Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Road Trip. Wed, Nov 25, 2009.

11/25/2009. I just got back from the trip to Florida. If any of the wonderful people who I met read this, THANK YOU SO MUCH for allowing me to present that material to you.

Many people who I met were willing to receive copies of the Book of Mormon, Gospel Fundamentals, an Igbo Bible, and various videos.

There were a few encounters where I met people after following what seemed like promptings of the Spirit. I don't say that in order to claim any worthiness, but to give credit where it is due, to the Lord, to make his deed and works known, as in Psalms 105:1, and Doctrine and Covenants 65:4.

I met people who spoke Chinese, Arabic, Tagalog and Waray, Hindi, Punjubi, Urdu, Pashto, Spanish, Igbo, Haitian Creole and French, Thai, English, and probably some more that I can't remember right now. A few people declined, but that's the way it goes, not everyone is ready or willing to receive material.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Road Trip. Tue, Nov 24, 2009.

Road trip, on the way back from Florida.

11/24/2009. 1227. Punjabi and English Gospel Fundamentals. Bought chicken sandwich and two cans of soda. Had to drive a ways off interstate to find. Inspired stop.

11/24/2009. 1228. Another exit. Chinese declined at restaurant. But young man was interested in taking ESL class. Inspired stop.

11/24/2009. 1229. Same exit as before, just next door at the grocery store. Borrowed a phone book at the service desk. Another customer spoke with an accent. I struck up a conversation with him, and offered him a Swahili Book of Mormon, but he declined.

11/24/2009. Journal entry. Missed opportunity. I felt inspired to stop at a particular store, but didn't offer anything to the English-speaking cashier/owner.

11/24/2009. 1230. Vietnamese declined. I forget where this was, or what this one was about.

11/24/2009. 1231. An Indian couple at a gas station spoke Gujerati, gave them a pass-along card and suggested calling for Hindi. They spoke of a group of Telugu-owned stores in Atlanta.

11/24/2009. Journal entry. Missed op. Stopped at an Hispanic grocery store, and I didn't make any offers.

11/24/2009. Journal entry. Missed op. Saw a laundromat near the grocery store and thought of going there. I had only 2 days of laundry to do, and I talked myself out of it, wanting to get back home that night. But a guilty feeling later made me realize I should have gone there.

11/24/2009. Journal entry. Gas station. I thought it was inspired but nothing happened. (Several cats were on the property.)

11/25/2009. 1232. Just past midnight at a gas station near Cincinnati, I bought something and offered some DVDs to one or more ladies behind the counter, and she/they accepted them. I think I gave them a Mr. Krueger's Christmas DVD, and a Joy to the World DVD.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Road Trip. Mon, Nov 23, 2009.

Road trip, on way back from Florida.

11/23/2009. 1220. Around 12:15pm. Thai declined at restaurant.

11/23/2009. 1221. Around 3:05 pm. I was driving North on the Florida Turnpike, and was inspired to take Route 528, then I was prompted to take Exit 8. Then I felt inspired to go to a certain gas station at that exit. There was a taxi parked there and I struck up a conversation with the driver. He accepted Spanish, English, and Urdu copies of the Book of Mormon.

11/23/2009. 1222. Joy to the World DVD, at another gas station to another customer who was very grateful. I'm not sure if I remember this correctly.

11/23/2009. 1223. Gainsville FL, Chinese Simplified and English Bom, plus ?? DVD. I forgot the deatils here.

11/23/2009. 1224. English declined in Lake City, FL.

11/23/2009. 1225. In Georgia. The cashier at a gas station/convenience store accepted Hindi and English copies of the Book of Mormon.

11/23/2009. 1226. Pass-along card to night clerk at motel, in or near Macon.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Road Trip. Tip to Nigerian member. Sun, Nov 22, 2009.

11/22/2009. Journal entry. While visiting the ward in my destination city, one of the ladies in the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class spoke with an African accent. I spoke with her after class, and found out she was from Nigeria and spoke Igbo. She didn't have an Igbo Book of Mormon, and I had given out the two that I had brought with me. So I gave her the phone numbers to the Distribution Center, 801-240-3800, or toll free 800-537-5001, so she could order one.

