We had interviews this week, which I thoroughly enjoy. Carved pumpkins, did service, visited and called a bunch of less-actives, taught investigators--the usual. (: We did start something new though! We got permission from California State University Northridge and Pierce College to do a booth on each of their campuses weekly! That's been suuuuper prime. There are just flocks of YSA people and we get to talk with a bunch of people and share the gospel nonstop! We're really excited about it. Sister Goettsche and Sister Flake are also doing it with us--they're the ASL sisters, and are offering free ASL classes. So that's pretty much the 'news' for the week. We've been consistently working to try new ideas and make things more and more organized and effective. We've seen amazing results as we continue to turn to God and ask how to refine our efforts.
I had a huge learning experience this week. While praying for some investigators and their concerns, I had an 'ah-hah' moment that I needed to study justice & mercy. I turned to Elder Christofferson's recent conference address, "Free Forever, to Act for Themselves," along with lots of scriptures. Over the course of the week, I have come to understand the role of justice and mercy more than I ever have! It's blowing me away how important it is, how frequently it presents itself throughout PMG and the scriptures, how little I understood about it, and how it so clearly addresses concerns that my investigators have and questions I've had myself. I'll try to summarize some of my learnings!
· Fixed, eternal, immutable truths
· Consequences for actions
· "Pay the price" mentality
We can have faith in God because He is just. We rely on this divine quality of justice for faith, confidence, and hope. Because God is just, there are some things He cannot do! He cannot allow sin, save some people and not others, or allow mercy to rob justice. Because God is just, He devised a means for mercy.
MERCY (Jesus Christ)
· Forgiveness, grace
· Sins wiped away, cleansed
· Gospel of Jesus Christ
· "Price is paid" mentality
We know that it is "the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom [the Father] wast well pleased;...the blood of [His] Son which washed" that satisfies the demands of justice, extends mercy, and redeems us. It is ONLY through Christ that we can be saved, and we do not need to achieve some minimum level of capacity or goodness before God will help us.
Christ died not to save indiscriminately, but to offer repentance.
· We choose to access mercy by acting
· All about our agency!
By making repentance a condition for receiving the gift of grace, God enables us to retain responsibility for ourselves. Repentance respects and sustains our moral agency. God will not act to make us something we do not choose by our actions to become.
...hopefully that made sense. Some of that was quoted from Elder Christofferson, more or less.
Something I have seen is that many, many religions out here have the 'scale' tipped. They either lean too heavily on the mercy side of the spectrum, or on the justice side. What I love about the Book of Mormon is I think it teaches us so beautifully and simply the balance between these and how critical repentance is!
Alma 42:24 "For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent (repentant) are saved."
If you read all of that, kudos to you haha I'm impressed (: I hope it was of benefit to someone at least a fraction of how much it benefited me!
Thank you for your love and prayers!
<3 Sister Bishop
Our booth at CSUN (: Working to get better posters and stuff this week!
We did a huge community service project putting together care packages for our troops. So great!