Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April 4, 2016

Hey all! 
Gotta write super duper fast! We are in Guayaquil for a conference tomorrow so it did not leave us with much time with the travel and what not!
WOW. Conference was LEGENDARY! Loved it so much. I hope everyone can keep the spirit...and if you did not have the chance to partake of the spirit...GET TO A COMPUTER! 
So...working with your best friend is the greatest thing ever. The unity is so unreal. The spirit is so strong. The visits are so personal. There is no doubt that a friendship centered around the gospel is a friendship that lasts, matters, and edifies. We went to town this week! Service projects (the rat did give us quite fear but we lived), had some amazing spiritual experiences, and were able to come to know a God a bit more. Sorry that is so brief...I will give some details next week!! ;) I really want to share a spiritual message...I have a lot of ideas on my mind that are really hitting hard so I am going to let the spirit write!

I LOVE THE BEACH. But when the day comes to an end there is something I cannot bare...
Sand on the bottom of my feet.
It can be on my hands, legs, in my hair, or ANYWHERE! But the sand in between my feet and toes rubbing against my sandals or the pavement makes me cringe. How many of us have things about us that make us cringe? How many of us have defects or faults that we cannot bare? How would it be if if I tried to take grain by grain off of the bottom of my feet after a long day at the beach with tweezers? How many of us nit pick every single fault we have with tweezers? How many of us find every single fault, error, or annoyance on the bottom of our feet and attempt to take them off one by one with tweezers? The Lord does not intend of us to look for and find all of our errors, imperfections, and faults...there are far to many, just as there are far too many grains of sand on the bottom of our feet. But how can we take away the unbearable annoyance of sandy feet, imperfect bodies, debilitated minds, or insecure hearts? Luckily, there exists a way.
As soon as you make it off of the sand at the beach there is always a fountain. This fountain washes all the sand off of your feet quickly and efficiently. What could this fountain be that could possibly wash away all of our insecurities, faults, and doubts? Where can we find water to take away the sand?
 "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Revelation 7:17) I testify that the lamb of God, Jesus Christ, shall lead us to His everlasting, cleansing, purifying, and perfecting fountain of living water. His fountain is His everlasting Atonement. His water is what cleans our feet. 
How can we permit His water and atonement to clean our sandy feet?
In John 13 the Savior washes the feet of His Disciples. But when He gets to Peter, Peter says; "...doth thou wash my feet?" I would imagine that Peter, being human, had some pretty sandy feet just as all of us do. And instead of accepting the Lord's cleaning fountain of pure water he asks the Lord if it is really Him that washes his feet. I thought very deeply about this question and I came to understand that so many of us make the same question every day but in modern day language. 
Is it you Lord that can take away my grief?
Are you sure that the gospel of Jesus Christ is what cleanses us?
Is it not the world that cleanses us and tells us if we are or are not good enough?
Why didn't Heavenly Father just make me perfect? Why didn't He make me smarter? More patient? Funnier? How come I am not the best on the team? Why did Heavenly Father not make a more beautiful me?
The Savior's response to these questions will ALWAYS be the same response that He gave to Peter. "What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter."
How many of us have heard that before? I know I have.
"Don't you worry! You just gotta hang in there!", "It is for your good", or "Have faith! It will all work out. God has not forgotten you." I think Peter, like me and so many others, gets a bit irritated with that response. He says, "Thou shalt never wash my feet".
(In today's terms) :
You can't help me Lord.
My parents don't understand.
My Bishop has no clue.
Christ's so called "atonement" shall never wash my sandy feet.
The Lord then gives us a brief, simple, beautiful, and perfect answer that is hard to understand but easy to rely on. An answer that gives us faith and hope.
(Non scriptural) You know what Peter (Elder Noll, so and so, and every other brother and/or sister of mine), you ask why you are not perfect? Why you have faults? Why is it me and the atonement that was brought to pass through me that has to wash you? I will tell you why...(Scriptural) Because "IF I WASH THEE NOT, THOU HAS NO PART WITH ME". 
We must drop the idea that there are so many imperfections on the bottom of our feet and accept the fact that the Lord needs something to wash in order to give us "part with Him". If we were perfect the Lord would have nothing to wash, no hearts to mend, no spirits to put at peace, no souls to save, no way to show love, and no feet to clean...therefore inhibiting us to live with Him and our Heavenly Father again. Only the Lord's atonement can take away sandy feet. Only it can take away errors, doubts, and afflictions. Do we have more than just sand on the bottom of our feet? OF COURSE! YOU ARE NOT GOD YET!
Let us use the water of the atonement for now to rid the imperfections that we have until we reach what I always did after the fountain at the beach. After the beach always came a shower. This shower will swallow up all sand and imperfection that has ever been known. This shower will make us perfect. This shower is the resurrection that awaits us all.
I have felt His washing in my life and testify that His fountain of living water is real and it is 100% dependent always. This fountain will wash our sandy feet and ready us for the shower of the resurrection to allow us to arise in perfection just as He did the third day. This I know.
In the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder Noll

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