Monday, November 23, 2015

November 10, 2015 Lampa, Chile

Zone: Colina
Sector: Lampa 1
Comp: Elder Gòmez

This week we had a baptism!!! Our friend Joan was baptized this last Sunday. Our mission president came to the baptismal service which was really neat. 
So last week we crashed our bikes- the damage wasn`t too bad but they were in repair for 3 days. Our mission president is paying for the repairs. The car that we crashed into has a huge dent in it and a broken light but the owner knows that the accident was his fault, he actually took me to the consultorio to get me checked out because I couldnt walk well because my leg caused all the damage to the car. But everything is good now!! We are moving along. I wasn`t wearing a helmet which was against mission rules and got the punishment. I felt like the angels were saying "this is the only time we are going to proctect you without a helmet, next time if you dont have a helmet... your on your own". So I have started wearing a helmet on Sundays as well.
This last week we found 4 new investigators!! So we are excited to work our buns off with them. My companion has trunkitis. Its been difficult because he always talks about what he wants to do when he gets back and that affects me as well. But we`re trying to stay focused, Im gonna make sure that he ends strong.
This last week we also had a Zone conference and they talked a little about perfectionism. They said that we become perfect through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But I´ve heard that a million times now and still hadnt understood it! They talked a little about the Sacrament and that we renew our covenants and its like we are starting over with a clean slate if we have repented. But I got sooooo confused. So thats what I have been focusing my studies on. I have been reading the scriptures, praying and I`ve talked to a few people about it. I wrote all my thoughts and impressions, what others have shared with me and this is what I`ve got out of it:

Children under the age of 8 are considered clean and perfect. Even before Christ?
Children are considered worthy, clean, pure, cleansed by the power of the Atonement. But Christ hadn`t suffered yet. He wouldn`t suffer yet for the next 2 or 3,000 years. How could the children be considered clean when he hadn`t payed the price yet?  The Atonement works in Advance.
The commandment is that we become as, not like, but as a little child. How is it that we become as a little child? -There`s a whole list in Mosiah...submissive, humble, meek - and well that`s all and good but does that make you as a little child or like a little child? -LIKE. But the commandment is to become as a little child which means what? -Covered by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. A little child is a child under the age of 8. We are not talking about a 12 year old or a 14 year old child -we are talking about a child who is 8 years old or less, covered by the Atonement. How do we become as that little child that little child who is covered by the Atonement? The child doesn`t have to repent -but we do, right? So we have to do something a little different than a child -we actually have to demonstrate faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized -because we`re more than8 years old. If we haven`t been baptized yet and we`re than 8 years old then we need to be baptized right? We need to keep the commandments and as we go along we need to repent for the thing we do thats wrong. If its serious we have to talk to somebody about it but if its now we just repent and talk to the Lord about it, and we keep going.
So we have to do something a little more than a child. In order to become as a little child, clean holy, without spot, perfect -is a little child considered perfect? Yes. Are they perfect? No. Of course not. Do they sin? Yes. When we baptize children at the age of 8 for the remission of their sins -article of faith #4 says that we baptized for the remission of sins at the age of 8. So what does mormon mean when he says children can`t sin? -He explains in his letter to Moroni. He says what it means is they can`t be held acountable for their sins, and they can`t repent, and it`s solemn mockery before God to think that a child needs to repent. Why is it mockery? We`re trying to tell a child who`s already covered to repent in order to earn forgivness? Well he`s already been forgiven. Whenever we try to do something thats already been done for us by God Himself..thats mockery. There are other kinds of mockery as well -how people mock eachother, yeah that`s mockery, but when we teach that children need to be baptized- that`s mockery of a different kind. If the Atonement covers a child before the age of 8 and we still say the child has to repent in order to be forgiven - that makes a mockery of the fact that it was already agreed in the pre-existence that they are covered. Let`s not make a mockery of it. Let`s accept it.

The Atonement works in the future, as well as the past.  Little children have always been protected until they are 9 years of age. Certainly if the Atonement works in advance for 6,000 years for every child under the age of 9 and for all people who repented for 6,000 years... then, ok so right now isn`t it possible that the Atonement functions until we partake of the Sacrament again? Next Sunday?

