Friday, February 19, 2010


Dear World-

This week was hard, really hard. There is no way I can describe the things that I have been put through this week...
The last few days I have been studying about the Atonement and I stumbled upon some interesting insight. Sorry I don’t have time to list any scriptural references. I promise it is all scripturally accurate, maybe next week I will provide you with my references that have brought me to my conclusion.

What is with all the pain and suffering? Why? This world is jam-packed full of hurt, sorrow, and pain. Furthermore, the greatest event to ever happen on this Earth, the Atonement, is yet another example of pain and suffering. Why? Is God’s plan set up to cause us all to be in torment?

I also started to think about the logistics of the Atonement. Justice… justice is an eternal law that must be satisfied. All living creatures have an internal sense of justice. If someone breaks a law, that person must be held accountable; he must be sent to prison. Suppose that person has a loving friend that is willing to go to prison for him. So what? That is not justice, it never was. That person—and no other person—must be held fully accountable for their actions.

So what’s the magic? What is the missing link? Why can Jesus come to this Earth suffer all pains and afflictions in order to free the human race from having to face justice themselves?

I don’t mean to sound like an apostate, but the traditional ways of explaining the Atonement are simply wrong. They are too simplistic. The parable of the debtor, it frankly does not fit.

To say that Heavenly Father represents justice and Jesus Christ represents mercy is simply incorrect; both beings possess an infinite amount of both characteristics. Heavenly Father is the supreme source of mercy, he created the plan, he gave Jesus his calling—Heavenly Father invented mercy. To say that Jesus is some merciful being void of all sense of justice is simply a fallacy.

Where is the missing link? How can this plan be explained? How can we, His children, go back to heaven dirty and stained? No matter how much Heavenly Father loves us, He Himself is POWERLESS to save us. He let go of His power to watch-over us when we left His presence and gained a fullness of agency. If He tried to break the covenant of agency He would fall, He would cease to be God. The inhabitants of Heaven would cease to obey Him, the angels and other Gods would denounce His power. His Honor, His Trust, and His Power would be naught if He lacked His perfect obedience to His perfect ability to keep His Supreme Celestial Law.

So God looks down on this world with loving eyes, loving tear-filled eyes. He wants to help us, but according to His rules, He can do nothing. He came up with this plan. He sent us here so that we could learn ourselves, that we could make mistakes and to grow in accordance to the laws that He would send. There was another part of this plan, He would send the One, the Only, Jesus—Jesus or Jehovah, the eldest. He was the most respected. He was the smartest, the toughest, simply the best of the brightest. Everyone loved Him. He was so good that Heavenly Father chose His intelligence to physically inhabit His own seed in the flesh.

This man, if we can even call Him that, was so good that He never thought a bad thought, He was incredible—absolutely perfect. He lived the Celestial Law since the beginning. He is the only person who was born on this Earth that has the privilege, the worthiness to go to the Celestial Kingdom on their own merits.

More than that, He loves us all. He has told all the worlds, all the universes, all the Gods, all of the angels that He will not go to Heaven without us. He will not leave us behind. Sure we are screw-ups, but He is our older brother, He will not leave us on this Earth to die, to rot away. So He did what He had to. He took us upon Himself; He stitched us to the palms of His hands. He chained us to His feet. He experienced everything that we experienced, all the pains, the sin, the sufferings, the shortcomings. We were lassoed to His waist. We were all molded into one body, the body of Christ. This surgery that He performed is called the Atonement. Get it? At-one-ment: the state of being one; one with Jesus Christ; one with His merits, His accomplishments, His perfection, His glory.

The pain, the pain is the justification. He had to show all of the hosts of Heaven since the beginning of eternity how bad He wanted them to grant His request. The plan was never about justice. No one wants justice. We don’t want justice, Heavenly Father doesn’t want justice, nor does Jesus want justice. They are forced by the Laws of Heaven, by all the inhabitants of the universe to request that justice; they must request that price.

There is one thing that all of those inhabitants can understand. There is one thing that all the angels, all the Gods, all the beings in the universe can feel. That is compassion, they can feel mercy.

When all the inhabitants of all of the worlds saw the act of the Atonement that Jesus Christ performed, willingly, for us, for his younger siblings, they wept. The angels wept. The Gods wept. They knew the law, but the gall of justice was overcome by the bowels of mercy. They could not exercise their hammer of justice. They allowed Jesus Christ to drag us back to Heaven with Him, because of the respect and admiration that they had for Jesus. That is the Atonement. We are made one with Christ, but we must choose.

We must willfully accept (since that is the basis of the whole plan in the first place) to grab on to Jesus Christ’s glorious garments. We must hold on and refuse to let go. As we stay in His shadow, He will drag us back to the Father. He will drag us on the right path, and with him leading the pack we will know where to go. He is the only one who has the map back to Heaven, back to Celestial rest with our Father. We will know what to do only when we follow the example of the Anointed One, the Great Redeemer, the Holy-One of Israel. In and through this journey we will be perfected in Christ. We can and will make it to eternal rest because of the great mercy, compassion, and leadership of our eldest brother, Jesus Christ.

