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Monday, December 22, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Dear Elders and Sisters,
The atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important, most beautiful, most sublime doctrine we will ever study. It has profound personal and cosmic significance. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that all things “which pertain to our religion are only appendages” to the atonement of Jesus Christ. Despite the atonement’s obvious significance, none of us know enough about it. Sometimes, church members behave as if they have already heard so much about the atonement, they need to look for something “deeper” to study when, in fact, the atonement has all the depth they should ever need or want.
We believe that coming to understand the atonement of Jesus Christ is a lot like climbing a rope. It takes effort. Moreover, in this journey towards understanding the atonement, there are some places that a person cannot go until they have already attained certain strengths and attributes. To help us climb the rope of our understanding, the Lord has given us some scriptural passages that are like knots in the rope. These passages are extremely helpful and give us something upon which we can firmly grip. Their scope and depth are breathtaking. We refer to these passages as “knot chapters.” Many of them are contained in the Book of Mormon, which was given to us for the “convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ.” This past week, we have gone through the Book of Mormon and have identified the following 15 “knot chapters” for your consideration. They are:
1) Lehi’s final discourse to his posterity in 2 Nephi 2;
2) Jacob’s words to the people of Nephi contained in 2 Nephi 6-9 with an emphasis on Chapter 9;
3) Nephi’s explanation of the Doctrine of Christ in 2 Nephi 31;
4) Jacob’s “few words” written upon plates in Jacob 4;
5) King Benjamin’s speech in Mosiah 2-5. The whole speech is spectacular, but some of the key atonement passages are found in chapters 2 and 3;
6) Abinadi’s words before King Noah in Mosiah 15-16;
7) Alma’s words to the Church in Gideon in Alma 7;
8) Alma and Amulek’s confrontation with Zeezrom in Alma 11-12;
9) Amulek’s words to the Zoramites in Alma 34;
10) Alma’s words to his son Corianton in Alma 39-42 with an emphasis on Chapter 42;
11) The doctrinal portion of Samuel the Lamanite’s prophesy in Helaman 14;
12) Jesus’ initial discourse to the Nephites in 3 Nephi 11;
13) Jesus’ explanation of “my gospel” to the Nephites in 3 Nephi 27;
14) Moroni’s call to those who do not believe in Christ in Mormon 9;
15) Mormon’s epistle to Moroni in Moroni 8.
We realize that creating a list like this will open a discussion about whether we selected the best passages. We welcome this kind of discussion, and hope that you will add other favorites to your own list. However, the chapters we have identified are filled with profound insight. You can study them for a lifetime and never plum all their depths. If you truly understand these chapters, you will be well on your way to understanding the atonement. We pray that you will allow the Book of Mormon to truly convert you to the Savior Jesus Christ and His atonement. When this happens, your life will have more context and purpose, and your missionary efforts will be more focused and effective.
President and Sister Packard
Friday, December 5, 2014
The past few days it's been above freezing so all the snow is melting. Now everything is exceptionally cold and wet. Regardless the snow has been great and I'm enjoying it. In fact I made my first snowman last Friday. It was snow much fun. Haha, get it. I didn't have gloves with me so for the past few days I haven't had 100% feeling in my fingertips. It finally feels like it's returning.
We started passing out "He is the Gift" cards for the new church video & we are having great success with this. We've also had good success with shoveling snow for people. It's a great way to meet new people. If only the missionaries in Arizona could know what it's like to shovel snow, ALL day.
As you know we also had Thanksgiving here in Massachusetts. Boy did I feel like I was part of the first one ever in America. This really nice older lady invited us to her house which is really a primitive log cabin. It was in the middle of the woods & there was NO electricity. We ate and visited by candlelight & were warmed by her firepit. She is the only member in her family so it was great cause all of her family & friends she invited were not members. We were a little out of our comfort zone but I soon had the thought come to me, Growth never occurs in a comfort zone.
I would also like to update you on our apostolic heaven inspired mission goal of 70 baptisms for November. We ended up with 100 exactly. It feels so good to know that we as a whole helped 100 people come to know of the true church on the earth. I don't know this for a fact but I could see my mission president one day being a general authority in the church. Being in an instrument in the Lords hands is one of the best feelings ever, like Ammon in Alma 26. Pres. Packard should be emailing you soon, let me know if you don't get something from him.
I don't have Brother Shoemaker's email but will you tell him that I am so grateful for his example and enthusiasm to serve God and others. Will you tell him that he will always be my "Pa" and that I hope to make him proud and to be such a great disciple of Christ like he is. Will you tell him that I know he'll do great in his new calling and that I'm praying for him and his family. BTW, all this goes for "Ma" Shoemaker as well.
Could you please send me the Watt's address? As a matter of fact in your next letter to me if you include addresses of family and friends that would be really great.