(If you have free long distance, use the 801 number, and save the church a buck.)

(PS. The Sunday School president in the ward looked like he was the exact model for ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's dummy. He looked exactly like "Walter", also here. No, the SS pres wasn't all frowny, but if he had been, he would have looked like Walter.)

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Road Trip. Sat, Nov 21, 2009.

Road trip to Florida.

11/21/2009. 1213. In Georgia Getting ready to leave the motel. Thai/English BoM and the "The Restoration" DVD (with Thai audio track) to guy in motel parking lot, he was changing or adding oil. Joe, from Bloomington Indiana.

11/21/2009. 1214. In Florida. Chinese/English Book of Mormon at lunch, to a father/son at their restaurant. Felt it was inspired.

11/21/2009. I felt inspired to stop at this shopping center. Went to a certain restaurant and got something quick, but didn't make any offers.

11/21/2009. 1215. At another restaurant at the same shopping center, went to a Chinese restaurant for a snack. The cashier accepted one of the DVD's with a Chinese audio track but she declined the Book of Mormon.

11/21/2009. 1216. I arrived in my destination city. That evening, as I was shopping at a bookstore, I saw an Asian man studying at one of the tables. I took a chance and struck up a conversation with him. I offered and he accepted a Chinese Simplified script and an English Book of Mormon, and a Heavenly Father's Plan DVD.

11/21/2009. 1217. Later, I bought something at the local Wal-Mart. My cashier spoke French and Haitian Creole. I offered, and she accepted copies of the Book of Mormon in those languages plus English.

11/21/2009. 1218. As I went back in with those books, and got in line again at her cash register, the people head of me were speaking Albanian. But they politely declined to receive the Book of Momron in Albanian.

11/21/2009. 1219. Later I stopped at a gas station, and offered the English-speaking cashier a Book of Mormon, but she politely declined.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Road trip. Fri, Nov 20, 2009.

Road trip to Florida.

11/20/2009. 1204. I need to take better notes, or remember to use my mp3 recorder. I was in either Kentucky or Tennessee. I think I was inspired to take a certain exit, and go down the road for a while. After driving a few minutes, there was a yard sale going on, and I felt inspired to stop there. I bought some trinket. I offered a Joy to the World DVD and a Mr. Krueger's Christmas DVD to the two gentlemen there. I described them as Christmas videos from the Mormon church, so that they knew the source. They were just regular English-speaking Caucasian-American guys.

11/20/2009. 1205. At the next exit or shortly thereafter, I was prompted of the Spirit to take that exit and go to a particulat gas station. I bought some gas and something inside, like a beverage. Again, no obvious speakers of foreign languages. To the owner/cashier, I offered a Joy to the World DVD, describing it as a Christmas DVD or Nativity DVD with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and he accepted it.

11/20/2009. 1206. Around 3:15 pm, I saw a sign for a Chinese restaurant. It was one of the offical Interstate signs that shows the businesses for Food - Gas - Lodging at that exit. The Spirit indicated I should go to the Chinese restaurant featured on the sign. So It took that exit and drove the 2 miles to the restaurant.

The cashier/owner looked bright/shiny, so I figured she was my "intended contact." But while I was waiting for my food, and then eating, I also saw a lady who looked like she was from the Philippines. The Filipina lady ordered, left, and then came back later for her food. As she was leaving the second time, I asker her, in Tagalog, if she spoke Tagalog. She said "yes" in English. I offered her a free book in Tagalog from my church. I said it was "the Book of Mormon" and asked if she had heard about it. She said "Yes, I'm a member." But she didn't have a Tagalog copy, and she was willing to accept one. She also spoke Waray, and was willing to accept a Waray copy too.

I forget now if I had paid already by that time, but I had left enough "stuff" at my table to indicate that I'd be back if I hadn't paid, and we both went outside to get the books. It turned out she had parked next to my car anyway.

