Tell the primary thank you for all of their letters and drawings! I appreciate them very much. I am keeping them all. And the shirt they sent is perfect. I wear it a lot when I'm at home.
This week was a little slow. My companion was sick for about half of it, and missionary trades, interviews, and the dentist took up two days of time too. As a result, I was able to finish Jesus, the Christ again. I've never been so thankful for long books. It will take a long time for me to ever get tired of that book. This time, the sections that talk about the primitive church, Zion, and the second coming impressed me the most.
Talmage makes the following comment about the early converts of the primitive church (in the time of the original quorum of 12, not long after the ascension of Christ) "So devoted were these early converts, so richly blessed with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost was the Church in those days, that the members voluntarily disposed of their individual possessions and had all things in common. To them faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was of greater worth than the wealth of the earth. Among them, there was nothing called "mine" or "thine," but all things were theirs in the Lord. (Chap 38)
A common ownership of property is one of the characteristics of Zion. Like the people of Enoch and the Nephites in 3 Nephi, they were "of one heart and of one soul." I like imagining how living in a community of Zion might be. This system of unity has already been revealed in our "dispensation" in the Doctrine and Covenants. Keeping in mind that we are tasked with becoming citizens of Zion in the future, it is wise to think about how we can do our part in developing characteristics like the members of the primitive church had, contributing to the building of Zion.
It's hard to think about voluntarily disposing of my individual possessions. It really shows me how much learning and experience I need to gain to develop that desire. I think I'm going to start with my ties. A lot of missionaries like to trade ties. The trades are never fair, but I'm trying to gain the point of view of a citizen of Zion and just go with whatever people want to trade. I'll probably end up with a bunch of ugly ties going home, but at least I'll know I'm closer to Zion, haha. I'm thankful for all the things that happen that stretch me. I hope to become more and more malleable in character every time something hard happens.
I don't have any super cool stories today, sorry kids. But I do know that the best stories take time to write. Maybe one day we'll all look back at our lives and realize that we were in a much cooler story than we thought we were in.
I guess I'll put down my closing remarks. I'm just putting down my thoughts and experiences, but I hope all those who read this can be edified in some way. I know that as big and difficult our life may seem, it is only a step in the story of eternity. All the events that pass, whether they be thrilling or devastating, work together to form our future of best possible development. I know, more than I ever have in the past, that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a "cunningly devised fable." No man could have created a device as simple, or as perfect as the Doctrine of Christ. The scriptures lay out a straight and narrow path we must follow to return to live with our Heavenly Father and receive eternal life. We can choose to follow it or not. It is available to everyone. It's the perfect insurance plan that no one has been able to copy. Because Jesus Christ completed His Atonement for the sins of all mankind in a way we still cannot completely comprehend, we are free to accept his sacrifice for us through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I still marvel at how it can be so simple but also all-encompassing. I have no doubt that it's true and that the gospel was restored after being lost. Anyone who wants to know if scriptures are true can know by prayer and action.
I hope that you all have a wonderful week
Elder Bryce Young