Monday, January 16, 2017

Experience > Opinion

Hey y'all, this week has been pretty sweet and a lot of stuff happened so I'll just jump right in.

So we went and visited these members who are apparently in-active and against the church and it was a crazy experience. So we knock on the door and the dad answers, his name is Thomas, and invites us in. As soon as we stepped inside both Elder Griffin and I got a weird feeling, that Elder Griffin named "Nega' Spirit" because it was pretty much the exact opposite of the feelings the spirit gives. He had us come sit down and we got to know him. Elder Griffin had to go use the bathroom soon after we started talking so it was just me and the Thomas. He told me how they had stopped going to church about 3 years ago because he felt the church leaders weren't being honest. Elder Griffin came back and he told both of us how he and his wife had read the Gospel Topic Essays the church put out, which address a lot of church history stuff like polygamy, race and the priesthood, and the papyrus Joseph Smith translated. So pretty much all the anti-mormon topics, and after reading those and other material they didn't believe the church was true anymore. Here was a man who had served as Young Men's President for 5 years, and now his entire family believes that Joseph Smith made up the Book of Mormon and that the church is corrupt.
   The thing that stuck out to me the most about this whole experience is the fact that he kept saying they had read "other material" as well, which pretty much means anti. Thomas was really nice to us but it was heartbreaking to see how a once strong member allowed his testimony to be poisoned by reading stuff like that. It doesn't matter who you are, just how reading scriptures can bring you the spirit, there is definitely literature out there that will bring in "Nega' Spirit" and destroy your testimony. As Elder Griffin and I left we both felt terrible. We said a prayer when we got back to the car and we felt a little better. Elder Griffin told me once we had left that he had knelt down in the bathroom and prayed. I really can't explain the feeling that we got in the house but it was something I've never felt before and I hope I never have to feel it again.
So the moral of this story is a quote I heard once, "A person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an opinion". People with real spiritual experiences, like Joseph Smith, will always have the upper hand when people with opinions, like those who told Joseph he didn't see God and Jesus Christ, try to tear down their faith. So when people with "opinions" try to tell us we are wrong, I hope we can all remember the "experiences" we've had with the Book of Mormon.

I love all of you and hope you have an awesome week!!

1. The Midlothian Zone
2. Me, Elder Payne, and the Walmers
3. I tried sliding down the ice and it didn't quite work out haha

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