By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings
This past weekend Lucy and I drove up to our recently purchased property in Buffalo, Texas. There’s a ‘shell house’ that needs a lot of attention before it can become a residence sitting on three acres of land that has a fifth wheel travel trailer thrown in as part of the deal.
We took implements of destruction with us in the back of my truck; weed whacker to trim a spot for the truck, generator for electricity, vacuum cleaner and assorted cleaning goods. The afternoon was spent cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Did I mention we needed to clean the trailer?
We haven’t had the water or electricity hooked up to the property as yet so we carted about 50 gallons in plastic jugs to use for cleaning, as in taking a sink bath, and flushing the toilet; a very necessary process unless you like squatting in tall grass. The fellow who put the trailer up there also put in a simple septic tank system which simplifies getting rid of waste water.
A couple of hours of serious labor and the dust was off the sofa, floors could be walked on, the surfaces in the kitchen had been wiped down with Mr. Clean and outside air was drifting through to replace stale air that had been trapped inside for who knows how long in there. We made the bed up with fresh sheets brought from home and wondered if we even needed a blanket and comforter since temperatures made it into the mid 80s. It did drop down into the low 60s that night so we closed the windows on one side of the trailer.
Lucy took a short nap on the sofa while I took pictures from our ‘center of operations’. We plan to use the travel trailer like a motel room for when we start finishing off the ‘shell house’ which is on hold until we close the sale of our rent house; hard to pay for new stuff until we have the check in our hands.
Sunday morning we got up with the sun to get ready for church. The nearest meeting house is thirty miles or so away down in Madisonville; a small branch with about 70 active members. We were welcomed warmly in the foyer and talked with our new friends, some of whom we knew from our internet connections.
Lucy was quick to leave printed invitations to the Preparedness Fair that happens in May; never let an opportunity go to waste.
Just so you know, perhaps hearing it for the first time or as a reminder, the Gospel is true whether you’re in a small branch in Madisonville or travel to Salt Lake City.
Some friends of ours, the Welch family, spoke on the Plan of Happiness and did a great job of explaining why it’s important for each of us to understand where we came from, why we’re here in mortality and what lies ahead in the eternities.
“The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, designed to bring about man’s immortality and eternal life. It includes the Creation, Fall, and Atonement, along with all God-given laws, ordinances, and doctrines. This plan makes it possible for all people to be exalted and live forever with God (2 Ne. 2, 9). The scriptures also refer to this plan as the plan of salvation, the plan of happiness, and the plan of mercy.”
Brother Welch mentioned in his talk that some folks, better than 50% of Americans who claim to be Christians, don’t believe in the resurrection; mortality is all there is. Their church doesn’t teach the Plan of Happiness or they just don’t believe it. How sad; the most important aspect of Jesus’ gift has either not been shared or not been accepted.
Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker, often reminded folks that you have to know where you came from before you can figure out where you’re going. Zig was directing his thoughts toward achievement in the business world; but it applies equally in every aspect of mortality. Life is tough enough; having the Gospel to give it purpose puts things in perspective.
Many sects of organized Christian religions quit teaching about the importance of the resurrection years ago and our schools certainly aren’t teaching Christian principles. Now we have better than 50% of our population that haven’t got a clue about the Gospel, at least not the most important message; we as individuals are children of our Father in Heaven, have been with Him in the spirit prior to being given a mortal body. We will shed this mortality for a perfected body and have the opportunity to live with Him once more in the eternities.
In our uncertain world where politicians and leaders interchange lies for truth, evil for good and wrong for right; wouldn’t knowing the basic principles of the Gospel help?
The day you recognize who you are, really (as Zig would have arranged his words); that’s when you can begin making progress towards the individual God wants you to become. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to a small branch of Saints in Madisonville, to hear the Gospel spelled out just as it should be throughout the world.