Monday, October 6, 2014

September 30, 2014 Blue Springs, Missouri

Fear not Family, I am Alive! 
So, you were probably expecting my email yesterday, but Sister Kang and I switched our P-day so that we could go to the temple today. It was definitely needed since neither one of us had gone to the temple since May, CRAZY!! It was great to be able to feel the peace and serene surroundings of the temple, and to be reminded of the promises and blessings of our covenants. 
This last week was wonderful. K was baptized on friday and confirmed on sunday. She was so happy and her family was there to support her. I really hope they felt of the very special spirit that was in our dedicated church building. Today at the temple I ran into my old ward mission leader from Kearney. He said that they have about 13 scheduled baptisms for the month of October and guess who they are. J, S and G are supposed to be getting baptized on October 25th at 6pm!! I am so excited!! Also, the T family are going to be getting baptized on that date as well. It is so exciting to see how 7 months ago these individuals were in the beginning steps and now they have deep testimonies and are excited to take the sacred steps of baptism. YAY!! I was so excited!! 
Saturday was great with the Women's General Broadcast. I loved how everything pointed back to the temple and being prepared to go to the temple. I think when people hear "prepare to go to the temple", we automatically associate it with going to the temple for the first time. But we should be preparing to go to the temple every time we go to the temple.I was reminded about how preparation precedes power. Power that comes through revelation and inspiration from the Holy Ghost. I loved being reminded about the wonderful blessings of the temple. It truly is a sacred place where we go to more fully understand our Father in Heaven and His plan for us. The more we understand God, the more we will understand ourselves and our eternal path. I am so excited for General Conference. I can't wait to hear from our living prophet and apostles. How blessed are we to be living in the latter-day restoration in which we truly receive modern day revelation. It is incredible! 
The other day we were talking with one of our investigators named D, and he told us that he was stuck on something. He said, he just can't wrap his head around the fact that both God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. He said if it had only been Jesus Christ, he could believe it, but God too. He talked about how looking in the bible there was only one case in which God, Himself, actually showed Himself to man, he was referring to Moses. He expressed that it would have had to have been pretty important for Jesus Christ and God to show themselves to a 14 year old boy.  As I served at the Liberty Jail and took a phone call a man had this same concern. I just wish I could say in a way that they would understand and penetrate to their hearts that you know what, you're right! It would have had to have been pretty important. And it was! The Restoration of the Fullness of the Gospel in this last dispensation was the most important thing that would happen to mankind here on the earth. This is the last dispensation of the fullness of times. This time period is ultimately for the world to prepare for the second coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.....I would have to say that is pretty important, yes, even so vitally important that even God Himself with His Son would appear to a 14 year old boy who would later become His chosen prophet on the earth; A prophet to restore back to order all saving ordinances that would allow ALL mankind past, present and future to have the opportunity to accept or reject the gospel, ultimately bringing to pass God's eternal purposes for His children to be able to "receive immortality and eternal life" (Moses 1:39).  I'd say since everything past present and future hung on the balance of the need for a restoration that yes, even God himself would appear to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times here upon the earth. The restoration was necessary for God's children to be able to fully access the power of the atonement in their lives because it is through sacred covenants to our Heavenly Father and the power of the atonement combined that we are able to overcome the effects of "The Fall" and be brought back into our Father's presence. We cannot have the one without the other. So, yes indeed, I think if the most significant point in history was hanging in the balance, God really would have made an appearance to signify to everyone the importance of the events to follow: The restoration of all things in this last dispensation.
I just want to add my witness that I know that these things are true. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's Kingdom established on the earth in preparation to our Savior's Second Coming. I know that God and Jesus Christ did appear to Joseph Smith, and that he was called as a prophet of God. I know that through Joseph Smith the Priesthood Authority was restored back to the earth making it possible for saving ordinances to be received by the living and the dead. I am grateful for temples and for the sacred places that they are. They truly are a refuge from the world and a place to receive instruction and a renewed commitment to return to our Father in Heaven. I am grateful for the sealing power that binds families together eternally. That ultimately our greatest happiness can come through our families as we individually and collectively strive to make and keep sacred covenants with our Father in Heaven. I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done for me. That through Him I can become perfect, "even as my Father in Heaven is perfect". I love you all, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
Have a great week!
Love, Sister Luening

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