Monday, October 14, 2013

Charity and Pride

Dear Family, What a wonderful week this has been. I don't know if I told you, but we Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. of the First Quorum of the Seventy here this week to tour our mission. Elder Johnson and I were talking about it and we figured that he was here a total of 52 hours. The preparation for his visit was at least double that of his stay but entirely worth it. I have learned more and more to rely on the promise of the Lord in D&C 84:33 of being sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of our bodies. I have literally seen that fulfilled this week with late nights, early mornings, and then spiritual exhaustion as I listened to this man of God teach powerfully the doctrines for hours and hours. Elder Golden flew in Wednesday afternoon and we were accidentally still at the mission home when they pulled in from the airport. As we met Elder and Sister Golden there in the driveway, President Ashton told them the story of when I went to their house in Highland before the mission and how President had received a strong spiritual prompting that I would be on of his assistants. It is amazing to me how much that prompting has affected my life and what brought that prompting about. I remember when I found out that I was going to have a brand new mission president and I was so excited that I called dad to tell him. Dad then received a prompting (which at the time probably just appeared to be a good idea) that I should call the Ashton's and see if I could meet them. And thus the hand of the Lord continues to work in our lives gently guiding those who strive to live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I have thought a lot about these events this past week as I have now been with President Ashton in the office for more than six months. What I have learned during this short time include some of the most important doctrine and principles and how to apply them in my life. What a blessing. Anyways, with Elder Golden. He is a very spiritual man that understands the doctrine very deeply and likes to correct false doctrines or ideas taught in the church. There were a total of six meetings during his short time here, two youth-missionary firesides, two zone conferences, and two leadership meetings. I had the privilege to attend all six and learned so much. I couldn't write fast enough. The first zone conference he was assigned two hours to teach. When he hit the two hour mark he asked how much time he had left and President Ashton explained that lunch was scheduled for right then. Elder Golden jokingly responded that he would take at least another two hours and then taught us about the Savior and the Atonement for another hours. It was incredible. One of the things that made me laugh really hard is that he explained to us why we don't assume. I never thought I would see a General Authority writing swear words on the board to teach a principle! The two parts that touched me the most deeply fall under the intense love that radiated from him. In the first leadership meeting someone asked how to help missionaries that are prideful. Elder Golden's response was, "Well I don't know if I know any prideful people in the church. In fact, I do not". His love for people is just so grand that he is able to overlook all the petty things of life and focus on the Gospel and helping others come unto Christ. The second part that deeply touched me was in the second leadership meeting. He taught about charity and he said, "Charity is not the first gift of the Spirit, it is not the last gift of the Spirit, it is the crowning gift of the Spirit". That is why if we have charity at the last day, it shall be well with us (Moroni 7:47) because it implies that we have already received the ordinances of the Gospel and acquired other spiritual gifts. Elder Golden has the gift of charity. It was amazing to be able to learn from and be around one of the Seventy of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that this is the Lord's church. I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the earth today. The Spirit witnessed that to my spirit again as I listened to him during General Conference. We are all beloved children of our Heavenly Father and have the potential to become like Him. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way back. The Priesthood has been restored and Jesus Christ lives. I love you, Elder Case

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