Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 30, 2014

Dear Family,

Thank you all so much for your wonderful emails. Drake just keeps me cracking up! So glad to hear you're all doing so well. I pray that the Spirit will guide me at this time as to what things I'll share with you.

I remember the night when I was 14 years old, and I went into your room (mom&dad) and picked up Grandpa Doane's Book of Mormon, and just opened it up. At this time I had never really been reading, never really knew much about the Gospel, just the basics, and I needed some guidance and direction in my life. As I was lead to Alma 36, I read Alma's account as he spoke to his son about the burden of his many sins which he felt, he described it as being 'racked with torment' for the many sins that harrowed up in his mind. These scriptures touched my heart like nothing I had ever before experienced. As I continued to read, and I reached verses 18-21, and I began to cry, because I really wanted to feel this same way that Alma felt, not remembering any of his sins. That night was the time my life changed, and I committed myself to draw nearer to my Savior Jesus Christ. The road was not easy, and still isn't, but I know that it was God who pricked my heart that night to go into your room and pick up that book.

Why am I sharing this? I know family that the Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is the most powerful tool in conversion. If the Book of Mormon becomes the foundation of our lives, wherein we seek for wisdom, advice, answers, etc., the Savior Jesus Christ literally becomes the foundation of our lives. Joseph Smith said that "a man could get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book", and I testify of that. The Savior tells us in Helaman 5:12 to build upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, so that in the last days we will be able withstand the mighty winds of the adversary. The Book of Mormon is that rock! If we commit ourselves to sacrifice time, to understand and live the principles within that sacred book, we will begin to understand in greater depth the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and through which we will gain a greater desire to obey the commandments of our loving Heavenly Father. I have came in contact with so many less actives who have turned their back on the church, and promise they will never come back. They say, "Elder! I'm not coming back to church! So I don't know why you're even coming back here!" We just tell them, "Brother/Sister, we're not here to get you back to church, we're here to invite you and help you to come unto Christ, so would it be okay if we just read in the Book of Mormon for 5 minutes?" Then as we continue to visit, and leave commitments based on the Book of Mormon, coming back to church is not even a question, but it becomes their desire to come back. 
Elder Doane is known for his cartoon drawings, but in letters he says Elder Perez is an amazing artist (I think this one may be his, or a collaberation)!  Notice Elder Perez and Elder Doane depicted under the N and G in the word "EVENING"!  What a great email and a great drawing!  I'm so thankful for missionairies across the world and what they sacrifice!

Those of us that have a greater understanding of these things are being called by the Lord to 'help' others to have a great experience with feasting upon the words of Christ. We must help them develop a habit, no matter how hard or inconvenient, of studying and applying the principles in the Book of Mormon, so that they too can catch a hold of the iron rod and make it to the tree of life! I know and bare testimony, that the Book of Mormon is true. I know they are the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that if we want to stand a little bit taller, to become a better person, to improve our temporal life, to find solutions to our daily problems, if we want merely anything, it all starts with opening up the Book of Mormon, and listening to the still small voice that will  teach us what we should do. I love you family, and hope and pray we can all develop a romantic relationship with this sacred book.


Elder Doane

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