Masontown Ward's St. Patrick's Day party
Bag of goodies courtesy of Elder Gee's parents. (Elder Gee is serving in
Las Vegas with Max and his family lives in my stake!)
Easter egg mom mailed me :)
March 21, 2016
Dear Alley crew & Friends,
How's it going y'all? Man, my cousin Sam got dropped off at the MTC, my cousin Austin turned 4 and had an awesome Spiderman/Chuck-E-Cheese/dinosaur-blasting birthday party, Aubrey is getting closer to her dance tryouts, and Ashley got an awesome job in Provo! Man, oh man! So many things are happening back home that it's insane! I'm glad everyone had a blast this week. Keep up the fun times everyone. When I get back, we are definitely going to party big time! Not sure how, but it's something to look forward, right? Ha ha. Still, I'm glad everyone had fun.
Now, you're probably wondering about my reason for putting up this title. Well, it's because there's something that I want to make clear, if I haven't done it yet. I want everyone to know that I know that the Book of Mormon is true, that it is the word of God. Because I know this to be true, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, chosen to help restore the fulness of the gospel to the earth and translate the Book of Mormon with the gift and power of God. I also know that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in that grove of trees in Palmyra, New York many years ago. How do I know this? Because the Holy Ghost testified it to me through feelings of peace and enlightenment to my heart and mind. I don't need physical evidence to prove all this to me. I received a divine witness from the Spirit of the Lord. What more could I ask for?
The reason that I want to reaffirm my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to everyone is because I had a recent experience that proved to me that there are those who will try to attack our faith in Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. On Friday afternoon, Elder Bosen and I went to our appointment with one of our investigators named C. C has met with missionaries for a while and has asked us questions about our beliefs because of her research on anti-mormon materials. We have answered her questions to the best of our ability while pleading with her to look at lds.org, mormon.org and read the Book of Mormon and pray to Heavenly Father to know for herself that this is true. Well, we met with her at the appointed time and as soon as she invited us in, I could tell that something was wrong because of the sound in her voice and that the spirit in her house was not pleasant.
She quickly had us sit down, pulled out her computer and asked us if we believe that God or the spirit of God can speak to us from a video. We told her yes and she immediately made us watch 30 minutes of a video called "The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon", an anti-Mormon video that was made to convince people that the Book of Mormon is false because there is no physical, archeological evidence to prove it. After watching it, she told us that the Book of Mormon is false, that we have been deceived, that there was nothing we can do to convince her otherwise and that we are to never come back.
Elder Bosen and I tried to persuade her to give the resources we gave her, especially the Book of Mormon a chance but all she did was just laugh and blow cigarette smoke at us. In the end, all I could do was just tell her, "I know the Book of Mormon is true because the Holy Ghost testified it to me." We left her house and I had to sit in the car in the parking lot at the library for a moment because I was so angry with C for looking up all this anti stuff without giving the church websites and the Book of Mormon a chance.
However, I am proud to say that my faith and testimony of the Book of Mormon has not been shakened. As I said before, the Holy Ghost has testified of its truthfulness through feelings of peace and enlightenment to my heart. That video was neither peaceful or enlightening. Instead, it caused feelings of anger and doubt which is of the devil. To receive a witness from the Spirit, one needs to pray to Heavenly Father and then pay attention to his/her feelings and thoughts afterwards. Feelings of peace, enlightenment, and that inspire to do good, as described in Galatians 5:22-23 and Moroni 7:12-19, are from God. C obviously did not pray to God to confirm her feelings but instead let negative feelings cloud her judgement.
I will share a few other evidences that prove the Book of Mormon to be true:
1) In Matthew 16:13-17, Jesus Christ asked His disciples who other people thought who He is. But when Jesus Christ asked His disciples who they thought who He was, Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." While other people had different opinions and ideas of who Jesus Christ was, only Peter knew truth of Jesus Christ's identity. Why was Peter the only one who knew the truth? Didn't Jesus Christ perform miracles in front of other people, like raising Lazarus from the dead and casting out evil spirits? The answer lies in Jesus' response when He said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my my Father which is in heaven." This is just one account that proves that even the Savior's miracles were not enough to prove to people that He is the Son of God. If they were and physical evidences was necessary to create faith, then more people would've believed in Jesus Christ, no problem. Instead, only the Holy Ghost was able to prove it.
2) If the Book of Mormon was false, then why did Joseph Smith seal his testimony with his own blood? Think about it, Joseph Smith was arrested, tortured and taken to court many times because of His testimony of the Book of Mormon and seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ. Why didn't he just tell people that he was wrong and that this whole thing was a hoax? He could have saved himself from a lot of pain and sorrow if he just denied the whole story of being a prophet of God. What did he have to gain by risking his life for a lie? The answer is because it wasn't a lie. His testimony was and still is true. He was a prophet of God, he did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and he did translate the Book of Mormon with the gift and power of God. Because the work was true, risking his life was worth it and he will gain eternal life with God because of it.
3) The last evidence is found in the promise made in Moroni 10:3-5. There are plenty evidences out there to prove that the Book of Mormon is true, but this is the most important and convincing evidence there is. I invite everyone to read it.
I apologize for the lengthy letter. I just want to make it absolutely clear that I know that the Book of is true and that there is nothing in this world that will make me think otherwise. I want to leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you all and miss you all. Take care everyone. Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Michael Alley