update from Elder Winegar

Thursday, February 16, 2023


note after revision: buckle in, this one's long.

hey hi hello

don't know what I mean? listen to the song

This week was astonishing. Absolutely astonishing. Beyond description. 

The California San Jose Mission usually finds around 350-500 new individuals who are willing to be taught Jesus Christ's restored gospel each week. This past month we've been finding closer to 650 of these individuals each week. This past week, we collectively set a goal to find 1000 new people to teach. Again, the results were astonishing. I exclaim to you, likely in hyperbole, that there surely have been few people among all those created by the hand of God (4 Nephi 1:16), who were showered with miracles as abundantly as we were this past week!

And how was such marvelous power manifested unto us, the Lord's servants upon the earth? It was by the Spirit of God, even, "the Comforter [which] knoweth all things, and beareth record of the Father and of the Son" (D&C 42:17). I can bear witness with greater fervor than ever that, "He that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost" (1 Nephi 10:19). We were directed and instructed as to where we should go and in all things whatsoever we should say. Receiving instruction in this way is a divine experience that is beyond description, in part because the guidance comes to the deepest chambers of the mind and through the deepest feelings of the heart. It is these experiences that I treasure above all the riches of the world. I testify that these experiences are proffered by the Lord unto all who diligently seek them and Him. 

Because my companion and I obeyed the direction we had received, I am happy to report that we found many, many individuals to share the gospel truths with. It is my prayer that they will act upon the knowledge they are receiving and find the deep joys of following Christ.

As I interacted with more people than ever, I was struck, as I often am, by the vast number of God's children and the depth of their diversity. And yet, despite our many differences, I can't help but ponder upon the equally divine potential possessed by each one of us. 

What is our potential as sons and daughters of God? The apostle Paul taught, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God" (Romans 8:16-17). The word heir describes one who will inherit the estate, title, or office of a predecessor. The Savior himself illustrated our heirdom in modern day revelation, "For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him" (D&C 84:36-38).

What then is possessed by the Father that shall be our inheritance? "All things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers" (Colossians 1:16). In short, everything. As the supreme ruler of the cosmos, He is the possessor of all of creation. And as His heirs, we can be too!

"All that [the] Father hath," includes more than simply His possessions. We will also inherit His exalted station. The apostle John wrote, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). What does it mean to be like God? "The Lord has revealed Himself and His perfect character, possessing in their fulness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness [and] power" (Bible Dictionary, Faith). So, to be like God means to receive all knowledge and all power. It means that we will become the most perfected version of ourselves!

In strikingly clear language our divine potential was summarized by the Savior, "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them." I marvel and wonder as I imagine this staggering prospect! 

However, such glory and privilege is not freely given to any who desire it. The Savior followed His description of what we may become with this condition, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory" (D&C 132:20-21). We prove ourselves worthy and prepared to receive our inheritance by strict obedience to commandments of God (see Abraham 3:25-26).

My dear friends, this is the mission of mortality, to prepare ourselves to receive such an inheritance. This is who we may become if we will but exercise faith in the directions the Lord has given us—The Gospel of Jesus Christ. And now we see that our divine destiny is much less about our destination and much more about our disposition. Or in other words it is much less about where we will be and much more about who we will be. 

I echo the admonition of King Benjamin and promise the same blessings: "I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it" (Mosiah 2:41).

I hope one day to see you all there :)

Until then,

Elder Winegar

Songs 🎵 

Them Changes—Thundercat
This Must Be The Place—The Talking Heads
Chamber of Reflection—Mac DeMarco

Post a Comment