"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:19-20)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This is the Christ!

Guten Morgen!
What a wonderful week! Each week just gets better and better! Time is really going by fast, as this weekend marks the half-way point of my MTC stay. The amount of things I have learned and am now able to do is simple miraculous- not because of any of my abilities, but because of the great Spirit that is here and permiates everything... even meal time! Yesterday, the new group of missionaries came, and I accompanied an elder who sang "This is the Christ" solo. It truly is one of my favorite songs, because of the extremely powerfull message of Jesus the Christ. He sang beautifully and I felt a wonderful spirit. I looked out over the new missionaries sitting in this orientation meeting and remembered back to my first day here and I thought I knew what it was going to be like. I thought I knew what it felt like to have a testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Holy Son of God; I thought I knew what it was like to receive revelation from a member of the Godhead, guiding and directing each step of my life; I thought I knew what it was like to study the scriptures; I thought I knew what it was like to follow the Savior's invitation to "Come, Follow Me." Oh, how my understanding of these things has amplified to nearly impossible comprehension! There is an actual power here, and is constantly building me up and strengthening my testimony. Which relates to something I studied from the Prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon this week: He talked about how beeing filled with the Holy Ghost led to having great power. I got to thinking about the difference between "feeling the Holy Ghost" and being "filled with the Holy Ghost". Are they the same? Feeling the Holy Ghost is something that everybody can experience- it is the power of testimony; for a person who feels the Holy Ghost bear witness of spiritual truths gains a testimony and eventually a knowledge of the same. The feelings of the Holy Ghost is key to any conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ; but it's not conversion. Conversion happens when one is filled with the Holy Ghost. That can only happen after baptism by proper authority and then receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost; then can the Holy Ghost fill every part of our beings and guide us on the path from testimony to conversion. But this is a long process, and one that must be diligently worked for to the end. How grateful I am to the Spirit for beginning to fill my soul and helping me to truly be converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Some of the Elders in the district were wondering what my favorite scripture was, and that was tough! Every scripture I would turn to, I would love just as much as the other one! It was fun, but they were serious, and wanted to know if every scripture was taken away except one, and that was the only scripture in all the Gospel, which one I would pick. I thought, and this scripture truly tops all the others for me; not necessarily better than the rest, but so important, that it would be impossible to live without:
"Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified would come into the world." (3 Nephi 11:10, Book of Mormon) Why do you think I picked this scripture? I have a lot of favorite scriptures, but this one is especially poignant to me, becuase of the message it gives: 1- Jesus Christ is speaking to the people in the Americas. He truly did appear to His "other sheep" that He told his disciples in Jerusalem about. His speaking shows that He lives after His death. He truly was resurrected. Because he was alive three days after his death to the people in Jerusalem, He was still alive to appear to the people in ancient America, He is still alive today, just as much so as in the scriptural accounts. Why would Christ be alive and have resurrected body that could be touched and felt three days, a week, a month after His resurrection, and then all of a sudden stop existing in that same form? He didn't. He is as much a live today as he was in ancient Jerusalem and ancient America. 2- Christ testifies that He used prophets to prepare the people of the world for His coming. He put His "stamp of approval" on their messages by this scripture, and showed that He still values the prophets when he called and set apart the disciples in America, as the Book of Mormon recounts. Similar to His actuality, if calling and ordaining apostles and prophets three days, a week, a month after He had been resurrected in a perfect form, why would He stop to value prophets to testify of His actuality and His Second Coming (which prophets have testified of)? He didn't. He called a prophet in 1820 to bring forth the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to us to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Savior and Redeemer of the world. 3- Christ spoke and testified to the people in ancient America before His actual apperarance (3 Nephi 11:3) and left the comforter to be with them after His return to God's presence. Same stance as my before testimony, that because he spoke and revealed to the people of the world after His resurrection, why would he stop all of a sudden? He didn't. He speaks as much, and even more, than He did to the people of ancient times. Through personal revelation, we know what we must do, fix, and be, to better our personal lives. Parents receive the revelation for a better family, President Monson receives the revelation for how the Lord wants His church run today. Jesus Christ is, not was. He reveals, not revealed. He loves, not loved. He knows us, not knew only them of ancient times. I too can testfiy: This is the Christ. The Holy Son of God. My Savior, my Lord, my Redeemer. The Redeemer of all mankind. He is the Healer of our souls, who ransoms us with love divine.
What a truly glorious honor it is to serve as His representative to bring the people of Germany to this knowledge that Jesus is the Christ. I love Him. I love this work. I love His Gospel. I love all those who have helped me come to this knowledge.
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Thank you for your prayers and support; there is an actualy power in this. Thank you.
All my best,
Elder Garlick

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