I hit 18 months yesterday and it's super weird. I'm not ready to be this close to home yet!
This week was pretty good. Highlights were meeting a really sweet investigator guy named Fabian. He is the husband of an active member and really likes the Church. He opened up to us a little more about his concerns. He seems to be a little afraid to pray and ask the Lord if these things are true. He wants to do what the Lord wants him to do, but he also knows that if he were to be baptized, he would feel like he would be betraying his mother's faith (she was a devout member of another faith). Even though he knows she would fully support his decision either way. I think he just wants us to understand where he is coming from.
We also had a great lesson with Nathan, a guy our age we found last week, and his dad Roger. Nathan knows the Bible really well and belongs to another faith, but he wants to understand what our beliefs are and where we are coming from. He wants to know why we put so much effort into proselyting to other Christians. We taught him the Restoration and it went well. He kept having an issue though with the idea of prophets and priesthood authority after the coming of Christ. He accepted the truth of it before His coming, but he kept saying, didn't Jesus finish His work on the cross? Why would he need to call prophets after his coming? Isn't he capable of directing His work on His own by the Holy Spirit which He sent after His ascension?
This is what I wanted to talk about briefly this week. We have a unique message to the world. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in its fullness to the earth! That means we have a better understanding of the grace of God and of His grand purposes than any other religion. Because of the Restoration, we understand that we are not just meant to be saved, but to become perfected and glorified. To change. We understand that God's work is not merely to save His children, but to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
Of course Jesus finished His work on the cross. He finished the perfect and complete and infinite atonement for our sins. It is finished! No more price can ever be paid than that which was paid by Him. And of course He is capable of directing His work without the aid of man. He has absolutely no need of our help, whatsoever. He doesn't need to call prophets. He doesn't really need any of us to do anything, as far as completing His work perfectly. He can do that just fine on His own.
But what would be the point of that? Sure, we would be saved, but for what? Would we really be all that different? No! So, really, although He could certainly do His work on His own better than He could by means of mortal man, He chooses us to be participants in this great work, all of us, if we are willing. He knows that by using the "weak and the simple" - you and me - to proclaim the gospel, He really fulfills His purposes, because we learn and grow. That is why we have prophets. If we will listen to them and trust in Him and join in this work, we will all grow together. If he just came down and did it all, there wouldn't be much growth.
Sorry if this is scattered. I am out of time. I love you all!
Elder Alex Swindler