May 16, 2011 – Ashtarak, Week 22
Light Cleaveth Unto Light
I have been truly humbled this week. It is interesting that the Lord has guided me to choose which Christ-like attribute to work on the very week that I need it. This week I worked on humility. It has been essential this week.
This week we taught 0 new investigators, We taught no one new, We only taught a few lessons, Elder Lush was sick for half the week, I don’t feel as confident in teaching as I used to, etc.
I’m not complaining, rather I’m explaining to you why I chose to write a little bit about this verse “For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.” (Doct&Cov 88:40)
I have been praying to know why the work isn’t going. I mean not going as in the bird just hit your window…twice…
The Lord gave me the answer slowly but I didn’t realize I was getting my answer until I was writing a letter to the Armenia/Georgia mission president. This is essentially what I wrote.
“I feel like I need to really take to heart the phrase “competence breeds confidence” I feel that I have drifted away from my confidence in teaching the lessons because I haven’t taught/studied them in a while, so I will make sure I gain that confidence back in continually reviewing the lessons. I have been focusing a lot on How to Begin Teaching and Hankos, unfortunately in that process I have neglected the first three lessons. So this coming week I will focus on the Christ-like attribute of Knowledge.
To tell you the truth, I find joy in the fact that I am doing all that I can to be accountable and worthy, but it still hurts when one of us gets sick. It’s not fun being inside when we know our time is so short. Elder Lush conquered his sickness once again at the end of this week, but I feel that these sicknesses are the Lord telling us to prepare before we go out. The Lord is trying to tell us that we must become elect missionaries in order to find his chosen ones.
The Assistants really made it clear when they told Elder Lush and me that “the Lord will only send his prepared children to his prepared servants”. We need to make sure we are prepared to help them feel the spirit and understand the steps/commitments of baptism.”
The last few sentences are what I would like to talk about. The most powerful teachers are teachers that teach from experience. Therefore how to we become powerful teachers when it concerns spiritual things…? We must have a spiritual witness, a personal knowledge, an answer from God through the feelings of the Holy Ghost that the principle we are teaching is true. In so strengthening our personal knowledge we will bring a power to our words that only comes from God. This power is the power of the Holy Ghost which changes the hearts of men and women. It is in the preparation for teaching that we become great teachers.
So how do we prepare so that our light with cleave unto the light of another? How do we prepare in such a way that we can help hearts change. Well I would think that a changed heart would cleave unto another changing heart. A heart ready to be changed can only be changed by a changed heart.
So we must first study that which we will teach in such a way that we understand it with our heart. It is in our changed heart that we will have the natural power to change the hearts of those we teach. If what you are teaching is true and if it has changed your heart then the true will be embraced by those you are teaching.
We must constantly be changed and improved by the truth if we want to teach others about that truth with conviction and sincerity.
I’m leaving Ashtarak this Thursday. I’m sad, but I know that I will see these wonderful people again on earth or in heaven. This is something I know to be true. I know it because this truth has been verified by the Holy Ghost, God’s word. I know that the pure love we feel as a family is a result of the family’s eternal nature. Families can be together forever through the power of Jesus Christ and his Priesthood authority.
Love Elder Cook