She asked if I was a missionary or ward missionary. I told her that this was her miracle, that I was from Indiana, headed to Florida on the Interstate, and the only reason I was there was due to a spiritual prompting to go to that restaurant when I saw the sign for it on the road.

She said she hadn't been to church since her mother died, and I replied that Heavenly Father must be looking out for her to send someone to meet her like that. She also accepted a "Together Forever" DVD. I suggested she go see her bishop or branch president and tell him what just happened.

By meeting another customer like that, it made me think that the two previously inspired stops may have been "timing loops" to keep me busy so that I arrived at the restaurant at just the right time to meet her.

1207. I went back in and finished my meal. When the cashier/owner took a breather, I offered her a Chinese Book of Mormon along with an English copy and a DVD, which she accepted.

11/20/2009. Later that evening, going through Atlanta during rush hour, I was in the wrong lane, and twice took wrong turns that delayed me.

11/20/2009. Follow-up. In Georgia, just south of Atlanta, I saw a Texaco gas station sign just beore an exit and I felt prompted to go there. When I got there, I realized it was the same place I had been prompted to stop at almost 2 years ago. I asked the cashier if he still had the books I had given him, and he said he gave them to someone else. I asked if he wanted more, and he said okay, so I gave him Urdu and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and Pashto and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals.

11/20/2009. 1208. At the same gas station, standing next to me in line was a man who seemed to be from Africa. I asked him where he was from, and he said Nigeria. He spoke Igbo, so I offered him an Igbo and an English Book of Mormon and he accepted. We talked for several minutes outside, and I realized I might have had an Igbo Bible in my car, so I asked him if he had one, and he said no. I looked for it, and found it, and offered it to him, and he accepted it. He was driving a very expensive car, so I said that instead of asking him to pay for it, I would like him to "pay it forward" and help someone else out, and it would eventually get back to me. He gave me his business card.

11/20/2009. 1209. I was so excited at that encounter with another customer, that I got back on the Interstate going wrong way. It occured to me that the wrong turns in Atlanta had served as "timing loops" again for this encounter with another customer.

I didn't realize I was going the wrong direction for about 10 miles. I got off the Interstate at next exit after I realized my mistake, and felt prompted to go to one of the gas stations there. I saw a guy dumpster-diving in the trash cans at the gas station and pulling out styrofoam clamshells with left-over food. I gave him some fresh fruit and bread that I had in the car, and encouraged him not to eat from trash cans as he could get sick.

I went inside and purchased something, and realized one of the cashiers was foreign-born. He was from Nigeria and accepted Igbo and English copies of the Book of Mormon. Again, an absent-minded mistake of going the wrong way led to another opportunity. But, due to the timing needed, I had to meet the guy at the Texaco first. What I thought were stupid mistakes actually generated more opportunities.

11/20/2009. 1210. I forget if this was prompted or not, but I got off at another exit and went to a Chinese restaurant. The owners accepted Chinese and English of the Book of Mormon, and an employee accepted Spanish and English copies of the Book of Mormon. I just had an egg roll.

11/20/2009. 1211. Next to the Chinese restaurant was a convenience store. I bought something, and the cashier accepted a Hindi Book of Mormon and Hindi Liahona.

I then went to a Taco Bell or something like that across the road. I thought that might have been inspired, but I did not recognize any opportunities. It's possible that I was supposed to just talk to English speakers.

11/20/2009. 1212. At the motel I stayed at that night, the night clerk accepted a Hindi and an English Book of Mormon.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Arabic, gas station, road trip. Thu, Nov 19, 2009.

On a road-trip from Indiana to Florida.

11/19/2009. 1203. While in Ohio, not long after dinner, I recognized an Interstate exit where I had made two placements during a previous trip. I felt inspired to stop at one of the two gas stations I had previously been to. I bought a soft drink, and it seemed to me that the cashier was not the same guy as before. He spoke with an accent, so I asked where his family was from. He knew English, but wasn't quite fluent, so I guessed he's only been here a little while. He was from a country in the Middle East, spoke Arabic and had only been in the United States a few months. I jokingly told him he was a Buckeye now, and he got the joke.

