Hey everyone, sorry I missed last week, things got busy. I hope all is going well back home.
Tonight we have a lesson with Norman, this will be our fifth one with him. We were supposed to teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ last week, but he actually read a lot of the Book of Mormon (I wish investigators would do that more often) so he had lots of questions about the tree of life. So we explained it to him and then likened it to the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that we could jump right into it tonight. Anyway, this week he will finally be able to go to Church and it will be great for him. His first week will be Ward Conference haha. So yeah, we are excited for him, he is wanting to work towards baptism. We will put him on date tonight.
A few days ago, we found a new investigator named Kevin. We had run into him a few months ago when he first moved in, and he said he would call us when he was ready. We kept going back but he was never home. We decided to try again a few days ago and he happened to be there. He said he had wanted to call us, but his phone broke a week after he had talked to us and gotten our number. So now we are trying to set up a lesson with him, he's super nice and I think he'll be receptive.
Anyway, I was thinking a lot about the Atonement this week and how people can change. The story that popped up in my mind was the story of Zeezom in the Book of Mormon.
3 And also Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed they had been slain because of his iniquity. And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceedingly sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat.
4 Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, his heart began to take courage; and he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him.
5 And it came to pass that they went immediately, obeying the message which he had sent unto them; and they went in unto the house unto Zeezrom; and they found him upon his bed, sick, being very low with a burning fever; and his mind also was exceedingly sore because of his iniquities; and when he saw them he stretched forth his hand, and besought them that they would heal him.
6 And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation?
7 And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught.
8 And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed.
9 And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words.
10 And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ.
11 And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this went forth throughout all the land of Sidom.
12 And Alma baptized Zeezrom unto the Lord; and he began from that time forth to preach unto the people.
Now, if you remember the story, Zeezrom was a pretty bad guy. Amulek, while contending with him, actually referred to him as a "child of hell". He tried everything he could to prove Alma and Amulek wrong and to turn the hearts of the people away from the word of God. As a result all the believers in Ammoniha were cast into the fire and martyred in front of Alma and Amulek. I remember reading this story and thinking, this guy is awful and I hope he gets what is coming to him. But after reading about his healing I received a burning confirmation that the Atonement of our Lord and Savior jesus Christ is not just for the righteous, it is also, and even more so, for those who have done much wrong in their lives. Christ loved all of us so much, that he took upon us all of our sins, so that we could all have access to that gift of the Atonement. We should not hate those who have done us wrong, or those we believe are awful people. If we truly want to develop that pure love of Christ, and become like him, we need to love everyone, and be willing to help them change. See them not as they are, but who they have the potential to become. Love them, help them, and fight for them.
Zeezrom changed from a wicked man into a mighty missionary. Alma took him with him to cry repentance unto the Zoramites. Such a change can occur in anybody, through the Atonement of Christ.
I invite all of you to start viewing those around you differently. See them as your brothers and sisters, and ask yourself "What can I do to help them be what they can be?" I promise you that as you do this, you will begin to change who YOU are, and you will be one step closer to becoming like our redeemer.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
I testify that the atonement is real. Our Savior Jesus Christ lives, and is the head of this church. he guides his church through loving prophets that are on the earth today. I know, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that if we follow its teachings, we will not go astray. I love this gospel, and I know that all of you love it too. May we all keep the faith and stand strong in our testimonies. We will be blessed as we do so, and I say this in the name of Jesus christ, amen.
I love you all :) Have a great week!