Tuesday, April 12, 2011
April 12, 2011
Well, yesterday we had Specialized Training instead of our preparation day, so that's why I didn't send an email yesterday. We had a good week. I am now in Sevilla (well, I guess in English it's Seville) with Elder Pallas and Elder Stanley and Elder Phillips. It's a lot of fun with four of us in the apartment. Sevilla is about an hour and 15 minutes away from Huelva, so, I didn't move too far, and I am still in the same Zone. The first week here was challenging, but as always, the challenges are opportunities, and the Lord helped me.
I know He lives. Prayer, study of the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, have helped me come to that knowledge. I have never had an experience where I read the Book of Mormon, prayed and asked if it's true, and received, in that moment, a strong, powerful witness from the Holy Ghost that it is. It didn't come to me that way, but it did come. To be honest, I'm not really sure when it did, but it did. I feel it when I bear my testimony, my testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the prophet Joseph Smith, and of the reality of the plan of salvation, the plan of happiness, that our loving Heavenly Father has provided for us.
Each of you are part of that happiness that I feel in my life, and part of my testimony that God loves me. You are a blessing to me.
I love you!
***A personal note from the author***
Elder Fagersten's letter reminded me of part of a talk we heard this past General Conference from Elder David A. Bednar.
"I invite you to consider two experiences most of us have had with light.
The first experience occurred as we entered a dark room and turned on a light switch. Remember how in an instant a bright flood of illumination filled the room and caused the darkness to disappear. What previously had been unseen and uncertain became clear and recognizable. This experience was characterized by immediate and intense recognition of light.
The second experience took place as we watched night turn into morning. Do you recall the slow and almost imperceptible increase in light on the horizon? In contrast to turning on a light in a dark room, the light from the rising sun did not immediately burst forth. Rather, gradually and steadily the intensity of the light increased, and the darkness of night was replaced by the radiance of morning. Eventually, the sun did dawn over the skyline. But the visual evidence of the sun’s impending arrival was apparent hours before the sun actually appeared over the horizon. This experience was characterized by subtle and gradual discernment of light.
Revelations are conveyed in a variety of ways, including, for example, dreams, visions, conversations with heavenly messengers, and inspiration. Some revelations are received immediately and intensely; some are recognized gradually and subtly. The two experiences with light I described help us to better understand these two basic patterns of revelation.
A light turned on in a dark room is like receiving a message from God quickly, completely, and all at once. Many of us have experienced this pattern of revelation as we have been given answers to sincere prayers or been provided with needed direction or protection, according to God’s will and timing. Descriptions of such immediate and intense manifestations are found in the scriptures, recounted in Church history, and evidenced in our own lives. Indeed, these mighty miracles do occur. However, this pattern of revelation tends to be more rare than common.
The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation. Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently “distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven” (D&C 121:45). This pattern of revelation tends to be more common than rare and is evident in the experiences of Nephi as he tried several different approaches before successfully obtaining the plates of brass from Laban (see 1 Nephi 3–4). Ultimately, he was led by the Spirit to Jerusalem, “not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do” (1 Nephi 4:6). And he did not learn how to build a ship of curious workmanship all at one time; rather, Nephi was shown by the Lord “from time to time after what manner [he] should work the timbers of the ship” (1 Nephi 18:1)."