I offered him "a free book in Arabic from my church" and he agreed to see it. I made sure he knew it was Christian material and he was fine with that, and said I could give it to him. So I retrieved an Arabic copy and an English copy of the Book of Mormon from my car and went back in and presented them. He enthusiastically and gratefully received them because he was very eager for bilingual Arabic/English material, and he had no problem with it being Christian material.

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Chinese at restaurant. Road trip. Thu, Nov 19, 2009.

11/19/2009. 1202. On the road towards the South. I stopped at a Chinese restaurant along the road. I found it while looking for my favorite brand of gas station near the Interstate. I put some material, a traditional (suffix -265) Chinese Book of Mormon, an English Book of Mormon, and a Chinese Liahona on my table while I ate. I suppose the waitress/hostess saw it when she cleared away plates (it was a buffet.) When I paid later at the cashier counter, I offered the material to her, and she accepted them. She wasn't overly enthusiastic, but she was polite and gracious in her acceptance.

To give the Lord credit, I believe that I felt inspired to stop and eat here as I drove by.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Liahona magazine at restaurant. Tue, Nov 17, 2009

11/17/2009. Journal Entry. I had supper at an asian restaurant that I've been to before, but it's been a few years. I think I had given them a Book of Mormon before, so tonight I just offered an issue of the Liahona magazine. I had it on the table while I ate, and the waitress noticed it while refilling my water glass. I offered it to her and she readily accepted it. I forgot to include any contact information on the magazine. I still have some extra issues in that language so I'll likely follow up again with another edition, and try to remember to write some contact info on it

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Marathi at gas station. Mon, Nov 16, 2009.

11/16/2009. Journal Entry. I was helping a friend with some computer stuff. I knew he spoke Hindi, and he had previously accepted a Hindi Book of Mormon, but I didn't know (or had forgotten) that he also spoke Marathi. He asked me for help in listening to Marathi music on his computer at work. When I realized that (or was reminded of it), I offered him a Marathi translation of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet, and he accepted it. I had one in the car so I was able to give it to him there, along with an English copy.

There is at least one state in India where the main language is Hindi (I don't know it off the top of my head), but most all the other states have their own language other than Hindi, and Hindi becomes their secondary language. So when you meet someone from India, and they speak another language in addition to Hindi, it's a good chance that that other language is actually their primary language, and Hindi (or English) is their secondary language.

I realize that many people may be accepting material from me as a matter of politeness. But I honestly believe that when foreign-born people accept something merely out of politeness, they will still keep it. And I realize that many people who read this will likely think: "So what's the point if they don't investigate the/your church?" But the material, a book, a pamphlet, a video, or the Book of Mormon, is like a seed that you never know when it will sprout. If you believe that the LDS church is what it claims to be, then you (should) know that the Lord can draw someone's attention to that material that they have on their shelf when they or someone else in their house is ready to move on it.

So I don't consider such things a waste. And even if they never read the material with interest, I can still visualize scenarios in some future world to come, wherein such people (in what the LDS call the Spirit World, awaiting a universal resurrection) will still find some comfort in knowing that the Lord arranged for someone, anyone, to give them at least a hint about God and Christ.

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Yoruba at store. Mon, Nov 16, 2009.

11/16/2009. 1201. I was shopping at a store and the man in the checkout line ahead of me appeared and sounded as if he were foreign born. However, I got there just as it was his turn to check out, so I didn't have a chance to strike up a conversation. But when I got out to the parking lot, he was still putting stuff away in his vehicle, and he was parked almost next to my car, so it was convenient to strike up a conversation with him.

I asked him where his family was original from, and he said Nigeria. I asked if he was Yoruba or Igbo, and he said Yoruba. I said my church has free books in Yoruba, and offered him one. He asked which church, and I said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He agree to receive a copy. I asked him to wait at his car and I'd get one from mine, but he followed me over to my car anyway. I retrieved a Yoruba copy and an English copy from the trunk of my car, and presented them to him and he accepted them. I pointed out the chapel I go to on the info flyer that I had put inside the front cover, and indicated my calling card there too.

