You may have noticed this email is called great scott. Good observation.
Elder Scott came and spoke to us right after I ended the last email. You know, the APOSTLE one. So that was pretty cool. Especially when he left us with an apostles blessing that we would receive the gift of tongues according to our diligence and faith in Christ. Which leads us to our gospel discourse of the week, courtesy of a week of special and interesting experiences.
But of course that would give to much structure to an email from me. So I'll get distracted for a while and then return to all that. On wednesday I was a host for the new incoming missionaries! That means I picked them up from the curb, acted like I knew what I was doing for a while, and dropped them off to their classes.
So there were 835 new missionaries who came into the MTC on wednesday and I birthed three of them. And I watched a whole bunch of families drop off their children. Such a uniquely Mormon experience to participate in, so that was really cool. And you have a new missionary following you around and you get to rejoice with him in watching missionaries kiss a tree just as I began a soliloquy in telling him how normal and nice everyone was! (Some sort of tradition I guess? Freaked me and my new elder out. Still trying to figure this one out. Anyone have any idea?)
I get my reassignment on Friday so that's when I know. Aaaaaaand who knows when I'll leave! Could be chilling here for a while or maybe not.
We must be baptized in HIS name. Now consider this not as an authority for a second, though that's obviously a first meaning, but consider it as a call to IMMERSE OURSELVES in His name and therefore in his gospel and His words. Read it again. It's not just that baptism is by immersion. Repentance is by immersion as well. Repentance is coming unto Christ and developing a new view of the world, ourselves, and of God. Repentance is not a dip our toes thing. It is an immersion thing. The gospel is a gospel of immersion because from the time we are immersed we are called to remain immersed in his name and in the process and pattern of becoming better, part of which occurs by being immersed and therefore baptized IN his name and not just BY his name. Consider that and also reference washing our garments in his blood that they become white.
Ok deep swimmers, now for you. Consider that there is only one sin, which can be stated either as "denying our own identity and heritage," or 2, "denying the law and substituting our own law for Eternal law, which is wielded by God." now consider that this sin is bondage. Now read Bible Dictionary "Atonement." Now consider that Christ was left alone to choose to do one thing, and because he was in no bondage because he committed no sin, he could choose to act and make that choice to atone. Now consider the Fall under the same definition of sin. Also consider the alternative meanings of "shed" when it comes to Christ shedding his blood. Ok that's a start for you. Swim deeply my friends.
Now on to Hebrews 11.
This is basically my favorite chapter right now. I've read and reread it and it's basically the best thing ever. check out verses 6, 16, 25, and 33-40 especially. (38 in particular). After reading that last part, if you don't want to go to the temple, read the footnotes and then reread the chapter. I mean wow.
I love it because It's so much about faith and I've been trying to develop more of that. Verse 16 is especially dear to me. Because it says that God is not ashamed to be our God. and before reading that, it had never occured to me that He should be. We are all so imperfect, so small. We see mountains we are climbing and He understands that those mountains are mere pebbles. We plead for help and then don't accept it, we thank him for blessings and then act like we earned them, we have weaknesses and worry over things that don't really matter. We disobey and fail and start over and repeat. And we grow. And still, he is not ashamed of us. Still Christ lengthens out His arm to us. Still I hear the words, " Tyler my son. Come here. come home. And maybe one day he'll look down and say, "Tyler, my son. Welcome home. I missed you. Welcome home. I'm proud of you."
And I'll look up from my knees and say, "My God, my God, My Father, My friend. I tried. I tried to make thee proud with what I did with thy name, but I know I fell short. I'm so very ashmaed.
And wiping away my tears he'll say, "I am not ashamed to be your God. Welcome home. welcome home."
And the truth is, I'm not ashamed to be His son. As verse 25 points out, it is better to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."
As I said in my fareewell talk, eventually we all have to pick sides completely. Who are you WITH? The people of God? You should be. Because in the end, through persecutions and all of the wind and rain Satan can muster, we willl win. It's not easy, but I'm finding that nothing worth doing ever is. Check out verse 26 too.
And it was by faith that all of the mitacles the chapter were wrought. By faith, the weak were made strong. I've found this week that I am weak. The work I've been called to can't be done by me. I've always based my slef-worth on trivial things, past accomplishments or I don't even know. But this week something special happened. I began to base my self worth only on the fact that I am a child of God and I am not here through accident. God WILL through me. I must only have the faith to be made strong in my weakness. Have a great week everyone.
My challenge for you is to say a 30 minute prayer on your knees this week. Don't time it necessarily, it's more for the sake of pouring your soul out to God. Ask for faith and foundations and for those things to be made one and the same. I love you, I pray for you in a foreign language. Peace and blessings.