I am worried that this awesome post will be lost when the church higher-ups learn of it, and I want it kept for posterity. I had an argument with a TBM some time ago where I made the assertion that many of the "values" taught in the church condone, or promote violent behavior. The response was "That's not true, that is not taught in the church." Yet it seems that it is always learned...
Anyway, here is the entire unaltered text from the Slitting Throat blog post, the original post(as of this writing) can be found here: http://servingincincinnati.blogspot.com/2013/10/am-i-slitting-throat-or-cutting-off-head.html
Am I Slitting the Throat, or Cutting Off the Head
This week was AWESOME. It was the first week Sister Fletcher and I have been together the ENTIRE week with no exchanges. We taught a ton of people and we had at least eight people from our ward come out with us to the lessons. It is really important for us to have people from our ward come out with us because statistics show that when there is a member present during a missionary discussion, the investigator is more likely to stay in the church if they get baptized. Fellowshipping is extremely important. I had no idea how important my role was as a member of the church to invite and befriend people; in fact, I would daresay it is THE most important role we have as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are so many people who stop attending church because they don't feel loved or welcome, and it is our job to make sure they DO feel loved and welcome because that's what Jesus wants and would do Himself if He were here.
Another reason this week was awesome is because on Sunday Sister Fletcher and I got to go to Hebron, Kentucky for the African Meeting! Every third Sunday they meet to discuss the gospel in their native language, which is Twi, and they eat food and socialize! We had shish kabobs and when I mentioned that I loved shish kabobs, they all started laughing at me! Apparently, in Ghana they are called "ching chingas." Either way, they were really good! We had lots of rice and noodles and salad and bread. It was a good meal, and then we talked about how we can better help those who were not in attendance get to future meetings. Fellowshipping; I'm telling you, it's important! Our (mine and Sister Fletcher's) purpose in attending these African meetings is to better understand the African culture and how we can better teach, because there are a lot of Ghanaians in our area. Our mission president wants to get it to the point where we can open up an African branch here!
On Friday we got to do some service for our bishop, Bishop Striebeck. He is remodeling his house right now and so the elders (Elder Whitmer and Elder Tavake) and Sister Fletcher and I went over on Friday morning, had breakfast, and then did some yard work which included digging out "dirt" (it was more like clay) so that they can put a retaining wall around their yard.
Also, we are teaching some very interesting people right now. Jayden is 18, and is a senior in high school right now. Earlier this week we were asking him when we could set another appointment to teach him and guess what he said? 8:00 on Saturday morning! What 18-year-old boy wants to get up and meet with missionaries at 8:00 on a Saturday morning? And the other amazing thing is that we were able to get two 17-year-old boys from our ward to come out and teach the lesson with us! Jayden is cool, but we have to work slowly with him because he doesn't really care to come to church, and he doesn't think he needs to follow Jesus. He thinks that trying to follow Jesus is impossible because Jesus was perfect and we can never be perfect. We are trying to help him understand that God doesn't expect us to be perfect, but He wants us to be trying our best to become more like Jesus in our lives because it will make us happy!
Probably my most favorite way to teach our investigators is when we read the scriptures with them. This week we got to read 1 Nephi Chapter 4 with Kami and it was a lot of fun! She is 13 and has some great questions! 1 Nephi Chapter 4 is about Nephi going back to Jerusalem to obtain the plates of brass. He is commanded by God to kill Laban because that is the only way he will be able to get the plates. He struggles with that idea (as would anyone!) because he doesn't want to kill him. I love his thought process during this time, because it shows how it was hard, even for Nephi, to follow what the Lord was commanding him to do.
10 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.
11 And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property.
12 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands;
13 Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.
15 Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.
16 And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.
17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause—that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.
18 Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.
After slaying Laban, Nephi puts on Laban's garments and convinces one of the servants that he is Laban. The servant takes Nephi to get the plates of brass.
Kami asked a question, and it amazed me because I had just learned this lesson myself a couple of weeks ago. She said, "Why did Nephi have to cut off Laban's head? Why didn't he just slit his throat or something?"
I then answered her by explaining that God asks us to follow His commandments wholeheartedly, not only "just kind of." When we are asked to keep the Sabbath day holy, for example, does that mean that as long as we go to church, we are excused to do anything else that we want to do? No! We should be devoting the entire day to the Lord and spending our time doing those things that are right in His sight; i.e. spending more time with our families, doing service for those in need, resting and studying the scriptures, etc. I asked her what might have happened if Nephi had just slit Laban's throat? She said, "Well, he might not have died!"
"Exactly!" I said, "And that is why he cut off his head. Nephi knew that if he was going to follow a commandment of God, he wasn't going to give himself a way back, he was going to follow completely through with it. Cutting off Laban's head would ensure his death. And keeping the Sabbath day holy is going to bless our lives, but not if we treat it like any other day of the week. We must follow all of God's commandments with our whole heart."
Now, Sister Fletcher and I have a saying when we are trying to do the things the Lord asks us to do: "Am I slitting the throat, or cutting off the head?"
I know that as we strive to keep God's commandments to the fullest, we are going to be greatly blessed. I have seen that as I have practiced strict obedience out here on my mission.
"Obedience is the Price. Faith is the Power. Love is the Motive. The Spirit is the Key. Christ is the Reason. Joy is the Reward."
I hope all of you have an amazing week, and I invite those of you who are members of the church to go out with the missionaries at least once this month and experience the blessings it will bring into your life.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2013 03:10PM by gentleben.