Monday, June 30, 2014

"True Desires"

We met a man named Tom this week. Tom right now is looking for a job, he is very smart and has a lot of experience but he has still been having a hard time finding a job. He is already Christian and was baptized in '09. He has a strong faith in Christ and he says that through these past rough times he is really trying to focus on Christ. It definitely was no surprise that at this time in his life God would lead us to him. We met him on the street and shared a brief message and rescheduled him for last Saturday at the church. When we met him for the second time  we gave him a tour of the church and shared the message of the Restoration. He has a good connection with Joseph Smith. He said he has the same question as to which of all the churches are true. When we bore testimony of the first vision and the evidence of that Restoration I could definitely see things starting to click. He very quickly accepted the invitation to read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon and its contents. We then invited him to be baptized and set a date as a goal for him to be ready, he accepted. He is very prepared for the Gospel and now is the time in his life where he has the great opportunity to accept it.

We met with Dorothea on Sunday afternoon. We met her outside the McDonald's and then walked over to a nearby park. While we were waiting for the fellow shipper, Dorothea said that she had made her decision. Her decision was to stay Catholic. She said that several things that had happened in the past two weeks had lead up to that decision. It literally was just like "The District." I knew that if we just tried to teach her what we already had planned for her and not really listen, we would lose her. We dropped our original lesson plan and decided to just listen and through the spirit's guidance, ask questions. We established what she believed, what she understood, and what she had doubts on. Her faith in Christ is sound. She believes the Book of Mormon. She believes the first vision as well as our church. However... she also believes that there is more than one prophet on the earth today.   At the start of our lesson, it sounded like she had made the decision to be catholic and wasn't much more interested in our church. However, by the end, through the spirit, she had grown a strong desire to learn more about the prophet, Thomas S. Monson and Joseph Smith, as well as the true meaning of the word "Prophet."  She has committed to keep learning, as well as to ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon Introduction's last paragraph. Specifically if this is the one and only true church on the face of the earth.

I've really been pondering about "true desires." What are the Savior's true desires, my true desires, and the world's true desires?  From several scriptures we learn to lay up our treasure in heaven. (3 Nephi 13) We need not spend money for that which is of no worth. (2 Nephi 9:51) What are things that are included in that scripture? Some things we may be able to actually purchase with money, but others might be more figurative things. Things like the clothes, cars, phones are obvious. However, the reason behind learning the language can also be considered a stumbling block. That leads us back to true desires. We can be doing the right thing, keep the commandments, and doing a lot of good. However, if our heart isn't in it then it will be as if we never did the good deeds in the first place. If you give a gift unwillingly, it is as if you never gave it at all.  Having truly righteous desires is definitely a journey in itself. Because our situation is constantly changing, we might run into things that cause our desires to change our motive behind doing the righteous things. For example, the scriptures mention not just praying out in public and making sure everyone sees, in order for them to think they are righteous. When we have truly true desires, we are focused on what God thinks of us instead of what everyone else thinks of us. It is then and only then that we truly fear God more than man. But like I said, it is a journey. Reaching that point cannot be achieved in an hour, or even a year. It is a lifetime of work. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be serving the Lord full time right now in order to help me on this journey. There's nothing better in the world than knowing I'm doing what Heavenly Father would have me do.
Love, Elder Zach Cederlof


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