June 6, 2011 – Gyumri 1 (North), Week 3
The Only Name Given Under Heaven
And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do…
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ…
I have been asked to serve here in Gyumri as a Leader of the Area (District Leader). I would like to share what I have learned about the limitless help that we can receive when we rely on the power of Christ’s sacrifice and example. I have some missionaries in this area who are struggling. I have been required to think about and pray for them a lot. I have had to spend less time thinking about the language and the missionary work in my area, but the Lord qualifies those whom he calls.
I know this is true for parents to a small degree. I will see more of it when I’m older, but the Lord gives us the tools, the talents and the character attributes to accomplish his work. I have literally felt that the Lord has distilled upon me character attributes to accomplish this task. It has surprisingly not that overwhelming, not because it is easy but because I have greater hope, faith, patience and love towards all of the people here in Gyumri, including the missionaries. I am more tired than I have ever been in my life, but the Lord helps me. I have been on the verge of sickness but I get up in the mornings and I have the faith that he will assist me in my health.
If you only get one thing out of this long email please remember this: The greatest and most powerful and the most mysterious truths are all rooted in the manifestations of God’s love. One of which is the Life of Christ, which both the Father and the Son gave.
The Savior did much more than take upon Him our sins, He took upon Him every difficulty, trial, sorrow and pain that we will ever face. He broke the bands of death. We will all be resurrected as He was. Our family bond can be an eternal bond. In other words Christ has overcome the pain of losing a loved one. We can in Christ’s Church be united as families, to be resurrected as a family unit.
Likewise, He can help us in our work, at home, in our relationships, etc. His sacrifice was perfect, therefore it has infinite applications. I know this from personal experience. I receive answers to my prayers by the “Comforter” which was promised by Christ in John. I know that we all can receive direction in an infinite number of scenarios.
That is why I would like to share the following. Something that has changed my approach to life’s countless decisions and enlightened me. I have come to understand what Christ meant when he said ” Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not.” by understanding the following:
(This was written by an amazing women. Our Mission President’s wife. Sister Carter)
On Easter I wanted to do some reading that would help me prepare for Easter. I found this and I would strongly suggest that you print this so you can read and re-read and really think and pray about it. I think the experience will strengthen your love and appreciation of the Savior. It did mine.
“The Savior voluntarily took upon himself not only the cumulative burden of all sin and transgression, but also the cumulative burden of all depression, all loneliness, all sorrow, all mental, emotional, and physical hurt, and all weakness of every kind that afflicts mankind. He knows the depth of sorrow that stems from death; he knows the widow’s anguish. He understands the agonizing parental pain when children go astray; he has felt the striking pain of cancer and every other debilitating ailment heaped upon man. Impossible as it may seem, he has somehow taken upon himself those feelings of inadequacy, sometimes even utter hopelessness, that accompany our rejections and weaknesses. There is no mortal condition, however gruesome or ugly or hopeless it may seem that has escaped His grasp and suffering. No one will be able to say, ‘But you don’t understand my particular situation.’”
This is but a glimpse of His awful load, the immense, unimaginable burden the Savior bore. (See Isaiah 53:4; Isaiah 63:9; D&C 133:53; Alma 7:11; Mosiah 3:7.)
President Ezra Taft Benson taught, “There is no human condition—be it suffering, incapacity, inadequacy, mental deficiency, or sin—which He cannot comprehend or for which His love will not reach out to the individual.”
The scriptures are emphatic on this point – “He comprehended all things” because “He descended below all things” (D&C 88:6; 122:8). (Eph4:5-8)
Joseph Smith said, “[Jesus] descended in suffering below that which man can suffer; or, in other words, suffered greater sufferings, and was exposed to more powerful contradictions than any man can be.” (Lectures on Faith, 5:2.)
“After thinking and wondering about what these “powerful contradictions” could be for a long time, even years, the answers came while I was driving home one evening, pondering the question yet again. Suddenly, ideas came to my mind, one at a time, clearly, like bullet points – completely formed. As each one came, it seemingly overwhelmed my mind, like waves in the surf…I would just reach the surface, only to have another wave of thought overpower me. I came home and wrote the thoughts I could remember:
• He who loves us with perfect love – suffered the combined results of all hatred, malice, evil intent, bigotry, persecution
• The Great Healer or Great Physician, who brought about the Resurrection for us – suffered the pain and indignity of all disease and illness, physical and mental; murder, torture, starvation, addiction, suicide
• The Great Creator and Prince of Peace – suffered the torment of war and violence, fear and death, mangled bodies and lives, families and nations torn asunder, great pollutions, pestilence, environmental disasters, holocausts, floods of refugees seeking safety after being separated from homes and loved ones
• He who delights in purity and chastity – suffered the disgusting insults of rape, incest, pornography, prostitution, adultery and all other unspeakable perversions
• He who loves Children, His little ones – suffered the sorrow and consequences of abortion and crack babies, child abuse of all kinds, divorce, loneliness, neglect
• He who was willing to give all, even His perfect life for us, unworthy creatures – suffered the combined effects of selfishness, greed, avarice, poverty, materialism
• The Great Liberator – suffered the effects of slavery, captivity, bondage, false accusation, unjust imprisonment, secret acts of violence and evil in countless dungeons over millennial
• The Master Teacher – suffered the effects of ignorance, stupidity, superstition, deceit, lies, fraud, incorrect traditions
• The Author and Giver of the Law – suffered the injustice of broken law, prejudice, abuse of power, mobs, secret combinations, evil conspiracies, all criminal misdeeds & lawlessness
• The Only Perfect One – suffered the consequences of all error, miscalculation, failure, omissions, misunderstanding, bad choices, inadequacy, improper judgment, humiliation, and rejection.
If you can get your arms around it, He suffered all this and more, more than we could suffer or experience collectively, so that we might have hope in and through Him….that we might know He can reach us wherever we are and heal us if we will but believe, repent, and obey.”
I know that the Savior loves each one of us. I know that because He lives, we too will live.
That really made me think.
I hope that we all will have a greater faith in God, that he can and will help us if we do what he asks us.
Love Elder Cook
P.S. Elder Watterson, my Missionary Training Center Companion is now in Gyumri. There was a small transfer.