Monday, April 19, 2010
The water festival was insane. I am sending a couple photos of the street and a photo of our "get wet" clothes.
So, yesterday at church the 1st counselor in the Stake Presidency came to visit. His message was good, but unfortunately he couldn't speak Thai. Even though the other 3 missionaries at the ward have all been here for a year and half, I was voted to translate for him. Up to this point in Thailand I have done translation in meetings for individuals from Thai to English, from English to Thai, and I've even given sacrament talks in Thai. But I've never had to translate over the pulpit on the spot. That was hard! Gives me motivation to study the language more. I did pretty well though, everyone seemed to be able to understand. Unfortunately I didn't know the word for "to spit" or "to turn the other cheek." Yay for circumlocution.
The other day I had an interesting thought about the "Restoration" and the term "Apostasy."
Typically we explain Apostasy as the period of time that the Earth is without the Power of the Priesthood, thus a period of time where the saving ordinances of the gospel are unavailable. The longest and most important Apostasy was the Great Apostasy, the 1600+ years after the death of the apostles of Jesus and before the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Typically we explain Restoration as the period of time that God restores the Power of the Priesthood once again to the Earth, thus a period of time where the saving ordinances of the gospel become available once again. The most recent Restoration was the Restoration in 1820 through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
The other day I had a thought, the thought is: I don't think the Restoration is finished. I think the doctrines and the ordinances have all been restored, but the world does not know that. A big part of the Restoration is to restore all the inhabitants of the earth to the knowledge of their fathers, to the knowledge of the gospel and its saving power. The restoration is not complete until every single person gets the opportunity to hear the gospel, or a.k.a. Jesus' plan of happiness.
There are billions of people in this world that are in a state of personal-apostasy. They have not been able to hear the wonderful news that the ordinances have been restored. These people must be brought to a point where they can accept restoration or stay in a state of apostasy. That is our work! Joseph Smith started the Restoration, but the work will not be done until the end of the Millennial Period. The Restoration is not a closed book; it is a story that is being written, and we all have major roles in the play.
Every-time I teach someone about the Restoration of the Gospel now, I always have the thought that the Restoration is not just about Joseph Smith. This story is about Elder Brown, this story is about Pii Dxan, this story is about his kids, and it's about his neighbors too. As they learn of Joseph, they too get their questions answered. They too become restored unto truth; out of the darkness and into the light.
Think about how each of us has a part to play in bringing others "into the light".