Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nov 14 2011

Hello my favorite people in the whole entire world. Doesn't that make
you feel special??!!! I hope it does ;)

Greetings from the ever hot, every humid land of Uganda. Even here in
November when nature should be shutting down and turning everything
into an ice box people are sweating like pigs (pardon the expletive).
Yesterday I understand it was like 20 degrees for a low in my home
land of Utah. Here in Uganda it was about 65 overnight. My body is
sort of going through season withdrawals. My mind knows it is
November, but my body is not feeling the effects it should be. While
people in America (minus a few places) are slipping and sliding on the
ice and snow, I am here slipping and sliding on mud.

Well, enough about the unchanging climate here. Let's discuss some of
the things which have been on my mind lately. The past few weeks have
been very good for me. Not a lot of success getting people to come to
church and keep commitments but very spiritual in nature. I have been
studying two things in particular with the desire to understand them
more fully. The first of those things is the need for baptism BY the
proper priesthood authority. I won't discuss that one today, maybe
next week. The topic which I would like to address is the topic of the
Book of Mormon. I have been studying for some time now, trying to
understand how to address certain concerns when it comes to the Book
of Mormon. People ask questions such as: "Why do we need the Book of
Mormon when we already have the Bible?" or "Why can I not find Nephi,
Alma or King Benjamin in the Bible?" or my personal favorite "God will
give me the truth, I'm not going to read the book." These concerns
have been the cause of many people's failure to be converted to the
true gospel of Jesus Christ. The answers to their questions and
concerns can all be answered in one place, a certain chapter in the
Book of Mormon.

Many of us are familiar with the scripture "A Bible, a Bible, we
already have a Bible and need no more Bible" but none of us take the
time to study further what Nephi has to say to those individuals. 2
Nephi Chapter 29 gives us a very in depth discussion on the Book of
Mormon and its value in our lives. First off, Nephi quotes the Lord by
saying: "Know ye not that I the Lord your God, have created all men,
and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea..." (vs.
7) What people need to understand is that the Jewish nations who had
the prophets with them in the years before Christ and even many years
after Christ WERE NOT the only ones God spoke to. After Lehi took his
family away from Jerusalem and sailed to the Ancient Americas God
continued to speak to him and bless his family. The
priesthood/revelatory authority was passed down from generation to
generation and the words of God as spoken by his servants the prophets
were written down and recorded for the benefit of the Gentile nations
in God's due time. Nephi went on to say that: "...the testimony of two
nations is a witness unto you that I am God..." (vs. 8) We could
continue for ages and ages talking about how God remembers all his
children, but it would be pointless, the fact is given and needs no
more evidence.

In answer to the question, "Why do I need the Book of Mormon because I
already have the Bible...?" we can turn to verse 11. "...For out of
the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man
according to their works, according to that which is written." (2N
29:11) We are going to be judged out of every book which is written by
the prophets of God. We cannot afford to go into the great and last
judgement unprepared. We will be judged out of the Bible that is true,
but we will also be judged out of the Book of Mormon. The spirit gave
me a wonderful parable to illustrate this point which I would like to
share with you now.

Let us imagine we are taking a science class at university. If we pass
this class we will have enough credits to graduate, if we fail, we
must wait another semester and who knows what that will bring. At the
beginning of the semester the professor gives us a textbook and tells
us to study it carefully. The final exam will be given out of that
book, and if we fail the final exam we will fail the class. He
promises you that if you will study the textbook and come to class you
will pass the class. Elated that you are in the final class of your
college degree you run home and begin to study the textbook. You are
amazed at all the wonderful things it contains, the ideas, principles,
and formulas to success in the class. You are diligent in attending
class every week and the semester progresses rapidly. 3 weeks prior to
the final exam however you come down with the flu and miss one class.
You are fairly confident that this will not affect your final grade
because you have attended every other class up to this point, and
besides, you have the textbook which the final exam will be taken
from. What could go wrong.
What you don't know is that at the one class you missed, the professor
introduced a new textbook. Thankfully one of your very good friends
who cares about your welfare and wants you to pass the class so that
you can move on to graduation calls you up and informs you of the new
textbook. You are very confused, the professor gave you the original
textbook and told you that the final exam would be taken from THAT
book. Why in the world would he add another book with new material so
close to the end of the class. Your friend kindly explains that the
new textbook doesn't have new material, rather it adds to and
complements the original textbook making clear some of the ideas and
formulas which were somewhat vague. Your friend reminds you that
whether you like it or not, whether you think it is fair or not, the
final exam will be given from this new textbook and the original

The Bible is our original textbook Heavenly Father has given us. All
of Christianity has the Bible and faithfully study the doctrines and
principles contained therin. But what most people do not know is that
God has another textbook The Book of Mormon which he has introduced to
the world in the "last few weeks" of the class. This book, while new
and strange with unfamiliar prophets and words is still the most
valuable book for us to study at this time. We have all been studying
the Bible for the majority of our lives, we know it from front to
back, we can recite a passage for any question or comment someone may
pose. This is good. No. This is WONDERFUL!!!! We as Christianity have
been prepared for the first 50% of the final test at judgment day.
However, 50% is not a passing grade. We must study the new textbook as
well, for we will be judged "out of the books which shall be written"
(2N 29:11)

My hope and prayer is that each and every one of you will come to a
greater determination to study the Book of Mormon. If you have never
heard of this book, or don't think it is necessary to your salvation,
THINK AGAIN!!! I along with every prophet that has walked the earth
want ALL of us to stand at the judgement bar of God prepared with the
information contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. There is no
other way we can be saved in the Kingdom of God. We MUST study the
Bible, we MUST study the Book of Mormon. I have a firm testimony of
this principle, and of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. Please,
don't live your life only studying half the material. You will only
bring upon yourself misery when you come to the gates of heaven and
Jesus says "I do not know you."

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's
true and living church upon the earth today. As we follow the example
of Jesus Christ by entering the waters of baptism by proper authority
we enter the straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life with
God. Baptism is not the end, we are not saved by a single action. The
time we will be saved is when we are standing with our Savior and he
is showing us around the kingdom of God.

I love all of you. 6 months has gone by very fast, and the next 18
will as well. Please stay strong, I don't want to come home and have
to listen to my parents tell me of the friends and family members who
have fallen away. Keep the commandments, in this there is safety and
there is peace.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Elder Winters

.....here is a small excerpt from Mom's letter to help answer the "burning" question we all had after seeing last week's pictures.

"I guess the answer to the big question of the week is YES, I did like the grasshoppers. They are a little strange, I like the heads but the body section is kind of chewy. I wouldn't buy them but if someone offers them to me I wouldn't turn them down."

Beans and Rice I make about 3-4 times a week

Investigator Family

Cockroach I found in my scripture case one morning

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