Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Iokwe from OK! Learning Heaven revisited


Well, turns out that Patrick didn't get married this last week. Our branch president suggested that he wait for his mom to come (she's coming in a couple weeks), which he thought was a good idea. Since we are in the other area that doesn't include Patrick, we were not as well-informed and didn't know about it until after we emailed. But, it will happen soon, so we're still excited about that.

Also, this week I learned, after talking with Elder Lazarus, that Marshallese people don't really like me when they first meet me. Something about looking scary. Apparently all of their little kids are afraid of me when we come inside their houses (which explains why they always cry...). Elder Lazarus said that after they get to know me they begin to like me, but I found it really funny that my first impression with them is so terrible. I guess I need to try to find a more uplifting and friendly resting face. 

This week we have zone conference on Friday, for which President Mansell asked us to study the talk His Grace is Sufficient, by Brad Wilcox. I LOVE THIS TALK. This is the talk that I based my farewell talk off of (everyone told me I did such a great job speaking and that's because I basically quoted the entirety of Brad Wilcox's talk - I'm not that good). I was happy to read through that again this morning. 

My favorite part about this talk is that Brad Wilcox explains about how "we are not earning heaven - we are learning heaven." This is one of my favorite doctrines. It gives us purpose to this life. We aren't here to pay our way to some celestial reward; if that were true we would never make it. We would spend eternity mourning over the immense void created by our own weakness and imperfections that would separate us from our Heavenly Father. No, instead, we are simply learning to live on a higher plane.

I may have shared this before (but I'm doing it again), but Brad Wilcox uses the example of a child taking piano lessons. The child's practice does not pay his mother back for the price of the lessons. Mom is repaid as she enjoys watching her child learn to live on a higher plane of life. The child is increasing its capacity to live more fully. This is the reason that mom requires practice. Because she loves her child. 

I know Heavenly Father loves us. That's why He gives us commandments and that's why He wants so badly for us to live by them: so that we can learn to live on a higher plane. We will be rewarded with the happy consequences that naturally follow a better way of life: happy families, satisfaction in choosing right, loving relationships, increased knowledge, removal of guilt and shame, etc. I'm so happy to be a part of that. As I have strived to learn to live in a better way, I have also seen that God doesn't just give us rules and then waits to see if we will obey them. I have felt Him pulling for me. And as Brother Wilcox says, I have felt the Savior pulling with me. They do everything short of controlling us to help us live so we can be happy. 

That's why I'm out here working every day: I want to help others learn how they can live this way too. 

Have a great week! Find a way to live life on a higher plane!


Elder Josh Kilmer
OklahomaOklahoma City Mission, Marshallese speaking

Fudoshin:  immovable spirit

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