Merry Christmas everyone! Elder Turley
Hello Elder Turley's mom & dad!!!
I'm a member from the ward your son is serving in and I would just like to give you notice that your son is of the upmost moral character here as would be expected of one representing the divinest of institutions.
Though he tends to crack his joints at every moment possible!
Keep your prayers with him often, his westernized gentile Mormon upbringing is about to be humbled by the cold tundra's of the East...
No but in all seriousness he's a great guy and missionary, his study of the gospel is serving him well.
P.S. Those vanilla wafers you sent him were Amazing!
- Jose Lu
Monday, November 24, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
LDS.org Also CLyde Bawden CD's would be nice. It doesn't have to be LDS church music either. It just has to fit the guidlines previously stated. And please NO Christmas music.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
> So my new address is:
> 553 Tyler St Apt A1
> Pittsfield MA 01201
Please feel free to write me lots of letters and send me packages. Me and my MTC companion were able to get our guy to commit to baptism which was super cool. We felt like thats the way it was going to be in the field but I know now it isnt. Turns out Garretts uncle was in my branch presidency in the MTC so that was really cool. Anyway my last Sunday in the MTC we had a devotional with a guy who played football. He talked about how he's a total bro and loves to share the light of christ with others. He played in the NFL for the Eagles and when he met L. Tom Perry he was told that the reason he played football was to help open the doors to China. well next thing you know he's hired by the NFL to be the official ambassador for China concerning football. He was number 89 for reference but I dont remember his name. He was the guy who gave the play by play for the NFL that was broadcasted in China. He said that he didnt know football lingo in chinese but he did know church lingo. His play by play was "I testify that Tom Brady is throwing true passes" anyways he was just a super awesome guy. I left the MTC at 2 in the morning even though our plane didnt take off until 930 so I was pretty much exhausted for the first few days in fact I fell asleep during companionship prayer.Our mission president is like the farthest thing from politically correct you can be and it's super awesome. The first thing we did was go contacting in the heat of Boston so that was really cool and really nerve-wracking. People arent very nice and dont slow down so we just walked and talked. My Trainer is named Elder Stevens and the first thing he did was give me a hug and then he handed me the keys. He can't drive. Now you know how I am with driving. WE can all agree that driving is not my greatest strength. Now imagine It's my first night in the mission it's raining and dark and we have a 3 hour drive to get to our apartment from the mission home. I'm driving a brand new 2014 Chevy Cruze. To add on all of that the people here dont really pay attention to the lines except for the yellow one thank goodness. The roads here have absolutely no rhyme or reason either. In fact I guess most of the roads were built on old cattle trails. Thankfully I'm still alive.It's been a lot of fun out here and I really enjoy it. The first dinner I had was with a mexican family who didnt really speak much english. That was interesting, we just played charades the whole time. It was just like when I was working at tree doctors. I havent had any sea food yet though and thats a little disapointing. also there isnt really an accent either where I am.Anyway cool story time: last night we were out visiting less active people and we normally knock on the neighbors doors just to see if they're interested too. we can't find this ladies house and we have like fifteen minutes until we're supposed to be back in our apartment and my trainer said lets just go back. However, I remember my teachers in the MTC saying "never go back early if you can help it. It's when you think theres no chance and you still keep going that miracles happen" so I told Elder STeven lets just knock on a few more doors. SO he lets me take the lead and the first door we knock on is this really nice lady who has a dog which we immediately start petting (if the owners dog likes you so does the owner) anyway we get in the house and start talking to her and apparently her mom, nephew and brother in law all committed suicude and she's looking for answers. I felt really blessed to have the answer and happily gave her a Book of Mormon and explained that as she reads it and prays to find comfort and understanding she'll find her answers. We got all her information and told her we'd give her a call and stuff so that was really cool. Hopefully we can really help her to understand God's plan for us all.Some thoughts I had this week. Ive been pondering about ordinances and how when there is a baptism or sealing they are the two that end with "In the name of The Father & The Son & The Holy Ghost. We read in the scriptures that baptism is the door to the Celestial Kingdom. Hel 3:26-28 Perhaps it is because baptism is our first covenant with God & it is an outward expression saying we have chosen to follow Christ. Perhaps as we make this commitment that we will be supported by the whole of the Godhead. The sealing is the final covenant we make with God that is vital to our eternal existence. Maybe it is to let us know that the path we are on is pleasing to the Godhead. This covenant allows us to qualify for the greatest glory so long as we endure to the end. Let me know your thoughts.Also, my mission is not one that has iPads or Facebook at this time.Anyways I gotta go now Love you lots. Trevon
> P.S. Kellie thank you so much for the package I didnt get it until my last day in the MTC and it was really really awesome.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Also let grandma know that the missionaries purpose is the very first sentence on the first page of preach my gospel. Also tell her that there's a section specifically about how the members can help. I'm not sure where it is but it's near the back half