Date

June 17, 2019

Area

Eaton, Ohio

Companion

Elder Bingham

Don't Play the Shane Game

Well this past week was transfers and I am still here in Eaton!  I received Elder Bingham.  He is from Beaverton Oregon.  (Home of Nike #ShoeDawg)  He was also one of the elders that got hit by a Tornado... He survived obviously. This week was full of things to do.  We taught lessons, we got in arguments, we got yelled at, we rode bikes, we walked, and we helped those around us.
A couple weeks ago Elder Walker and I ran into a guy named Shane.  He asked us if there was a time we could sit down and "debate about doctrine".  We tried to explain to him our purpose as missionaries was not to debate, but rather to help and invite.  He didn't listen very well to that.  We ended up giving him our phone number and he texted us the following day asking if we could meet up and talk about what we believed.  We setup an appointment for Thursday, again clarifying what our purpose was. On Thursday we met at the church.  We began to introduce the Book of Mormon and he quickly and abruptly butted in and asked us where the evidence in the bible was of the Book of Mormon.  We started to show him a few places in the bible that it talks about the Book of Mormon  (Bad mistake.  We can't prove the Book of Mormon through logic.  Evidence comes from the spirit).  He interpreted the scriptures we showed him entirely wrong and then began to show us other scriptures in the bible that tells us that the Book of Mormon is not from God. (Once again out of context). He went on and on for what seemed like eternities talking about everything from the Trinity to the Adoption of Christ to saved by grace. Elder Bingham and I just sat and listened.  Thoughts were running through my mind about things in the bible I could show him, to prove to him that I was right.  And at times I would try to prove him wrong with the Bible, but I should of known better.  My ability to "Prove" to someone is very limited.  Especially when the greatest witness comes from God.  The only way someone can come to know that this work is true is by experimenting on the words of Christ and asking God with a sincere heart and real intent if it is true. After about 45 minutes I finally jumped in.  I bore a short testimony about how I know that this work is true.  I told him that I knew that the Book of Mormon was true... Nobody could tell me otherwise, because I had received a witness for myself through the Holy Ghost. He seemed to disbelieve my sincere testimony, but he couldn't disprove it.  We departed ways as friends and both believing we won the debate...As we were arguing I kept thinking about the New Testament.  It is full of examples of people arguing and then Christ telling them to get over themselves.  The Pharisees whole purpose was to interpret the law.  They had no authority and didn't perform any ordinances in the temple.  They just went around condemning people and arguing about the law. That's how I felt as I talked with Shane.  Yes we both may have known the scriptures, or the law well, but could we recognize Christ when he comes?  The Pharisees couldn't.
I learned an important lesson in that discussion and that was the importance of the spirit in teaching.
I know more than ever that this is Gods work.  He is at the helm.  This is His Church and He is gathering His elect.  I am a small tool in his hands and when I am prideful and think I can do the "Proving"  then I am getting in the way.  One of the hardest things of my mission has been realizing that I can't do it by myself. Hard work does not always equal success. But one of the most rewarding is when I let God work through me to accomplish His Purpose.  Relying on God and doing it His way does equal success.
Love Yall! Happy Fathers Day to all the Fathers out there.
Elder Johnson




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