Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My ways, your ways, or OUR ways?

Hey everyone!  Hope everyone had as good of a week and were able to work on pushing through even if the wind is blowing against you as you are biking up the hill of life.

 This past week has been life-changing for me. We had a mission conference with a member of the Quorum of the Seventy who came to visit, named  Elder Corbridge, as well as an Area Seventy too. Boy, was it a treat to listen to him!  He has written the famous missionary talk called "The Fourth Missionary" (for those who might be familiar with it) ...  a lot of missionaries around the world have this talk as well and Elder Corbridge has spoken in General Conference a few times. He was running low on time, so that kinda' stunk, so we could tell he was jumping around a lot;  but one thing I noticed was how well-versed he is in the scriptures.  I swear he could quote the whole Book of Mormon.  Also, he told us of a cool vision he had one night and it blew everyone's mind. So, anyways, he REALLY focused on the Spirit; he said the greatest gift we can get on earth is the Holy Ghost and living worthy to have it always is most important. We get baptized to be cleansed and worthy to receive the Holy Ghost; we have commandments to keep us worthy to have the Spirit with us, etc. His words and teachings really hit me and changed my perspective on a lot of things.

The next morning I received revelation on a passage of scripture that Elder Corbridge had mentioned.  He had read just one verse but I decided to read the whole chapter to better understand its context. It is Isaiah 55. He told us that the Lord ALWAYS teaches us using repetition, like " knock, seek, find" ... same thing, but just used in different words and ways. Also, he told us that effective teaching is like a trip. We have to figure out our destination (doctrine), route (principles), and conclusion (application). The Lord teaches us often times in the scriptures using this form and structure. So, after I read Isaiah I started looking for these patterns and I found them. The Lord starts off basically saying there is no cost for salvation, everyone can "come unto me" (meaning the Lord) and be full of joy ...  so that is our "destination" ... salvation.

Then He says that we must seek Him and be rid of our wicked ways and thoughts, and turn towards him.  In other words repent because "he will abundantly pardon." Then He says that His ways and NOT our ways, or His thoughts and NOT our thoughts. But everyone thinks that means He is talking down to us, but really to me it is an invitation. Because we sin and fall short, His and our ways are divided;  but if we just forsake our wicked ways, change and ALIGN our thoughts and ways with His thoughts and ways then there will be no separation ...we will be one, and it will be OUR ways. The Lord doesn't want us to be below Him; He wants us to rise up unto Him and His attributes by becoming more like him. (Route to achieve eternal life) 

Then in conclusion He says in verse 12 "ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace".  If we just apply the route, repent, change our thoughts, and think of our destination of salvation then we will come to the application,  This is where I act on what I have learned. I now know the doctrine, I know the principles, and now I need to apply it.  For example: praying daily and repenting, learning more about the Savior's ways in the scriptures, etc. 
What I love about that promise at the end is that we will have peace and joy and those feelings only come from the Spirit of God... which is EXACTLY what Elder Corbridge focused on ...having that Spirit to be with us always. 

I won't tell you which verses and the ones in which the Lord repeats basically the same thing because I'd then ruin the surprise of seeking it yourselves!   I don't know if this is all doctrine, per se, but what I used to compare it .  I know I felt the Spirit teach and reveal more things to me and I wanted to share it with you all. It was a miracle I came across a random chapter that aligns  EXACTLY with what Elder Corbridge was training us on. I testify that as you strive to make your ways not so divided from the Lord's ways you will receive power beyond what you can imagine; strength, peace, hope and salvation.  May all of our ways be more in align with the Lord's ways and may they ultimately become OUR ways.

Peace and blessings, 

Elder Taylor 

SERVICE: we cut out weeds on an entire block!

Bday Dinner with the Moe Family

Have not ever met a family who knows what these are (aebleskivers) ... I grew up eating this deliciousness!!