Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Simple Testimony

..I've been a missionary - a salary free, door to door, street to street, "Salvation Salesman" - for just over 7 months now. I've left behind college, scholarships, personal interests, hobbies, free time and desires. Dreams have been postponed, goals forgotten, visions refocused. I live over 6,000 miles away from home, where I am laughed at, spit upon, scolded, humbled, empowered, praised, strengthened, and rewarded every day. As I learn more, I realize that this time is a process of sanctification. It is preparation. Set apart from the world, I came as I was; not required to pass any tests or prove my qualifications. No one quizzed me about my knowledge of the gospel, my teaching experience, or training. The only requirement was to accept the responsibilities of the position I was being asked to fill. I was asked to bear witness. To give two years of my life to sow seeds of grace and kindness, and to work day in and day out learning to accept and understand the many weaknesses I would soon find in myself as well as in others. Yes, "caught in between the whirl of teenage activity and confinement to cane and rocking chair", I am a missionary. My pace is set. My gait is fast. My goal is Heaven. My road is narrow. My way is rough. My companions are few. My guide is reliable and my mission is clear.  My purpose is to be a friend, to have a heart, to lend a hand, to do my best to be submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, and willing to submit to whatever circumstance I may find myself in. ...But I am not the world's punching bag. I am a messenger - and I will bear powerful testimony to as many as will listen. I will lift the hands of those which hang hopelessly down, and show others a way to real, lasting happiness. This is the most purposeful thing, perhaps, I have ever done in my life, and possibly the most purposeful thing I will ever do. ...and why? ..Why am I doing it? Why am I here, among 82,000 others, giving up so much to be a part of such a trying and difficult experience?

..Because we read that book.
We read a book consisting of a history of an ancient people in a distant land living as two different tribes of people, with separate leaders and customs, coupled with a detailed history of nations and peoples no one has ever heard of before. ..This 1,000 year book of history and doctrine was created within 80 days, the copy dictated to the scribe for final draft; no revisions or updates necessary. Announced not as fiction - but truth - the writings included a promise: That if people read, ponder, and pray about the book, they can know that it is true. ..This book has millions of readers who have read and testified that they know this book is true because of the results of said promise. Thousands of great men and women, even intellectual giants and scholars have become utter disciples of this book, some even to the point of giving their lives for it. ..but why? For the same reason we have decided to give 2 years of our lives for it.

We know that it is true.
I know that it is true. 

I know that Joseph Smith, a poor, relatively uneducated, back-woodsy young man from upstate New York, at hardly 23 years old translated the ancient records and brought forth the Book of Mormon through the power and authority of God. I know that he truly did have help from Heaven, and thus doing so, changed millions of lives forever. ..And that's just it. We believe in forever. I believe in forever. I know that through this church, this gospel, this doctrine, we can live with our families and loved ones for time and all eternity. ..Isn't that what everyone wants, deep down? To be with those that make us happy - truly happy- for the rest of our lives, and eternity? Our God is a God of love, of joy, of choice. He gave us the options. ..We CHOSE to come here; to be tried, tested, burdened, defeated, battered, and bruised so that we could understand what it takes to return to live with Him. He wanted us to be free and choose him. ..Isn't that beautiful? We took the risk, knowing and trusting that through our Savior Jesus Christ God would accept our best efforts.
My step-sister was baptized on July 5th, 2014. I was there in spirit.
..We are here, as missionaries, because we have experienced those times of real joy - those peak experiences - We know what is possible, and how much more full your life can be when you are striving to constantly become better, stand for truth and everything good, and center your life around those you love - your family. ..That's all our doctrine is. To be good people.
I'm so grateful for all the missionaries who taught her.
You are who you choose to be.
..Should you ever wonder who we chose to be, the answer will always be available to you. Give the Book of Mormon a chance, if you haven't already. Feel it's power, and put away the stereotypical thoughts you have about those of our faith. People are imperfect. But this wasn't between you and them anyway - it's between you and Him. 

Do as the young boy had done in 1820.

Ask of God.

I love you all and say these things, in the name of my beloved brother Jesus Christ,

May your week be something special!

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