Monday, April 18, 2016

And it came to pass that Jean Val Jean was all like "Nuh uh!" - Green Hills, Tennessee

Hello everyone!

So has anyone else noticed that general authorities always quote Les Miserables in their conference talks? In any case, I have. President Hinkley and Elder Christofferson definitely do it the most by far. Brother Bedingfield in our ward is pretty convinced - and I would have to agree with him - that the official cannon of scripture is the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the New and Old Testaments, Talmage, and then Les Miserables.

Despite this, President Andersen will still not let me buy the soundtrack. I completely agree with him and the sacrifice is definitely worth it. However, it was still funny trying to convince him otherwise. After my very logical and well sourced petition, he just laughed and then gave me some consolation chocolate cake. It was really good cake so I'm not going to complain.

Anyway, have you noticed that people all the time use a form of the verb "be" and the word "like" to replace expression verbs. For example, instead of saying "She said, 'Hello what is up?'" they will say "She was like, 'Hello what is up?'" Or instead of "I am thinking, 'It is time to eat.'" it would be "I'm all like, 'it's time to eat.'" Anyway, you probably hear this nonsense every day. In fact you probably speak this nonsense every day yourself. And it's not just the rising generation; I hear it from adults, doctors, professors, lawyers, and even English majors. In fact I realized that I do it all the time.

This of course simply won't do for me. I have taken it upon myself to completely purge this pernicious pronouncement that has permeated my vocabulary. Thus far in my endeavors, I have found it to be incredibly difficult. I am almost completely slave to my tongue, which seems to move inescapably faster than my mind. The method that seems to be working best - and I must thank a dear friend for teaching me - is to go back and correct myself and say it out loud a second time the right way every time I catch myself. It is working slowly but surely, and with time and diligent persistence, I have confidence that I will succeed.

Thank you for listening to my self improvement rant. If I feel inclined, I will update you on that later.

Anyway, we had a great lesson in Sunday school yesterday about missionary work. It crazy how much there is to learn about missionary work. We'll never get it all. However, there was an entirely different approach taken. It started with this statement by the first presidency:

"God's Love For All Mankind" : First Presidency Statement


February 15,1978

Based upon ancient and modern revelation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gladly teaches and declares the Christian doctrine that all men and women are brothers and sisters, not only by blood relationship from common mortal progenitors but as literal spirit children of an Eternal Father.

The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God's light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals.

The Hebrew prophets prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, who should provide salvation for all mankind who believe in the gospel.

Consistent with these truths, we believe that God has given and will give to all peoples sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation, either in this life or in the life to come.

We also declare that the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored to His Church in our day, provides the only way to a mortal life of happiness and a fulness of joy forever. For those who have not received this gospel, the opportunity will come to them in the life hereafter if not in this life.

Our message therefore is one of special love and concern for the eternal welfare of all men and women, regardless of religious belief, race, or nationality, knowing that we are truly brothers and sisters because we are sons and daughters of the same Eternal Father.

That is some really cool stuff in there. I had thought about it before but never heard it stated so clearly and straightforward from a prophet before. It is clear to see that there is truth everywhere in the world, no matter where you are from or what religion you were taught. It seems so many times we think of missionary work as a stone coming out of a mountain without hands to roll forth and conquer the entire earth and cover it all up with our mountain. However, we could probably find a lot of joy in seeing it differently. Perhaps the earth is coming together - bringing all of the goodness and truth they have - to build up the mountain of the lord with us. In fact, the matter to build that mountain would have to come from the earth; we couldn't do it without them.  (Sorry for mixing so many metaphors).

Now go out and find the goodness that is already in the world and invite them to help you build up the kingdom of God on the earth in anyway we can. One of the best and easiest ways is to serve our fellow men together. Don't hesitate to ask anyone to help you with your calling or to assist you in showing love to others.

Have a fantastic week! Love you all
Elder Basham

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