He was very grateful, and then we went our separate ways.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

The Lord brings certain people into our lives.

As quoted in a previous post:
"But in Friendship... we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting – any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,' can truly say 'You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.' The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others."
-C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I'm being taught a lesson on how I needed to meet this family, in addition to how this family needed both the gospel and some American friends.

I was at the home of the elderly African couple who joined the church this past July. The purpose of the visit was to give them some bread-making supplies (flour, yeast, etc., bread pan, muffin pan), and to show them how to use their electric oven. They had been using the burners on the top, but were unsure of how the oven part worked.

The wife/grand-mother was a bread-maker back in Africa. She's been here a year and hasn't been able to make any bread. She's mostly disabled and walks with great difficulty and pain. So she can't get out and shop, and the other members of the household, though they know how to shop, don't really know how to pick out what would be the American equivalent of the baking supplies she used back in Africa.

In addition to that, they just didn't understand how to operate the electric oven.

It was interesting to learn how they viewed the oven. In their home village, they don't have electric or gas ovens. They used earthen, or perhaps brick, ovens heated by wood or charcoal.

It made me realize how much of our common knowledge is assimilated by us as we grow up. Things can seem so simple, yet we don't realize how they aren't simple to someone who did not grow up around something.

Since we didn't have time to sit around and wait for bread to rise, I decided to make muffins from a store-bought mix; add egg and water, stir, pour into muffin cups, bake for 20 to 22 minues, voila'.

We let the oven pre-heat while I made the batter, put paper muffin cups in the muffin tray.

The concept of an oven thermostat was new to them. (Therefore I think the stove-top burner settings were also a msytery, and that they only used them on the highest setting.) I explained that the oven indicator light (the one on the control panel) comes on when the oven's heating element is on, and it goes off when the temperature setting has been reached. And that when you open the door and let cold air in, the burner turns back on to reheat the oven, and turns off again when the temperature has been reached. This whole concept of a thermostat on a cooking device was new to them, at least to the grandparents.

The grandfather, who has never cooked anything in his life, was doing the translating, so at least it was new to him. I couldn't tell how much of the concepts were actually new or understood by grandma, because she doesn't speak English, and when grandpa translates, I suspect much gets modified or filtered out by his perceptions.

They haven't received visiting teachers yet, but have had a home-teacher for a few weeks. What the home-teacher wants to do is get some Relief Society sisters there, with just grandma, and the grand-daughter (who has taken the missionary lessons, come to church a few times, but hasn't been baptized) as translator. That way, it's "just the girls", without grandpa's translation filters in place. Another benefit is that the ladies won't be afraid to ask other ladies the simple questions.

The "filters" work both ways too. When the cooking lesson comes from a male such as myself, or the translation from English to their language comes from grandpa, I suspect there is also a Mars/Venus filter in place. Since grandpa doesn't cook (and has never cooked), he may not be putting things in terms the ladies need, but also the ladies may be discounting what comes from men in terms of cooking. I just can't tell.

Anyway, they loved the muffins. They weren't the best, just a cheap $1.00 mix from a dollar store. I forgot and put the muffin pan on the lower rack instead of the upper rack, and the bottom of the muffins were slightly over done. So I'll have to make that point about using the upper racks next time. And, also how to adjust the temperature and time. I think the ladies know about adjusting temperature, because that is controlled by how much wood you put in the cooking fire, but that concept would be new to the non-cooking grandpa.

Grandpa was all amazed. He wanted to buy an oven and have it shipped to his relatives back in Africa. He wanted to fly back and teach people this muffin recipe. (Of course such an expense is totally out of his budget, etc., etc.)

Anyway, the muffins came out okay. I explained that I used the paper muffin cups to keep the muffin pan clean, because I'm lazy and didn't want to have to clean a muffin pan. And that the muffin paper cups were optional. And that if you wait a few minutes before peeling off the paper it comes off easier.

