Today is Monday, January 23, 2012. It's 11:00, sunny and 74 degrees
here in beautiful Miami, Florida. Last week I learned a ton. You
know when you think you know a lot about the gospel and someone points
something out to you, some simple phrase, and it makes you realize
that you've been approaching it the wrong way for 21 years? Yeah, it
was kind of like that. Brother Tracy Watson, former mission president
of the Mesa, Arizona mission and director of proselyting over the
entire world, and Brother Donaldson, former mission president over San
Diego, California while they were filming the Preach My Gospel
training dvds, from the missionary department came here on Friday and
held a leadership training. I talked to brother watson afterwards and
he told me that former President Evans of the Mountain View stake was
a new mission president.
"really," I said "where?"
"oh that's right he hasn't been announced yet...oops...well keep your
eye on the church news, Elder."
We learned a lot of amazing things, many of which I will be writing
down in "The Book of Brandon" It's a six page book of personal
scripture found in between Revelation and First Nephi in my
scriptures. One of the most significant truths that was taught was
this simple statement by Elder Bednar.
"Those outside the church cannot access the atonement."
But wait! There are plenty of good people outside the church who have
faith and go through changes and feel forgiven. Are you telling me
they can't access the atonement?
Yes. And this is why...In order to access the atonement and be
cleansed from and purified of your sins, you must make a covenant
through an ordinance by the priesthood. Before that, you may feel the
influence of the atonement, you may feel the holy ghost, but you may
never have full access to those powers, and you will not be able to be
completely forgiven of any sin.
The way I see it, to receive forgiveness for a sin you must repent of
it. Complete forgiveness requires complete repentance. Without an
ordinance one may feel sorrow, confess, and even forsake a sin. But
he cannot even attempt to make restitution to God, and that is where
Baptism and Confirmation come in, to sanctify the person and fit them
for the Celestial Kingdom.
The point is, if missionaries understand this, they'll be able to
place the proper importance and motivation for baptism. Rather than
membership in a club, it becomes the gate to God's kingdom. And they
are baptized for the remission of sins.
Well, that's all I have time for. There's a lot of mitt romney fans
here and they often let us in just because they want to know what mitt
romney believes. It's kind of fun.