February 20, 2012 – Gyumri, Week 4
There is a man whom I spoke of last week, the man who was very sensitive to the fruits of the Holy Ghost. He came to church on Sunday and after the sacrament meeting he pulled my companion and I to the side. He said, “Do you remember how you said that the Bible mentions the Book of Mormon?
I replied, “ Yes it’s in Ezekial”
He said, “ No it doesn’t matter, What I want ot say is that I had a dream after I prayed to know whether the Book of Mormon was true or not”
He told us about his experience. I was amazed. In my experience answers to our prayers usually come from recognizing the Spirit’s soft and gentle feelings. He testifies of truth, but he will not force us to learn so he speaks softly and his fruits are usually recognized when we are still and pondering. I had not taught anyone who had had a dream about it, but he did and he was humbled by the fact that God answered that prayer so powerfully. I too was amazed and so happy for him. He was excited. He had read the Book of Mormon but he had not prayed about it yet.
I was reading about one of the ancient prophets who lived before Christ. His name was Alma and he was teaching his sons some basic and yet very powerful principles. I’d like to share one that has helped me and I know that it will help anyone who ponders about it and applies it to their own life.
Alma 38: 5
5 And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your atrust in God even so much ye shall bebdelivered out of your trials, and your ctroubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
I heard a story that I think is worth sharing, for anyone who likes stories. The moral of this story can be applied in so many different ways.
It’s so good and makes so much sense.
There once was a rich man. He wasn’t the nicest of men as his money had made his heart cold and his vision as narrow as the next item he could possess. One day as he sleeps, he passes away. Upon realizing he is dead a fear comes upon him as he thinks of his cruelness and harshness towards other people while he was alive. He shortly meets a man who identifies himself as one of this man’s servants. He beckons for the man to follow until they arrive at a large mansion. The man gapes in amazement as it appears to be 10 times larger than anything he had possessed while he was alive. He becomes even more astounded as it becomes more and more apparent that everything that he had ever desired seems to be in this large home. Being an avid golfer, he now had his own golf course. He loved racing, and thus now he had not only his own racecar, but a set of racecars and a race track to go with it. The servant then informs him that if anything does not meet his satisfaction, all he had to do was say how he wanted it changed and it would be done. The man soon found out that this extended as far as the imagination would will it to go. There were women at this mansion as well and if he didn’t like something about them or the way they looked, he would change it. If he felt they needed bigger lips or a smaller waist, all he had to do was say it and it would be done. Almost immediately, it seemed, his every wish and desire was granted. And so the man lived in this state and 100 years went by. Well, after 100 years of this, it started to get kind of old. So he changed some more things and tried everything he could think of. He tried and lived the craziest things he could think of. His greatest fantasies, dreams and desires. Well another 100 years goes by and by this time, the man is really getting tired of this. The things that he did became less entertaining to him until he began to desparately look for something else to change, something else to do. One day he comes out to his front lawn where he finds the gardner changing something as the man had desired. He says to the gardner,
“Why don’t you work on something else. I think I’ll work out here in the garden a little. Get my hands dirty.”
“I’m sorry sir, but I can’t allow you to do that.”
A little surprised but not discouraged the man almost says to himself, “Well, alright. I suppose I’ll just go and work on one of the cars. Get a little greasy.”
Again the reply is the same, “I’m sorry sir, but you can’t do that either.”
Not a man of much patience, he shoots “Well I’m in charge aren’t I? I can do whatever I desire, right? I desire to do a little work of my own for once.”
But still, the servant does not even hesitate “I’m sorry but we can’t allow you to do that. We are here to serve and fill your every pleasure. You cannot work nor labor.”
Now thouroughly frustrated the man shouts “What is the meaning of this?! I would even go do to hell and shovel some coal into the fire! WHAT KIND OF HEAVEN IS THIS ANYWAYS?!”
“Sir” the servant solemnly replies “Who said this was heaven? You are in hell.”
Though exactly opposite of what the world seems to be shouting, selfishness and the adventure of serving oneself is the pathway paved to hell. If we look at the opposite of that, we begin to get a perspective on what heaven truly is. It is the selfless service of others. The scriptures teach us constantly about this. Charity, the pure love of Christ, is, as is written in1 Cor. 13 never faileth. Love overcometh all things. We see our prime example of course, in the life of the Savior. He, being chosen from the foundation of the world, came for the sole purpose of completing the most selfless act in the history of man. Through the selfless sacrifice of the Atonement, we are all able to return to the prescence of the Father. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”(Luke 9:24)