Friday, January 9, 2015

January 5, 2015

As Sister Francis and I were walking down the street the other day, we heard someone call out to us.  We walked over to the man who excitedly told us that he was a member of the Church.  He told us that he had once been a Ward Mission Leader and had baptized many people with the Elders in Mossoró but that he was now less active.  When we asked him why, he told us that he had given in to his carnal desires. 
We asked him if he still knew the Church was true, and he answered in the affirmative.  We then asked him if he knew that what he was doing was wrong.  He told us that he knew that he was living in sin, but that he was a good person and felt that the Lord would have mercy on him and that he would wait until after death to repent and see what would happen. can't exactly do that (Alma 34:32-34)  He told us that he had seen members of the Church with similar trials attempt to change to keep the commandments and that he felt that he was happier than them right now.  We asked him if he felt his happiness would last for eternity, and he responded by saying that he didn't know and would just wait to find out.  He told us that everyone knew him as a "sinner" and that if he attempted to change, he would be a hypocrite. 
What he didn't realize is that he is already a hypocrite.  He knows the Church is true and that he is not keeping the commandments yet continues on in his sin.  We finally invited him to start reading The Book of Mormon daily again, something he had not been doing for a long time, and he said he would. 
It is so sad to find people like this man who believe that God's mercy will justify sin, who procrastinate the day of their repentance with hope that they will be found innocent in the eyes of the Lord, who feel that they can pick and choose the commandments they want to keep and that, because they keep one, they don't have to keep another (2 Nephi 28). 
Because of the Fall of Adam, we are all clearly sinners, but the Lord is perfectly just and perfectly merciful.  This does not mean that the Lord's mercy will save us in our sins, but instead means that all those who diligently work to follow the example of our Savior and keep His commandments and always quickly repent when they sin, and work to never commit this sin again will be saved FROM their sins and be found spotless before God at the last day (2 Nephi 28:32). 
These are the people who will gain the privilege of living with our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ in the glory of the Celestial Kingdom.  Whereas those who blind themselves with the justification of sin will find themselves with only Terrestial glory living for eternity without the presence of our Father and Savior in a place where families are not forever with the knowledge that they were so close to the Celestial yet chose to ignore what they knew to be true with the unrealistic hope cultivated by the Adversary that miraculously, it would all work out in the end (1 Corinthians 16:40-41). 
I feel for these people but generally there is not much I can do for them but pray that someday soon, they will recognize the error of their thinking and find the strength and courage to repent and change before it is too late.
It's been a while since I've written any poetry and I was in the mood.  Just to clarify, I don't mean to say by this poem that I am better than anyone else.  Cleary, I'm a sinner too, but this is a pretty good way to express my life right now and how I feel on a monthly, weekly, daily basis.
I Saw A Man Sinning
I saw a man sinning on the road today
He called out to me with a smile
He told me he knew he was living in sin
But would continue on for the while

Confused, I asked "Why?" He responded this way,
"For I am happy where I am, you see."
With a grimace I asked, "Do you think you will be
"Happy for all eternity?"

"I don't know," he said, "but I'm a good man
"I think I'll find grace in God's eyes."
"I cannot see how," I said with a frown,
"For you are living a life of lies."

"Our Father in Heaven will not justify sin
"Yet He loves you with an infinite love.
"He sent His Son to die for you
"So that you can return up above.

"Your life is a gift that you must treat with care.
"You must hurry, for it comes to an end.
"Have faith in our Lord; repent of your sins
"And you will find grace my friend.

"Be baptized by one who holds Priesthood power;
"Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost;
"Then endure to the end and you will find mercy
"in the eyes of Him who loves you most;"

The man then sighed and said, "No.  It's too hard.
"I'm good where I am right now."
A tear fell from my eye as I thought to myself,
"How can I help this man.  How?"

Then with a prayer in my heart, I continued on
That dusty road so long.
And I saw a man sinning on the road up ahead and muttered,
"I hope this one will catch on."

T. (our new member) has now become a Book of Mormon pro.  During Family Home Evening on Monday, Sister Marcelino and Sister M. Baker told us that he was making a bunch of comments and citing scriptures and stories from The Book of Mormon the entire time.  He and M. have become best friends and have been going to visit recent converts, less actives, and investigators together.  
On Thursday, Sister Francis and I found a note outside the gate of our house along with a bag of mangos (M. knows that I love eating mangos with farinha).  The note reads, "Sister Dyer e Francis.  Algumas Mangas para vocês. De T. e M. - Futuros Missionários.  Com Amor, T. e M." ("Sister Dyer and Francis.  Some mangos for you.  From T. and M. - future missionaries.  With Love,  T. and M.")
Sister Young and Sister Dyer - (MTC companions now both in Brazil)

Sister Soares, Sister Dyer, and President Soares (mission president)

A happy baptism day

Ready for baptism!

MTC district 69E - now all in Brazil

Sister Dyer with missionary colleagues at Christmas conference

Another happy baptism day

A young man is baptized

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