Thursday, March 10, 2011

Prophecy

The Book of Mormon has taken on an entirely new level of meaning for me now that I'm preparing to be a missionary.

I've been going through and marking all of the places which prophesy that the gospel would be restored to the Lamanite's descendants in the last days. I never noticed until I was actually looking for it just how much the Book of Mormon says this will happen. I've only just finished 1 Nephi, and it is mentioned in some detail in almost every chapter.

I got to thinking about Joseph Smith, and I realized that if he hadn't been inspired, he wouldn't have known if the Book of Mormon ever would make it to the descendants of the Lamanites. In fact, when Joseph Smith was martyred in 1844, nothing seemed more unlikely.

But we look around today and what do we see? Three dozen temples in Mexico, Latin America, and South America. More than a dozen translations of the Book of Mormon in the languages and dialects of those nations--all bearing the same message dozens of times:

"And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer." 1 Nephi 10: 14

And when I realized that's the work I'll be doing on my mission in Brazil... I understood those prophecies were talking about me. All of the sudden words I've never noticed before mean everything to me now, and I see why the Lord has pushed me to grow so much for the past several years. His plans for my life are larger than anything I've ever imagined, and that is clearer to me now more than ever because of this call.

I have a lot of work ahead of me. I don't leave until June, but visas to Brazil are notoriously difficult to obtain.   But, of course, that depends on who you ask. As with everything else during this process, the wait is worth the effort. Every person I talk to who has any connection to Brazil or Brazilian people tells me how wonderful and loving the people are. From what I've read about the CTM, that experience begins from the moment the missionaries set foot in Brazil, so naturally I'm just eager to get there and start working.

I love the Book of Mormon, and I know it's true. Only a true book could bring about the amazing miracles and changes that follow the Book of Mormon everywhere it goes. I know the Prophet Joseph Smith translated it by the power of God, and it's because of the Book of Mormon that the kingdom of God is rolling forth across the earth. I'm grateful for the opportunity to teach the gospel in São Paulo, and all the lessons I will learn about faith in Jesus Christ from the wonderful people who live there. I'm grateful for the chance to prepare with them for the Second Coming, and there's no work in which I'd rather be engaged.

I love the Lord, and I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bears the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ leads anyone who follows it to eternal life. Sharing that gospel means everything to me because every time the gospel changes someone's life, I truly believe the world changes with it. I'm grateful for the blessings of the Lord in my life, and I am glad to bear witness of His holy name, even Jesus Christ. Amen