Monday, January 26, 2015

A Spiritual Kick in the Pants

Hello World, I'm glad I'm able to write to you again on this frigid Monday.  

First off I need to clarify a number in my last post.  While there are 1117 instances of the phrase "And it came to pass" in the Book of Mormon, if we remove the 'and' and allow for the use of other words like 'therefore' and 'behold' the number of instances jumps up to 1351.  Just a sidenote as I was playing around the the search function in the Book of Mormon PDF.  

Back to today's blog post:

We have often heard that the Spirit will gently guide us down the path we should walk, helping us avoid the pitfalls of life.  The Spirit is that still, small voice of perfect mildness that whispers to us what we should do.  This week I didn't so much hear a whisper from the Spirit as I heard him shout through a megaphone.  And I wasn't nudged along the path I should walk rather I was grabbed by the shoulders and shoved in the direction.  Or at least that's how it seemed to me.  

I woke up Friday morning dead.  Or at least I felt that way.  Regardless of what illness I had I wasn't exactly fit for missionary work.  My mind was running at half speed and I was generally feeling pretty terrible.  But I begrudgingly got out of bed and got ready for the day.  I proceeded to do my personal and companion studies, and then I was faced with the choice of whether I was going to leave the apartment or not.  This to me was a struggle.  We had lessons to be taught and people to visit, but I felt like if I left the house I would end up being too sick to be useful.  

Trying to be as humble as I could I decided to get on my knees and simply ask "What should I do?"  I trusted that my Father in Heaven would answer my prayers if I simply asked him.  After my short prayer I sat in my chair for a few moments pondering on what should be done.  I received the impression that I should flip open my Book of Mormon.  No page number or scripture entered my mind, simply the thought of opening it.  So although I was a tad skeptical and wondering why the Lord couldn't just put the answer right in my head, I opened the book to a random page towards the middle of the book.  

It just so happened that the page I opened to was page 303, right in the middle of some council Alma the Younger is giving to his son Helaman.  As I glanced at the page a small section grabbed my attention which happened to be Alma 37:33-36.  I began to read and as I did my answer became clear.  The selection of verses is as follows:

33 Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.

 34 Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meekand lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls.

 35 O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.

 36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea,let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

The first verse probably would have sufficed me if I hadn't been sick.  But at this time I needed the additional 3 verses to really get the shove in the right direction.  I not only needed to know what I should do, which was answered with verse 33, but I also needed to know what to do if I faltered while out of the apartment, which answer is contained in verse 36.  

The Spirit prompted me to open the scriptures, and as I showed faith and followed the prompting I was given my answer an some additional advice on how I was going to accomplish the task at hand.  Because I followed this prompting and the advice from the scriptures I found strength throughout the day so that I could accomplish all the things I had planned.  And as soon as I returned home and finished planning, I fell asleep exhausted.  The Lord knows our needs, and will provide if we are faithful, diligent, and humble.  

I know that the Lord answers prayers.  He has often answered them through simple feelings or impressions.  Other times he uses his scriptures to really get the point across in writing.  I know that as you pray for guidance and assistance, and follow the promptings you receive from the Holy Ghost, you will gain the blessings that will come from diligence and faith.  

I love you all, and hope you have a great week.  

Elder Gailey

Monday, January 19, 2015

"And it Came to Pass"

Hello Everyone, this week I wanted to talk about an experience that I had during a meal appointment.

After finishing the meal my companion and I proceeded to share a short lesson with those who had so kindly fed us.  After sharing our message one of the members posed an odd questions to us:

"What is the most common lesson you learn in the Book of Mormon?"

Immediately thoughts of love, Christ's atonement, hope, charity, diligence, and repentance entered into my mind.  Not knowing what this member was driving at, I figured I would ask bluntly what it was.  The answer that I received was unexpected and one that I would never have thought of.  I was told that the most common lesson learned in the Book of Mormon is contained in the phrase that we read all too commonly, which is:

 "And it came to pass"

I was initially a little dumbfounded at that answer, but the member went on to explain that though we go through sorrow, pain, and affliction, it will all come to pass us eventually. 

Now this phrase had never had meaning beyond me replacing "and it came to pass" with a phrase that is more commonly heard today; "long story short".  I had always brushed off this seemingly unimportant phrase.  But looking at it in a different light really helped me understand mortality a bit better.  All things in this mortal life will come to an end, except those with a spiritual nature.

I was curious as to how true this member's answer was, so I turned to technology to help me understand the answer by way of numbers.  Doing a quick search through the Book of Mormon I found that there are 1117 instances of the exact phrase, "and it came to pass". 

Now I know that numbers aren't everything and whether this phrase was used deliberately to mean what this member proposed or not my decision, but I take it as a welcomed assurance that all of the afflictions we go though will come to an end.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel that we can surely hope for.  

There are many reasons to discuss the gospel with family and friends.  But one of my favorite reasons is so that I can see the scriptures and the doctrine from a separate point of view.  The scriptures may have the same words, but the application and understanding of scriptures is different from person to person.  

My wish for each of you is to try and look at the scriptures a little differently to gain new insights and revelation, and then talk with someone about the passage or point of doctrine and see what their take on it is.  I promise you that as you do, you will begin to see the scriptures in their true power and beauty and that the Holy Ghost will bring even more truths to you because you sought after them.  
I hope that you all have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Gailey

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fear and Faith

Hello Everyone, hope all is well wherever you are, and I sincerely hope it's warmer there than it is here.  

This week I'd like to talk about two things that we all feel: Fear and Faith.  

We all have fears, and at this chaotic time in the World's history, there are many things to be afraid of.  The Savior knew that there would be many things for us to fear.  In Luke 21:26 the Lord tells us that "Men’s hearts [Will fail] them for fear".  I have a short message because I feel that Russell M. Nelson perfectly describes how faith cancels out fear.  My invitation to you this week is to watch the video below and think of a fear that you have.  It can be physical or spiritual, fear manifests itself in many forms.  After watching the video, think of a way that you can gain faith sufficient to conquer the fears that could creep into your lives.  

Faith cancels out fear.  And since I'm running short on time this week, I leave the rest of my message to this great apostle.  

I love you all, take care and stay faithful, not fearful.  

Love, Elder Gailey

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Can Feel it in My Heart

Happy New Year Everyone!!  

I hope you all had a great time wherever you were and whoever you were with.  I don't have much to write on this week, other than a specific challenges for everyone who reads this.  I'm going to list off something that you can do to kick off 2015 that will uplift you and bring the light and love of Christ into your hearts in a greater measure.  

My challenge is to: Read the Book of Mormon (or Bible) all the way through with a question in mind.  The scriptures take on their full meaning and beauty when they are applied into our lives.  Nephi encourages us in 1 Nephi 19:23 to "liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning."  

Read these scriptures with a question that you have or a concern or trial you are working through right now.  Write that question/concern/trial down, and as you read in the scriptures you will begin to see answers and applications for that specific question.  The scriptures may tell the same story and convey similar messages of Christ to everybody, but when you read them as if they were written to you, then you will gain the full blessings of the scriptures.  

Be sure to take note of those scriptures that answer that question or apply to your circumstances so that you don't forget them.  Because what worth is it to find an answer if you don't remember it?

I promise that as you prayerfully read in the scriptures with this question in mind, it will be answered and you will be uplifted and grow closer to your Savior.  

This year will bring many great things, I can feel it in my heart.  Take advantage of every good opportunity that comes in your path.  

Much love from Elder Gailey