Well, it’s been a while since I last posted here! I guess I was just *a little* busy with school, work, church activities, and trying to have a social life. Well the semester is over, and instead of hanging out with friends tonight like I should be, I’m coughing up my lungs and blowing my nose off, so I decided now would be a good time to post (after I wrote a letter to my missionaries updating them on my life, and watched my Georgetown Hoyas ballers beat Memphis)!
So, what has happened since I last posted? Well, I was set apart as a ward missionary, and I’ve been enjoying that calling. As a ward missionary, I have the opportunity to sit in on lessons with the full-time missionaries and investigators, as well as teaching the Gospel Essentials class during Sunday School. I really enjoy doing both, as what I love to do is talk about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I couldn’t imagine receiving a calling that didn’t involve some aspect of preaching the Gospel. Teaching reminds me of the old days when I taught catechism classes to young students in my Catholic parish.
Besides that, I was ordained an elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood in November. What a great experience. I remember as a Catholic, I would sometimes think about the priesthood, but also wanted to be married. I would think about becoming a permanent deacon, but this of course isn’t the same thing as being a priest. How grateful I am of the restoration of the Gospel and the Lord’s Church, where I can hold the priesthood today, following the Biblical pattern of being called of God by one in authority, and receiving the priesthood through the laying on of hands. I did not need years of study in seminary, earning a graduate degree, etc (as great as those things may be).
At the moment, I am beginning to prepare to receive my endowment in the Lord’s House, the temple. Like a good nerd, I’ve already bought a few books on temples and the endowment, and have a list of important scriptures relevant to the endowment. Now, as a former critic of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am perhaps a little more familiar with the actual endowment ceremony than the typical Latter-day Saint. After studying the endowment and the restored temple concept, I am really amazed at how much of the theology and concepts surrounding the endowment are found in the Bible, as well as in ancient Judeo-Christian practices. The article “Early Christian and Jewish Rituals Related to Temple Practices” is only just a brief summary of the wealth of scholarship available in this area, and the fact that such research can be done only strengthens my testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being the legitimate restoration of Christ’s ancient, biblical Church, and not a 19th century fabrication. I look forward to the day, in the coming months, when I can enter the house of the Lord, the temple, and enter into sacred covenants with God, made possible through the atoning sacrifice of our divine Savior, Jesus Christ. Having already gone to the temple to perform proxy baptisms for our ancestors (offering those who did not have the opportunity to receive the Gospel in this life to do so in the next), I have already felt God’s Spirit there (the presence of God being an important reality of the temple, as seen in the Bible), and know that it is His house.