But I did open one muffin early and it was cooked just right in the middle. They were a nice golden brown on top, and the apartment was filled with that nice "something good is baking in the oven" aroma, which it never had before during grandma's one year stay, or grandpa's five year stay.

This was an anthropology and sociology lesson for me.

Maybe someday we'll get to a lesson on the BROIL setting.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hmmm, is this family LDS?

Is this family LDS? 8 kids, wife grew up in California and Utah, married at 19, had first child 9 months later, and they don't let their kids watch R-rated moves.

Ack. They deleted everything under Lou Dobbs. Here's a new link.

(Old link under Lou Dobbs was deleted when he quit CNN.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Vietnamese at gas station. Mon, Nov 9, 2009.

11/09/2009. 1200. I was at a nearby gas station helping a friend with his computer. He was on duty as the cashier, and I was sitting behind the counter at his laptop computer. Customers were coming and going, and he attended to them as I was doing stuff with the computer.

One of the customers was an Asian man who bought a phone card. I asked him where he was going to call, and he said Vietnam. So..... I offered him a free book in Vietnamese from my church. It was a quick conversation, and it didn't interfere with his transaction with the cashier. And, he enthusiastically agreed to receive the free church book in Vietnamese.

He went back outside to gas up his vehicle, and I went out and got a Vietnamese copy and an English copy of the Book of Mormon from my trunk. I met him over at his car, and he was enthusiastic to receive both of them. I asked if he had heard of the Book of Mormon before, and he said no, so I said that at our church we use the Bible and the Book of Mormon along with it. I pointed out my calling card in the front, and the list of chapels, and invited him to call or attend if he wanted. He thanked me, and I went back inside.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Gonna try tweeting.



Are you saved?

I've noted how often the Book of Mormon uses the word "saved." But it's not a word that Mormons use much as do members of other churches, such as Baptists and Evangelicals.

Elder Oaks gave a conference talk on the various meanings of the word "saved" and "salvation" in the April 1998 General Conference. The talk was printed in the May 1998 Ensign.

Elder Oaks gave six meanings. He didn't explicitly enumerate all points, so I hope I'm parsing the six definitions correctly. (And: my quotes below don't constitute the entire article.)

1st: First, all mortals have been saved from the permanence of death through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).

2nd: As to salvation from sin and the consequences of sin, our answer to the question of whether or not we have been saved is “yes, but with conditions.” Our third article of faith declares our belief:

“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (A of F 1:3).

Many Bible verses declare that Jesus came to take away the sins of the world (e.g., John 1:29; Matt. 26:28). The New Testament frequently refers to the grace of God and to salvation by grace (e.g., John 1:17; Acts 15:11; Eph. 2:8). But it also has many specific commandments on personal behavior, and many references to the importance of works (e.g., Matt. 5:16; Eph. 2:10; James 2:14–17). In addition, the Savior taught that we must endure to the end in order to be saved (see Matt. 10:22; Mark 13:13).

Relying upon the totality of Bible teachings and upon clarifications received through modern revelation, we testify that being cleansed from sin through Christ’s Atonement is conditioned upon the individual sinner’s faith, which must be manifested by obedience to the Lord’s command to repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost (see Acts 2:37–38). “Verily, verily, I say unto thee,” Jesus taught, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5; see also Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37–38). Believers who have had this required rebirth at the hands of those having authority have already been saved from sin conditionally, but they will not be saved finally until they have completed their mortal probation with the required continuing repentance, faithfulness, service, and enduring to the end.

3rd: The question of whether a person has been saved is sometimes phrased in terms of whether that person has been “born again.” Being “born again” is a familiar reference in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. As noted earlier, Jesus taught that except a man was “born again” (John 3:3), of water and of the Spirit, he could not enter into the kingdom of God (see John 3:5). The Book of Mormon has many teachings about the necessity of being “born again” or “born of God” (Mosiah 27:25; see Mosiah 27:24–26; Alma 36:24, 26; Moses 6:59). As we understand these scriptures, our answer to whether we have been born again is clearly “yes.” We were born again when we entered into a covenant relationship with our Savior by being born of water and of the Spirit and by taking upon us the name of Jesus Christ. We can renew that rebirth each Sabbath when we partake of the sacrament.

