It was great to talk to you guys on Christmas. It is good to know you are still there. I hope grandpa is doing all right. It is good that he will stay with you for a little while. Tell him I love him. I wish I could be with you guys at this time.
Things here in Goiana are still going well. This week I enjoyed our Sacrament meeting, the talks were about how the Church is perfect but the members aren’t, and it was kind of cool because we have been trying to teach this to some less-actives. We brought them the talk by Elder Bednar, "And Nothing Shall Offend Them," where he says it is really impossible to be offended, you have to allow someone to do it. He says a great portion of our spiritual maturity is measured in how we react to these offenses that happen. He said it is usually the reason people go in-active, and it is true.
Also, some of our investigators are having trouble integrating for this same reason. So, I have learned quite a bit about it now, which is a great blessing to me, because this topic has great importance. I have pondered about why the Lord doesn’t establish the Sunday school classes with professional teachers, or have professional and trained clergy...maybe there would be fewer mistakes. But I know that the Lord is perfect, and does everything with perfect order, and I realize that we learn in the Church, not just knowledge from the scriptures, but how to be Christ-like.
So, in Sunday school, when the teacher hasn’t prepared well, or teaches wrong, or makes mistakes, we learn how to love, and to have patience and be supportive, even when it seems like the last thing we should do. We learn how to deal with the offenses that happen verbally or in our own minds. Without these opportunities, we would learn nothing. How can you learn how to forgive if no one ever offended you, or to be patient if you never had the chance? So, this is how to really learn how to become Christ-like, to apply what we learn and learn by experience. It’s good that the members of the Church aren’t perfect, otherwise it would be too easy.
This is what I have had the chance to ponder this week. I also like the scripture that says Jesus will be rejected and spit upon, and He will suffer it. I think too many times we overlook this example of His perfect charity, or when he forgave on the cross and said, “they know not what they do.” That wasn’t a shallow statement...He meant it. When He was spit upon, he wasn’t boiling inside to fight back. He really forgave.
So the little offenses we experience, the Lord can help us to forgive and to humble ourselves. He is the only one who knows how. I know that Jesus Christ is perfect and the Church He organized was organized this way for a reason. I know our Prophets and the Twelve Apostles and all the brethren down to the bishops and ward auxiliary leaders are called by Heavenly Father, not only for their own progression, but the progression of the kingdom of God. I love you guys. Hope you are doing well. Have a great week!