Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Lights and the Long Night of Apostacy- Nov 20, 2009

Let me tell you a thing or two about Christmas lights. First off, I don’t know who invented the if one bulb goes out they all go out Christmas light strands, but they drive me crazy. I have been putting up all the Christmas lights around the church buildings and I am going crazy. I have spent a ton of time trying to find that one bulb that is out. There is one good thing though, the lights we have only go out partially, so only about half of them won’t light up. That makes it a lot nicer because then you can eliminate the number of bulbs you have to inspect by half.

Yes, we are getting ready for Christmas. Since I am an activities coordinator of sorts I get to do all the planning and preparation. It is pretty fun, on Thursday we had about 14 missionaries come and help string up the lights. I planned out where we were going to put them all and then they came and strung ‘em up. It was like I had 30 little hands of my own.

We still have quite a bit left to do, so I will send you pictures next week when I am done. Well Happy Thanksgiving! I am sure you are all headed to Grandma Woods’ house for turkey. That sounds really tasty! It’s okay I will go out to eat somewhere nice to celebrate. Plus it will be a double whammy with my birthday and all. That means I can spend twice as much and eat twice as much too! Oh snap!

This week we had some really spiritual lessons. We had a lesson with a man named Nelson Lin. He is 62 years old, retired, and single, so he is very willing to meet with us. Another great thing is that he is Christian already so all the really basic things we teach to people he is like “Oh, yeah, I already know.” He is awesome and we are getting to be pretty good friends. Anyways, he has been coming to church for a while know and we have been sharing with him about Prophets and Apostles.

Yesterday we talked about the Nicene Creed. He had heard of it but didn’t really understand a lot of what had happened. It was really fun being able to talk to someone about the history of Christianity. If I were to talk to our other investigators like that they would all fall asleep and be really confused.

Anyways, we talked about how in 325 B.C. a group of Christians got together and debated about the nature of God and his church. I told him very frankly that many people that attended and influenced that Creed were not true disciples of Jesus Christ and in fact did things quite contrary to the Gospel teachings. However, some of these not so righteous people had the greatest influence as to the outcome of that meeting.

The outcome was a lot of truth mixed in with a little bit of false teachings. I felt the spirit so strong as I testified to Nelson that Heavenly Father, had once again restored the truths that were lost many years ago.

I know that God loves us, just as he loved the people of ancient times. I know that because of this love for us he has given us his Prophets and Apostles, to guide us through these last days. Right now more than any time in history we need the guidance of God inspired men. Our generation lives in a time when the spirituality of man is constantly being attacked. I find it hard to believe that Heavenly Father would not provide the same organization and support as he did in days of old. The good news is that he does provide that support, but just as in the ancient times, it is up to the people to listen. Just as Moses brought the people out of Egypt, we have a living prophet that through the direction of God can bring those that are willing out of the Spiritual danger that they may be in.

Many will say that after Christ there was no more revelation. Who was Paul? Luke? What about John? Didn’t they receive revelation and inspiration for the people of that time long after the Crucifixion of Christ? They did, so why is it so hard to believe that in the last days Heavenly Father would send forth his messengers to fight against the evils in this world?

Nelson of course brought up the last verses of Revelations that says
“ 18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Many people including Nelson believe this scripture to mean that besides the Bible there is no other scripture. Interestingly enough John was on the island of Patmos when he wrote Revelations. Not only did he not know that the Bible would later be compiled into the Bible that we know today, but since we don’t even know when John passed away the book of Revelations could very well have been written before the other Apostles wrote other portions of the Bible.

We talked about how the Bible was compiled very similarly to how the Nicene Creed was compiled. A bunch of people got together and decided what things they wanted in the Bible. They also decided on meanings of scriptures, the order and chronology of the Bible and what parts to include and omit.

No wonder King James took it upon himself in 1604 to compile a more complete more accurate version of the Bible. Since that time subsequent version have been published, however, if Chapter 22 verse 18 of Revelations really means what a lot of people think it means than any alteration or so called “translation” of the Bible would be a sin.

Nelson seemed intrigued by our discussion and was willing to study and research the topic more thoroughly, we set a baptismal goal with him for next next week. He said that if he receives a witness that Heavenly Father has given us a restored Gospel, then he will be baptized on that day. I am excited for him and it is so fun to see his eyes light up when he realizes a particular Gospel truth that he never understood before.

Well I have got another Ping Pong appointment with my Ping Pong friend. He is the best person I have ever played in my life. I have played with a lot of people here in Taiwan and he is the best by far. It is gonna be a good game today.

Love you all,
Elder Anderson

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