Friday, August 22, 2014

Second week at the MTC

This week's been great. 

Still haven't figured out the photo situation.

I fly out to Toronto early Monday morning, so by the next time I write, I'll be in Canada.

Things have been pretty crazy here. I've had several deeply spiritual experiences. I'm getting more used to inviting people to baptism.

On a not quite so personal level, there's something I'd like to share.

As we've been meeting with investigators, one of the really deep questions my companion and I have been asked is "why would God take his gospel away from the earth?" We initially responded that we didn't have a great answer and would come back. This is what I came up with that I really liked:


We start of by stating the question, and then ask the investigator to read 2 Ne 10:23. We describe what agency is, and then launch into a block quote from Our Search for Happiness (pg 74) in the section under Coping With Adversity that says,

"If there is a God," the empathetic observer might wonder, "how could He allow such things to happen?"
The answer isn't easy, but it isn't that complicated either. God has put His plan into motion .It proceeds through natural laws - which are, in fact, God's laws. And because they are His, He is bound by them, as are we. In this imperfect world, bad things sometimes happen. The earth's rocky underpinnings occasionally slip and slide, and earthquakes result. Certain weather patterns turn into hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and drought. That is the nature of our existence on this planet. Dealing with adversity is one of the chief ways in which we are tested and tutored. 
Sometimes, however, adversity [in this case, read: apostasy] is man-made. That is where the principle of agency again comes into play. Keep in mind that we were so excited about the plan Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ presented that we literally "shouted for joy" (Job 38:7). We loved the concept of mortality and the exciting notion of moral agency. But because we'd never been mortal before, I'm not sure we could fully comprehend the impact of agency on our lives.
We tend to think of agency in a personal way. Ask someone to define "moral agency," and they'll probably come up with something like this: "Moral agency means I'm free to make choices for myself." But we forget that agency also offers that same privilege to others, which means that sometimes we are going to be adversely affected by the way other people choose to exercise their agency. 
Heavenly Father feels so strongly about protecting our moral agency that He will allow all of His children to exercise it - for good and for evil. Of course, He has an eternal perspective that helps Him to understand that whatever pain and suffering we endure in this life, regardless of its origins and causes, it is only a moment compared with our entire eternal existence. 

At this point, I bear testimony that God cares about our agency.

Then, I emphasize that God still shows his love for us by giving us inspired people, such as the Reformers or those of other faiths. 

Finally, explain that when people were ready, God willingly restored His gospel on the earth again.


I know that God loves us.

With love,
Elder Crye

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