Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern France, southern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Monday, November 16, 2015

O that thou hadst hearkened unto my commandments...

...then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. 
Isaiah 48:18

Disclaimer: what follows is somewhat rant-y, possibly a tad self-righteous and has almost nothing to do with the events of my week. Readers may skip on if they wish. 

Isaiah 48:18 was the scripture that I chose at the beginning of the week to focus on and ponderize. I chose it because for the past few weeks, I've been realizing more and more how much better the world would be if everyone lived the commandments and principles of the church. Do you guys realize this? The world would be a thousand times better if everyone lived the way Latter-Day Saints are taught to live. 

The truth of this scripture was made manifest this weekend. Imagine if these people, indoctrinated and radicalized in the wicked traditions of their fathers, had grown up with the Gospel of Jesus Christ instead. These poor people who make the choice to end innocent lives because of whatever reasons--those reasons would not exist had the gospel been planted in their hearts when they were young. 

But that's not everything. The things that are going on in the rest of the world are not good either, terrorist attacks aside. What the world doesn't seem to see is that as they drift further and further from God and the values that originate from Him, things become worse and worse in the world. People are running around trying to fix problems that wouldn't be there if everyone lived the principles of the gospel. And as people continue to devote themselves to pride, lasciviousness and self-justification, the problems will not be fixed. The amount of people "that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness" (Isaiah 5:20-25) is greater now than it may have ever been before. 

Ezra Taft Benson, a modern-day prophet and head of the church, said: "Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family." Just sayin'...he's not wrong. 

Anyway. Don't follow the world. Ye are not of the world. As the world turns more and more away from what is right, it is your duty to stand firm, shine your light, and be an example of the believers. 

Love you all. Until next week,

Elder Stanford, signing off. 

PS Missionary work restarts today, although I'm sure in Paris they're not quite there yet. We're still not supposed to go to centreville (who knows who might do demonstration things in centreville) and common sense says to avoid certain areas, especially after dark. But the work rolls forth. No unhallowed hand, am I right?

Zone Conference in Nancy

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