"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!" ---D&C 128:19

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Big News!

Bro. Turley, the assistant church historian. Bro. Turley is touring the mission with the Egberts and gathering historical information on early converts in each country.

Happy Easter! Hope everyone had a good Easter weekend. That photo scavenger hunt sounds pretty crazy. I feel like that game might have shown a little bit of favor to the girls before it started though. :)
This past week was pretty crazy. I think the meeting with the Church Historian was my favorite part though. His name is Bro. Turley and he gave a pretty good presentation about the Prophet Joseph Smith's story. It was pretty cool because he talked a lot about the personality of Joseph Smith which surprisingly doesn't get brought up too much. There were so many details that it would take forever to write them all. I think the highlight for me though is when we compared and contrasted the Prophet's early journal entries with the Book of Mormon manuscript. Joseph Smith hated writing and a lot of the time he would dictate the things he wanted to be written. It was amazing to see how Joseph Smith's lack of education showed in the things he wrote by his own hand. There were several grammatical errors, a couple of spelling mistakes, and he had crossed out an entire paragraph. At the very end of that journal entry it was clear to see that he had noticed his weakness and wrote a small but simple prayer to the effect of "Oh may God grant the success of his servant in this sacred work." I'm paraphrasing, but it was clear that he had seen the weakness in writing and knew he would need strength. After reading some of the things he taught out of things like Teachings of the Presidents of the Church it is clear that the Lord was able to take him to a lowly status to one where he could give amazing sermons and powerfully worded discourses about the Gospel. But his early journal entries, contrasted with the Book of Mormon manuscript was night and day. The Book of Mormon manuscript just flowed smoothly, no grammar mistakes, nothing crossed out and reworded, just one smooth narrative. It was pretty cool.
All of that definitely helped me to gain an appreciation of just how much the Lord qualifies whom he calls. He took someone like Joseph Smith and through him brought the Restoration of all things and helped Joseph Smith become one of the best teachers of the gospel and one of the most Christ-like individuals. It's clear from that example and then just instances in my life that the Lord will just make things work, despite the fact that we are imperfect.
Not much else happened in the week, we had the flu so we had to stay in on Friday. It was the first day I ever had to stay in because of sickness which meant I couldn't fulfill the dream of being the Cal Ripken Jr. on my mission. But now we are fully recovered.
I'm excited to watch General Conference and to listen to the talks and references to the resurrection of Christ. I'm grateful for the hope that the resurrection gives us. Because of that we do not have to worry or fear if death will last forever. I like the way it is worded in Alma 22:14; "the sting of death is swallowed up in the hopes of glory."
I hope you have a great week!
Elder Cooper
P.S. There is no "big news" as the subject line states. I was going to pull an April Fools joke on you and tell you that I decided to extend my mission. ;)

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