It leads me to ponder: Have I changed? How have I changed? Have I changed enough?
I suppose time will tell the answers to those questions.
Elder Milne has been keeping remarkedly good focus as the end of his mission looms near, I've been very impressed that he has continued to function in full measure as a missionary ought to, many missionaries do not do nearly so well.
I heard a metaphor earlier this week that disturbed me. It was a very accurate metaphorical representation of an ideology that I have seen quite frequently on my mission, and to me it illustrated how strange the idea is to me.
A woman on the street told us that she didn't like any church that taught there was only one true church. To illustrate her thinking she said, "When I want to buy groceries I go to safeway, if they don't have what I want I go to Giant, or Shopper, or Aldi's, or Albertsons. Sometimes I get some things from one, and some things from another depending on the sales. That's like churches, everyone finds the one that works best for them."
I know that not everyone that reads these e-mails are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I do not in any way mean to offend anyone. But to lower the sacred bread of life, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ; to debase the Living Water which is his teachings to the level of common groceries offends me.
Any Christian, Jew, or anyone who respects the Bible could realize the absurdity if, when Moses came off the mount with the 10 commandments, the people told him they didn't like the commandments he had brought, and wanted him to make up some different ones, or they were going to go find another prophet to listen to.
Any Christian would realize how foolish it would've been for the Galatians or Ephesians to, having receieved the epistles written to them in the New Testament, turn around and say "We don't like you're teachings, we're going to go find somet other apostles who teach the way we like"
Then I ask anyone to explain to me, or to themselves, or to God what has changed. Why would it be acceptable for people today to shop around and find a preacher that teaches the way they like. Why today would MEN choose those who should preach the gospel, when throughout the entire history of this earth that choice has been made by God alone?
It is my testimony that today God is still God, and he is still choosing his servants to send to his people, and that in the year 1820 a young boy by the name of Joseph Smith was chosen by the God of Israel, The God of Jacob, Issac, and Abraham, to be raised up as an authorized prophet to the nations of this earth, through whom the priesthood authority of Jesus Christ was restored, the only authority by which any church may be governed and lead in righteousness.
Again, it is not my desire to offend in the least. But because I love you, I would ask you to humble yourselves before the Lord and start asking God these questions in prayer, and be open to the answers.
Salvation is too precious a gift to be casually slid in to. We must take these things seriously, or the consequences will be serious.
I appologize for no funny stories this week. My mind is deep in thought, and my heart is troubled.
Again, I love you all. If there is anything I can do for you, explain for you, or pray for you about please let me know.
Your friend and servant,
Elder Ted E. Bear