Monday, September 8, 2014
Our Strengths and Weaknesses
So this week sadly, Santiago was out of town, but we have been working with another investigator Betriz. She has been to church twice and has a baptismal date set for this coming Sunday. But we hit a huge stumbling block - a BIG one. We had just a couple more lessons to teach her and also had an appointment Saturday with a member to come as well. At the last minute, the member called and said she couldn't make it, so me and my companion went in with our lesson plan and a lot of prayers. We started the lesson and asked her, "What has tithing done for you in this life?" As we started teaching the law of tithing it was off on a great start, the importance of it, how we should act on it, blessings, etc. As time went on, she became more uncomfortable, frustrated, and discouraged. We tried to do everything we could to help her, but she was literally in a situation without any money. She gets little pay every month and there is no way she can give tithing at this time. I started getting a little nervous, we had done everything we could. I had so much faith in her that there is a way and she is so close to the fullness of the gospel and the blessings it would bring her. But she just kept fighting it. That's when I realized, she had her agency. This was something we had just studied as a companionship that morning! I was heartbroken, she knew the church was true, and she knew the Book of Mormon was the word of God. The gospel was right there in her hands!! Eternal Life! We gave her everything, but in the end, it is her's to choose.
I learned so much from this experience to have a huge amount of faith in your investigators in every situation. The importance of love and why it is so important to teach the people these doctrines. I have always lived the law of tithing, but from this experience I realized that tithing is more than just 10% of your pay. It's much more than that. We've got to look at the big picture and what it really means. Christ paid for all of our sins, He died and was resurrected and created a plan to live with Him again. He paid our debt in FULL. One day we will all be resurrected and and return to God's presence. So what's our responsibility? OBEDIENCE What kind of person do we want to be in the next life? How comfortable we will be standing next to God? Christ has given us everything, our part is so little. The problem is that many of us look at time of struggles, trials, rules and commandments as a punishment or the hard way of doing things. We have these trials so that we can push through them with faith, learn to rely on Him, grow and show our appreciation to Christ for what He did for us. When we give our tithing to the bishop, it is not something to look at and say, "well I could've bought .... if I didn't have to pay that." When we have the power of grace and look at the big picture we would say, "Awesome, I got paid today and I can't wait to give my tithing to the bishop to show my appreciation for everything God has given me. That's the least I can do!" Look around at everything we have. This is what God has blessed us with. I hope I always remember this!
The story of the piano!"Christ's arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. How many know what I am talking about? Because mom paid the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child's practice pay the piano teacher? No. It is the advantage of the amazing opportunity mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom's joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used as her child improves. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice. If the child sees mom's requirement of practice as being too overbearing ("Oh mom, why do I need to practice? None of the other kids have to practice! I'm just going to be a professional baseball player anyways!"), Perhaps it is because he doesn't yet see with mom's eyes. He doesn't see how much better his life could be if he would choose to live on a higher plane"
As we become more humble and show our appreciation, we are becoming more like the Savior.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
(D&C 119:3-7) President Hinckley tells a story of a woman who sacrificed to pay tithing. (5:16)
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