That is the Atonement.


Elder Brown
เอ็ลเดอร์ บราวน์

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Hi All,
As most of you know I am a Chemistry major. I love understanding science, it is fascinating to me. So I guess I am applying science concepts to my missionary view of life...

Today I want to talk about happiness. As a missionary I see lots of people trying to find ways to be happy. They can get caught up in some pretty bad things. Last night I woke up rather late in the night and I had an interesting thought enter my mind. What is happiness? Even though I haven’t opened a text book in over nine months, my brain still thinks in terms of science. Happiness is a stimulus. Happiness is an inherit reaction to ones actions that produces a desired feeling. Why was our body wired this way? What in particular is our body responding to?

I came up with something. The cause of this stimulus, that chemical release, can be categorized into two sections. First, inherit reactions and second, learned reactions.

#1 Inherit reaction “true happiness”-

I decided that almost all natural stimulation in the form of “happiness” is the result of some sort of gratification or fulfillment. A toddler pleases their father, they feel happy. A teenager receives an “A” on a hard project, they feel happy. A college student graduates with high marks, they feel happy. These are things that are forms of natural happiness. All people regardless of background will most likely react in that same positive way. We are inherently wired to have a desire to progress, to learn, and to grow.

#2 Learned reactions “pleasure” –

These stimulations are reactions that are not the same for everyone. They are not in our DNA, they are not in our spirit. They are taught to us by the culture that we live in. One person might like to watch violent movies; that will give them a form of happiness. Another person might like to drive really fast, that is also a learned response reaction. The important thing is, this form of happiness is a temporary happiness and is not inherit; it is not the same for everyone. This happiness would be better classified as pleasure.

God created us. We are his kids. He put us in this controlled environment that we call the earth. We are here to progress, to learn.
God is a master scientist.
Of course he has implanted each one of us with an inherent positive reaction for his desired result. Any time we progress, any movement forward; any time we learn or progress to be more like God, we have true happiness.

Let us not confuse happiness with Satan’s counterfeit of pleasure. Not all pleasure is damaging or destructive. We must watch ourselves. Pleasure is not lasting; often times it is destructive.

True happiness is the measuring stick of our gratification to God. The true way to have everlasting happiness is to do the things that will help us to progress to be like God. Let us always choose to gratify and please our loving father.

I bear testimony to you that Heavenly Father wants us to find true, lasting happiness. His plan for our salvation is often called "the great plan of happiness". His Son was sent to die for us, to atone for us, so we can be happy in this life and receive a fullness of joy in the eternities.

I feel I can't write anymore… I have lost all my English skills, please forgive me.
immersed in the work,

เอ็ลเดอร์ บราวน์ (Elder Brown)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ubon -Thurs 2-04-10

Today I want to talk a little bit about commandments of God. This is a lesson that I have learned time and time again on my mission. I will use a story from this week to illustrate that lesson.

Right now we have an investigator whose name means "chicken" in Thai. He is getting interviewed for baptism this week. He is an eternal investigator. He has learned with the Elders for over a year. He understands everything perfectly. He understands all the doctrine. He is keeping the commandments. Yet there was something that was always missing. I think I figured out what that something is.

He doesn’t know why we have commandments. Why has God given us rules to follow? I asked him that question last week and his answer was, “Commandments are things that God forces us to do and if we don’t do them we will be kicked out of the church and not accepted by members.” I was obviously more than disappointed with his answer.

If you look in the Elder Brown dictionary under the word “commandment” you will find the definition as follows: a way to receive a blessing. God gives us commandments to bless us. Without a rule, without a measuring stick, we could not be entitled to a reward. Even if we could, the reward would be meaningless and without value.

God has never forced us to do anything. He never will. He will only invite us to be happy. He has had enough mercy to specifically outline the ways that we can receive blessings. We don’t even have to guess!

Often times the natural man views these rules and commandments as a cage; holding us in, taking away our freedom, not giving us the ability to be free. This is a terrible comparison. Something that is caged does not have the freedom to leave; however, someone who is keeping the commandments always has the ability to stop, they have the ability to sin.

A better comparison is commandments are like a wall, a fence. We are restricted to a confined area, but that is because we are inside the umbrella of protection that the wall is providing. We have the ability to climb the fence and leave at any time; however, once we leave… it will be difficult to return and we have no guarantee that we will have safety outside of the protection of the loving arms of God’s grace.

It is important to keep the commandments. But it is more important that we keep the commandments because we recognize that that is what will make us happy. That is what will make God happy. Blind obedience never benefited anyone; God does not want blind obedience from us.

I hope that our investigator will be able to understand this message and be able to be ready for baptism in two weeks.

Gotta go.

Elder Brown