Latter-day Saints affirm that those who have been born again in this way are spiritually begotten sons and daughters of Jesus Christ (see Mosiah 5:7; Mosiah 15:9–13; Mosiah 27:25). Nevertheless, in order to realize the intended blessings of this born-again status, we must still keep our covenants and endure to the end. In the meantime, through the grace of God, we have been born again as new creatures with new spiritual parentage and the prospects of a glorious inheritance.

4th: A fourth meaning of being saved is to be saved from the darkness of ignorance of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and of the purpose of life, and of the destiny of men and women. The gospel made known to us by the teachings of Jesus Christ has given us this salvation. “I am the light of the world,” Jesus taught; “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12; see also John 12:46).

5th: For Latter-day Saints, being “saved” can also mean being saved or delivered from the second death (meaning the final spiritual death) by assurance of a kingdom of glory in the world to come (see 1 Cor. 15:40–42). Just as the Resurrection is universal, we affirm that every person who ever lived upon the face of the earth—except for a very few—is assured of salvation in this sense. As we read in modern revelation:

“And this is the gospel, the glad tidings …

“That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;

“That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;

“Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him” (D&C 76:40–43; emphasis added).

6th: Finally, in another usage familiar and unique to Latter-day Saints, the words saved and salvation are also used to denote exaltation or eternal life (see Abr. 2:11). This is sometimes referred to as the “fulness of salvation” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 4 vols. [1979–81], 1:242). This salvation requires more than repentance and baptism by appropriate priesthood authority. It also requires the making of sacred covenants, including eternal marriage, in the temples of God, and faithfulness to those covenants by enduring to the end. If we use the word salvation to mean “exaltation,” it is premature for any of us to say that we have been “saved” in mortality. That glorious status can only follow the final judgment of Him who is the Great Judge of the living and the dead.

And in conclusion: I have suggested that the short answer to the question of whether a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been saved or born again must be a fervent “yes.” Our covenant relationship with our Savior puts us in that “saved” or “born again” condition meant by those who ask this question.

Fulani at laundromat parking lot. Wed, Nov 4, 2009.

11/04/2009. 1199. Laundry day. I parked near the laundromat, unloaded my stuff, and then moved my car further away. I picked the closest spot to the laundromat but just not one of the "loading/unloading only" spots. A taxi happened to be parked next to the open spot I picked.

That taxi company employs almost all Africans as drivers. I asked the driver what language he spoke, and he said Fulani. I said I just happened to have a free copy of my church's Sunday School manual in Fulani and asked if he'd like to see it. He said sure. I went back to my car and got out a Fulani and an English copy of Gospel Fundamentals and presented them. He accepted the Fulani copy, but politely declined teh English.

I pointed out the list of local chapels on the flyer I had put inside, and invited him to visit sometime. He thanked me, and I ran off to do my laundry.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

English DVD to cold-calling salesman. Tue, Nov 3, 2009.

11/03/2009. 1198. I was at a client's office in an office complex doing computer work. This client is a member of the church, and knows my modus operandi about giving out material. A salesman came in the door to make a cold-call to solicit business. He was soliciting people for their personal business, not the company. We both turned the gentleman down, though I did accept a brochure. But we continued to make small talk since we had some computer history in common.

Since this guy was bold enough to make a cold-call, and even bolder to solicit people for their personal business while they were on company time, I decided to be a little bold in return. I offered him a couple of church DVDs, Mr. Kreuger's Christmas, and Joy to the World.

He accepted the Joy to the World DVD.

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Nepali and Burmese Gospel Fundamentals are here!

The Nepali, and the Burmese "Gospel Fundamentals" are now available. I just received my first order.

I've only met one Nepalese person, but the missionaries have run into another one.

There are lots of Burmese in town, and I've encountered several on the South side of town without having any material to give them.

The work rolls on.



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