Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A few thoughts on Ether 12 verse 28

Dear Folks Who Love Me,

I'll start off today with a bit of what I've been studying lately.
Ether 12 really touched me as I read it recently.  It's all so GOOD.
Faith, the purpose of weakness, how miracles come, etc.  It leaped off
the page at me as I read it this time through.  I invite you all to
read it and ponder its message.  One thing that really stood out this
time around was verse 28.  Everyone knows/loves verse 27...  But what
about 28?

Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show
unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain
of all righteousness.

So how do we overcome weakness?  By coming unto God (as said in 27).
And how do we come unto God?  Faith, hope and charity.  If we seek to
increase these attributes in ourselves, we'll crowd out any other
negative pieces and be freed from our weaknesses.  What a cool

This week was really cool!  I love Elder Wilhelm.  He's a blast to
walk with and an awesome missionary.  I'm afraid we'll only be
together one transfer, but that's okay.  The Lord knows what He's
doing.  We have 3 Baptismal Dates as of Saturday and I'm so excited
for these people.  I have a slew of new investigators who I'm still
getting to know.  One of them (one of those Baptismal Dates) is named
Lorenço and he's a champion!  He understands The Book of Mormon SO
well.  He explained it to us like this:  "Well, I joined the Universal
Church in '94 and recently found that it wasn't true.  Then, you
Elders came along and showed me this beautiful doctrine and this
incredible book.  It's true and it makes so much sense--the Bible
talks about Jacob's son Joseph so much and there are some incredible
promises made to him that are never realized in the Bible.  So, we
have The Book of Mormon which is a record of Joseph's descendants."
Whenever we answer any of his questions or doubts, he's completely at
peace; he's finally found the little piece of himself that he was
missing and he's savoring every moment.

We're working with a lot of Less-Active members and it's really
inspiring (and sometimes hair-pulling) work.  For a multitude of
reasons--offense, laziness, disenchantment, unworthiness etc.--these
people have simply stopped coming to church, reading, praying, etc.
It's sad to see the downturn that their happiness, peace of mind and
life in general has taken.  Note to self:  Don't ever go inactive.
It's not a desirable way to live.

I've realized that one of the biggest of Satan's lies is the idea that
after sin we cannot become completely clean again.  He wants us to
believe ourselves unworthy, unclean, and unhappy.  I testify against
this.  Christ came for this!  He came to free us from those feelings
of guilt and unhappiness.  If you've truly repented, why do you worry?
 Repentance is the cure of the soul and can bring a perfect peace.
Though a sin be as scarlet, it CAN be white as snow.  I know this.
The devil also knows this and he's scared of it.  He's passed a point
of no return and wants us to believe the same of ourselves.  So, cast
not off confidence, believe in the atoning power of Christ and go
forth in faith.  We CAN become the person that the Lord wants us to
be.  Our past doesn't have to limit that.

I'm so very grateful for the gospel in my life.  It changes a lot.  It
provides light in a dim world and relief from the pains of mortality.
I've seen it melt hearts, change lives, brighten countenances, and
lift unbearable loads.  THIS is life eternal.  Anything else is just a
clever trick, a blatant lie, or a fleeting and false joy.

I like an example I learned recently of a cake being baked by the best
baker.  Every slice of this perfect cake has a distinct flavor.  If a
person were to arrive and take just one piece of the wonderful cake,
they'd walk away feeling satisfied and feeling as though they'd had
the best chocolate cake in the world.  Or strawberry.  Or vanilla.
But unless they stay around and enjoy every piece of the cake, they'll
never be truly fulfilled nor understand what they are missing.  We
have the cake!  It was "rebaked" by Jesus Christ through the prophet
Joseph Smith.  We aren't grasping at crumbs of chocolate or vanilla...
 We have so much more than the best chocolate cake in the world.  As a
missionary, I get to introduce well-meaning folks to other slices of
that cake that they didn't even know existed.  What a life we live.

Well, I love you guys.  Life is great.  I'm happy.  I'll soon get a
new house (this should hopefully mean water and energy =)).

I leave it with you--go and share your cake.

Elder Cody R. Eckman

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