What shape?!" Almost everyone starts running away in terror...people don't like crazies. Go figure. He then gets an answer. A young man walks by, and is asked the question. Confused, he stares real hard at the newspaper, and says, "A triangle." The man, stunned, tries to change his mind. But the kid walks away.
He turned to me and said, "well, obviously they can't speak English or something..." And then walked away, embarrassed.
People, there IS absolute truth. We don't need to swim in this cesspool of moral relativism and subjective reality, searching for an existential purpose to our lives. Because God lives. I have seen too many miracles in my life to deny that, and I have felt His Spirit, the Holy Ghost testify to me that He does indeed live, that He does indeed love me.
I have seen people, lost and broken down, with nowhere to go, find hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, immediately apply it, and receive deliverance from their sins and afflictions. I have seen people humble themselves before God and receive blessings from it. I have seen someone, who didn't even believe in God two months before their baptism, discover that He is there, and receive a testimony of light and truth that holds firm to this day. I have seen the hand of God prepare people to receive the gospel, and I have felt Him strengthen me as I do this work.
I know that Christ heals. And I know that He does so according to our faith.
So go out there and share your knowledge. Your testimony! Because the world needs your light.
He didn't send a photo this week.......truthfully, I'm thankful since he's been sick, but I have to include a photo. So here we are with a photo from 2005.
The Stock Boys of the House of Steve!