Saturday, July 12, 2008

July 12, 2008 A long answer to Marilyn's Email

A long answer to Marilyn's email
July 12, 2008
Marilyn writes "Not just So CA burning but all over No CA. Hot day in more than one way. And also a bit early for such hot weather. We may be facing the last days sooner than later. Rice has been rationed at Costco and other places. Tomatoes have germs, now they say other things in Salsa are also causing problems and can't be bought. Seems like the times of living on what you produce are coming to be."

Dear Marilyn:
I will use this email to reply to your three recent messages and post this on my blog for good measure. First, I am firmly in the camp of the "These ARE the last days" believers. It is easy to see events after they have happened and more difficult to see the storm while in its eye. All of these and the other natural calamities are all foretold and I think people should give serious attention to that which the prophets have told us to prepare. Gardens are not just NICE. They are the counsel of prophets and for those who cannot physically garden, they need to partner with those who can; money & support from one and labor from the other.

I think the fires, the weather, and the homosexual marriage issue is all part of the same thing. If I were in God's place I'd be pretty disgusted with the leaders in California and the people who elect them. It is now your (our) opportunity to reverse that California Supreme Court decision with the vote that will happen in November about the California Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. If the righteous people prove to the Lord that they are willing to get in charge again, in spite of the evil of our governors and courts, maybe He will have compassion on us like He did the people of Nineveh. Anyway, the rain, or the fires, falls on the just and the unjust all the same, and maybe that's cause for the just to say, " This has gone far enough" . . . or maybe they will just sit and burn with the unjust; interesting question.

In any case, I love you and appreciate the update. "We" (notice the ownership) in Russia have our own fires. I'm sure you have read that the Church will no longer send American or European missionaries to Russia for the time being, probably due to the exorbitant costs associated with leaving every three months. Along with that decision, we have been given instructions to concentrate our efforts on 18-24 year old males. These will have to become the missionaries for the future and must be brought into the Church to get trained in the Gospel. That is complicated by the mandatory military service for every 18-26 year old male. These young men need to be prepare spiritually, get their military service out of the way, and then serve 2 years as missionaries. This is going to require tough, dedicated young men with deep, strong testimonies. They are here among the remnants of the tribes of Israel and our current missionaries must find them quickly.

This decision will also cause a sifting of the Russian members as it would in any developing area of the Church. In this case those coming from the Eastern Orthodox faith get a real awakening when they learn that they are expected to work "in the vineyard" and not just stand and admire it. With us it is not enough to go to church on Sunday, or to purchase a candle and recite a prayer written on the wall, or even take the sacrament several times a year on special occasions. As our friend Lydia (a former Temple Square missionary from Novo) said at lunch today, they have come from a tradition of being only observers, and because their new Church requires them to be workers, some will fall away because it's too hard, some because they are afraid of what might be asked of them, some because they were poorly trained in their calling and got discouraged, some for reasons I can't think of, but the Church will be strengthened just like the Kirkland period sifted out the weak and left the church smaller but stronger

These are exciting times and you and I are part of it. Stay close to your fire extinguisher and keep watering your garden. You may need both.
Love ya.
Elder Simmons, Novosibirsk

1 comment:

Dave and Courtney said...

Elder Simmons, I concur wholeheartedly - CA has written it's own obituary with all of the evil stuff going on right now. Over 1200 lightning strikes causing hundreds of outrageous fires statewide? Definitely not "a random act of mother nature." It's exciting to hear that you and Sister Simmons will be able to use your experience with the Family Home Evening Manual during your missionary work. Keep up the good work!