Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 17th, 2016: Getting Permission to Give People Heaven

This week was great lesson wise and we had a ton. All of our lessons were quick and powerful lessons and our investigators were asking lots of questions. I'm so grateful to be part of this mission and be the steward of this area of His vineyard. One thing that is a hard thing to overcome in this area is getting permission for people to get baptized. We have so many people that are so ready for baptism but because their parents are very against the church we can't baptize them. One road especially is very bipolar. We have about 12 people that want to be baptized in this one road that have cried and begged their parents to be baptized. They have such strong testimonies and they truly are prepared. Most are under 18 but the few that aren't have been told by their parents that if they are baptized they have to change their last name and move out. I would like to invite all of you to think about and realize what a blessing it is just to be baptized, to have the blessings that one has with baptism and realize the blessing that it is. There are probably millions of people in the world that would love to partake of the sacrament each week and have it be the saving ordinance that it is. As I have seen one of our investigators cry, and pour out her heart to her mother begging her mother to give her permission to be baptized, my heart just broke. I see the joy that we take nonchalantly and we don't realize the joy that comes from the fullness of the Gospel. Like I have said before, I'm so grateful to be born of goodly parents who support my decisions and have raised me to be the person I am. I am grateful for this perfect Gospel and for the perfect joy it brings. I would like all of you to think of all of the most spiritual experiences that you have all had. Think of a baptism of your child, friend, and spouse. Think of the birth of your first born child or think of when you read the Book of Mormon or prayed and felt the love of God in your heart. Think of all the joy that all these things have given you in your life. Now think if all but one of those things were taken away. If you only had a taste of the Spirit and you tasted it for just a short time. Think of how thirsty for it you would be and how much you would want to feel it again. That is what these people feel, but because of Satan’s firm grasp on other people they cannot receive that thirst quenching Spirit. Do not take the Spirit for granted. Do not take the Sacrament and your Baptism as something we are entitled to. They are blessings that God has graciously given us and has blessed us with a way to receive those blessings. Now think of your friends that have not yet felt the Spirit as you have, think of how much and what you know that could help them in their lives and how much their lives could change with even just the knowledge of where that precious baby came from. Do not be afraid to share the joy and blessings of this Gospel. That is when we become Disciples of Christ, when we give Christ to all those that thirst for happiness and let Him fill their well with the never ending waters of this Gospel. There can't be any negatives from an invitation, especially when that invitation is to be happy. Share the Happiness, share the love, and share the things that mean the most to you, just as God has shared with you His Great Plan and Blessings which flow from it. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Hanson

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