The child is protected, protected, protected - 6 years old, 7 years old still protected. 8 years old- he hasn`t been baptized yet because he doesn`t get baptized until the first Saturday of next month right? But is he still protected? What if he doesn`t get baptized until he`s 8 and 3 months old -is he still protected until he`s baptized? Sure! But if he`s 8 years and 11 3/4 months is he still protected? Sure. What if he`s 9 years old? -oops now he`s what? A 9 year old by definition is something different than an 8 year old. What is a 9 year old? He is not a child of record. On his 9th birthday he is no longer a child of record. If he`s 9 years old and has not been baptized in our church, then he is a convert baptism. And there is a BIG difference. According to the Lord and the Profets, if you`re 8 point something your covered. The Bishop has authority as a child of record, as long as the baptism is performed before his 9th birthdate. But you cannot baptized that child on his 9th birthdate, you have to baptize him on any day before his 9th birthday, if your are going to baptized him as a child of record. If a child is 9.0 he has to show fruits meet for repentance -because he has the capacity now at the age of 9, to demonstrate -he needs to demonstrate because thats the definition -he needs to demonstrate now that he has repented. That is a little different than an 8 year old who doesn`t need to demonstrate that. If we require an 8 year old to repent... its making a mockery. It is mockery, solemn mockery before God to require an 8 year old child to do something for which he is already covered by the Atonement.
So lets say you want to do things perfectly. You don`t want to make any mistakes. So you try, try, try really hard to be perfect but you always find that you are falling shord in some way, every day that shows you that you are not perfect. But you are trying, and  you see a general authority who gave a talk a few years ago who says -We know it`s not possible for you to be perfect this life, but we should keep trying anyway. But if we`re trying to do something that is impossible and we keep trying, trying, trying and failing then what is going to be our emotional state? -We are going to be VERY discouraged. If we think we`re supposed to try to be perfect like the general authority said, but you can`t be perfect like the general authority said -you`ll be frustrated for the rest of your life.  By trying to be perfect in this perfectionistic way -we`re trying to do something that`s already been done for us. We are also guilty of mockery. If we are trying to be perfect by ourselves, without the Atonement -we are making a solemn mockery of the Atonment. We`re trying to be perfect using perfectionism. Perfectionism assumes that there is no Atonment, that there is no help, that you have to do it all by yourself. Perfectionism comes from the devil. The commandment to be perfect comes from Christ. Nefi 3 and 7 says the Lord never gives a commandment unless he provides a way. SO... is it a true commandment to be perfect? Yes. What`s the way that was provided? The Atonement. So- if we do whatever we can- we go to church, partake of the sacrament -are we perfect? Yes.
When do we become as little children? Having faith, repenting, keeping the commandments and partaking of the sacrament. When we take the sacrament we are covered until the next Sunday -because the Atonement works in advance. What if i don`t take the Sacrament this next Sunday? Am I still protected? No. A Saint is someone pure, without spot, clean. It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day SAINTS. D&C 59:9 "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day." When we take the sacrament we truly become a Saint. We are as a child. We are covered by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I was reading from the book " A continuous Atonement" by Brad Wilcox and I love what he said about our temple garments and how it reminds us that we are covered. He says "Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness. God sent Jesus to make coats of skin. -Coats of skin don`t grow on trees so that means that an animal had to be killed. Perhaps this was the first animal sacrifice, but skins covered them. Adam and Eve left the garden with only coats of skin to remind them of Eden. Our garments remind us of the temple. It reminds us of our covenants, it protects us but it is a powerful symbol of the Atonement -a continuous reminder both day and night that because of Jesus` sacrifice, we are covered."
English work 'Atonement' comes from the ancient Hebrew word "Kaphar" which means "To Cover".
I know that by the power of the Atonement we can become clean and perfect. I know that God loves us. I know that he has provided a way for us to keep ALL of his commandments.
I love you all, hope you have a great week! 
Elder Brady

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