Contact me by
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