August 31, 2015
Dear Mom, Dad, Aubrey and all my Family & Friends,
What's up y'all? Man, those pictures that Mom sent were awesome! I'm really glad that Aubrey had a fun birthday. I'm also glad that everyone had a fun time in Hawaii. Hawaii really is beautiful. Hopefully, we all get to go again as a full family, meaning that no one is on their missions when it happens ;) Still, I'm glad y'all had fun.
I will admit that the pictures of Shawn & Gus the cats were just way too adorable. Especially the one with Shawn's Puss in Boots look. I also enjoyed the birthday bash involving Leah, Austin and Adam. I can't wait to meet Shawn, Gus and Adam in person. That'll be awesome!
Now, you're all probably wondering about the title. You're probably thinking, "Yes, Captain Obvious. We all know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. What else is new?" Well, even though this week was another slow week for missionary work, my recent studies in the Book of Mormon have really changed the way I now look at the scriptures, whether it's the Book of Mormon, the Holy Bible, or the words from our living prophets and apostles.
Here's what happened: I was one day reading in Mosiah 15 where we read about the prophet Abinadi's testimony of Jesus Christ. In verses 1-5 Abinadi explains how Jesus Christ is both the Father and the Son. Every time I read this, I keep thinking Abinadi is saying that God the Father and God the Son are one person. However, he's really saying that Jesus Christ is the Father in the sense that He was one who created the earth and that He has God's power and authority "because he was conceived by the power of God..". In a Book of Mormon study manual that I've found, it mentions that Jesus Christ is sometimes referred to as the Father because he has the power and authority to represent our Father in Heaven. Heavenly Father put Jesus Christ in charge of this earth. There are also other Book of Mormon verses that talk about members of the church being "the children of Christ" (Mosiah 5:7 is one example). Basically, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but because of the power and authority given to him from our Heavenly Father, he is also a Father to us.
I thought that this was an amazing to look at Jesus Christ. However, the big epiphany came to me one night when I felt a strong prompting from the Holy Ghost to look at Ether 3. This is the chapter where the brother of Jared saw Jesus Christ in his true image for the first time. When I read verses 13-16, it finally hit me that the God who the brother of Jared was talking to, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the one who was called Jehovah in the Old Testament really was and is Jesus Christ! There were other written records, such as "The Living Christ", references in an Old Testament Student Manual, and other references in the scriptures, that support this truth but it just finally dawned on me that Jesus Christ has been a part of our world's history since the beginning! I remember just lying on my bed, looking up at the ceiling because I just had my mind blown. This was a huge faith builder to me because I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is real and that the scriptures do testify of Him.
With this in mind, I want to bear my testimony that Jesus Christ does live. I know that the Book of Mormon and Holy Bible both testify of Him. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are two distinct beings but they are perfectly united in their purpose to bring us back home because they both love us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I firmly believe that when we do see Him when He comes again to earth, we will be like one of His Apostles who, when seeing the resurrected Lord and His pierced hands, said possibly in tears, "My Lord and My God." I say these things in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you all and miss you all. Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Michael Alley