Today I began typing up some of my old mission journals from the MTC. As I re-read what I had written in the past, I again realized how much my testimony increased on my mission and in particular my testimony that President Monson and the other leaders of the Church are called of God.
In my first weeks in the MTC I several times wrote in my Journal about my struggle to accept the teachings of the Apostles and to not over intellectualize.
Sister Seamens (The wife of one of the counslors in the Branch Presidency) gave a great talk about Bruce R. Mckonkie and his writing of his final talk. I think its funny how hated Elder Mconkie and Elder Packer are among ‘intellectuals.’ I do believe that they are inspired of God and that the mantle of the apostleship was/is upon them. I strongly felt moved by the spirit of God today as I heard of his faith despite his illness. I know that he was a special witness of Christ despite his weaknesses and flaws or mistakes he made.
I watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration and slipped a little bit into an intellectualizing mode looking at historical flaws. Yet, I think this is a tendancy that I need to overcome. I know he was a prophet of God and I need to build my testimony of the living apostles while I am here in order to effectively convey the message of the restoration. I need to keep focused on that message and pray for a deeper knowledge.
“I said the sacrament prayer for the bread in Russian which was pretty difficult but also quite cool to do so. Today the lessons were all about perfect obedience and refraining from the thigns of the world. I need to focus more fully on keeping closely the laws of the Gospel on my mission because God truly has made us promises that are predicated on our obedience. I need to be better at that for sure. I certainly am a bit too cynical of leadership and guidance. Its hard for me to believe that little policies in the white handbook are inspired or should be treated as scripture. I need to expand my faith in the institution of the Church. If I really want to preach with power about Prophets and Apostles than I need to have a greater testimony in the inspired nature of their output. I need to dedicate myself to living as obediently as possible and using my time to the max. I do have faith that I will see the positive impact of these endeavors.”
Looking back now, it is hard for me to believe how much I used to struggle over my testimony in this particular area. It was hard for me to really accept that these men were specially called of God.
I love a particular scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants which shows the Lord’s promises to his missionaries that serve him
D&C 21:9 For, behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart.
In this scripture God promises that those that serve a mission will have their testimony of the words of the Prophet(s) increase and that they will know by the Holy Spirit that his/their words are true. Looking back at my mission journals helped confirm to me that this promise was literally fulfilled in my life. I know without a doubt that these men that lead the Church are called and annointed of God to lead and guide us in these Latter Days. I am so grateful for the Lord and his loving care for us. I am thankful to the spirit for helping me gain an undeniable testimony and witness of these truths.