Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Center of the Plan of Salvation

This past week has been great! We went to zone training in Gangneung up north, which took most of Wednesday because of the long bus and train ride. The training was great, though. It was all about revelation and teaching by the Spirit. My testimony of personal revelation has grown as I've experienced it through prayer and scripture study, as well as studying Preach My Gospel. 

I've been studying the Pearl of Great Price recently, and the great message it teaches about Christ as God's Only Begotten Son is powerful. I wondered why Heavenly Father performed everything from the very beginning - from the creation of the Plan of Salvation onward - through His Son. As I studied, it occurred to me that seems Heavenly Father directs us always towards His Son. Christ created the Earth. We were made in His image. He has been the power through which Heavenly Father has blessed us and led us to Him from the very beginning. Our greatest desire has always been to become more like Heavenly Father. Knowing that Heavenly Father is all-knowing and glorious, the source of all truth, the "Beginning and the End," and the most loving person in the universe, we see that this is a very lofty goal, far beyond our reach as mere inexperienced children living in His presence. So, he gave us an opportunity. We would leave His presence, like an earthly child leaves their parents, to learn and become stronger spiritually. We would taste of the bitter and sorrows to understand the good. We would learn to use His gift of agency righteously, productively, and toward a joyful end. Satan's mistake was to seek greatness and glory by shortcut, without going through these things. But there is no shortcut. Like working a muscle, we can only grow through some discomfort and trial. 

The center of the Plan of Salvation is the Only Begotten of the Father. Without light, strength, and guidance, how could any of us on the Earth, away from the source all these things, ever come to obtain them? God's Son, being as perfect as Him, was the only one qualified to provide these things to even one of us. He is the one who has done His Father's will from the very beginning. He showed us the way. Above all, He, though perfect and already like our Heavenly Father, stepped down further than any of us so that He could lift ALL of us all the way back to His Father. There was none other that could do this, which is why we testify that Christ was, in fact, the Son of God. From the position he willingly descended to, below the trials, sufferings, and sins of all mankind, he is able to then lift us all the way up to a goal and glory that it beyond our ability to comprehend. Though we still need to do our part to hold fast to Him, if we do so, we can reach heights beyond our previous understanding. I know this is true, and I know Christ is the Son of God and that He lives. That is why we are to always remember Him. 

Have a great week and thanks for your great messages!

Happy birthday Dad!

Even though Taebaek city is only 30,000 people, it still feels bigger than Missoula because it is built inward and upward like all Korean cities. It is way nice to be in the mountains, though. The bus ride to zone conference this week took about two and a half hours, so I snapped some pictures. 

​Me and Elder Barr. Ocean outside the train station near Gangneung, where we had zone training.

​Taebaek City from the apartment window

​Taebaek Branch building. Look at the name of the building right behind's kind of funny.

​Passed by the ocean. Unfortunately not in our area

I've heard there are good hiking trails, so hopefully we will do that when it warms up a bit more. Not sure what we'll encounter, but in Seoul it was cats.

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