Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Joy in Seeing Others Join - Feb 9

Hey family! 

So it has been a pretty uneventful week really! We did have one ER trip where we missed all of church yesterday. Don't worry it was not me it was my companion. And no I did not cause the ER trip. We also threw a party for our Ward Mission Leader. He is about to be released. He just got called into the High Priest Group Leadership. Well that means he can not be Ward Mission Leader any more. So we know that the release is coming soon. So we threw him a coordination party! It was so much fun! I wrote him a goodbye song on the ukulele (blessings from serving a mission is you can pick up talents). 

So as we all know, in a non-trunkie way, I have been on a mission for quite sometime. With many different areas and having traveled a part of the mission, I have come to meet people and teach people all over the mission. One of the highlights of going to mission functions is hearing from missionaries about people I know. Sometimes they remember me and I don't remember them. One great blessing I saw  was this week I went on exchanges to OSU. If you remember I was a Zone Leader over OSU this time last year! Well I went into the institute and began to see faces I recognized and that I taught. There was 2 in particular that surprised me. One was a guy that I had taught over a year ago on exchanges. He was determined to justify spiritual knowledge with physical evidence. We had a very powerful lesson. It was one lesson I can remember well cause of how bold we were. I was afraid I was going to offend him. But now a year later he is one of the most solid converts at OSU. Another guy I had met as well on exchanges. He had dropped the elders at one point and the lost contact for a while. Well some missionaries started talking to him again and now he is an active convert to the church. All who have come from different backgrounds with different beliefs have come to know of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the joy I feel as I see these great people come to this knowledge. It wonderful to see those that were struggling overcome there issues to be a member of Christ's church! 

Hope you all have a great week! Sorry for the short email! It has been a busy week and mostly a very busy day! 


Elder Baird 

The Blessings of Obedience - Feb 2

Hello Family,

It was another great week full of all sorts of fun stuff. We did many exchanges and had lots of great experiences. But I want to talk about what has been on my mind for months know as I have been studying the scriptures. 

In John 17:3 we read, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." The mortal Messiah teaches us exactly what exaltation is or eternal life is. Exaltation is knowing our Father in Heaven and Jesus the Christ. We learn more about this scripture in the Joseph's revelation concerning the sealing of a husband and wife. The Lord in this section (Section 132) states,
" 22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.
23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also." 
We learn here that exaltation is to receive Christ. It is by receiving Christ that we meet the requirements for exaltation. But how do we receive the Savior of all mankind? The next verse tells in a wonderful way in which Christ tells us almost word for word what he told his apostles in Jerusalem. 
24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore,my law.
How beautiful those last 5 words are. "receive ye, therefore, my law." That is the key to receiving Christ and our Father. Not only is it the key but it is what is missing from the words found in John. We need to receive the law. Now the law can mean many different things throughout the scriptures. Here is can be specifically talking about the law of the sealing covenant. In other sections of scripture we can see it relating to the Law of Moses. But I feel that we can take this and make it broader. So what is the difference between just knowing or hearing the law and receiving the law? Receiving comes with application. It is only by applying the law can we come to receive the law. Or in other words we need to be obedient to receive Christ. When we Receive Christ we know him and God. And when we know them we have eternal life. Well here is where it gets fun. What are some of the blessings of receiving or obeying the law. We read in an early section of the Doctrine and Covenants regarding this principle,
 "34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same." 
We see that as we are obedient and loyal to the law we can and will receive the great blessings of preservation, sanctification, and perfection. What glorious blessings! And how wonderful are those blessings when we can receive them in this life. By being obedient we will always be preserved! Now when the preservation comes is up to the Lord, but it will come. When we obey were a sanctified or made holy. Part of receiving a remission of sins is being obedient. 
Found within that section is one of my favorite phrases found with in all scriptures, 
D&C 88: 21 "And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ"
Again we see this concept obedience brings forth the powers of sanctification (that power of sanctifying  comes form the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can only abide in us when we are being obedient. Then He sanctifies us.) But the phrase I love is the law of Christ. 
We learn that one of the main reason Christ came to this earth was to fulfill the Law of Moses. The law that pointed to the great and last sacrifice. Christ himself says, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."(Matt. 5:17). I believe in fulfilling that law Christ and His Atonement become the law. The law by which we must abide. In Section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants we read, "20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." I find it interesting that it does not say there are laws but that there is a law. We know that before the foundations of this world the Grand Council was held and there we made our stand to have a Savior and Redeemer of our souls. At the Council the necessity of the Atonement was explained to us. We understood that our salvation and the success of the plan of our Father in Heaven hinged upon the completion of the Atonement. Everything we do in the church points the the Atonement of Christ. Every covenant and ordinance that we participate in points to that sacrifice. Is it not through the Atonement that we receive blessings? Is it not through the Atonement and the Lamb of God that we are sanctified, preserved, and perfected?  Is it not through daily receiving the Atonement in our lives that we receive Christ and God the Father? Is it not through His Atonement that makes our exaltation a reality? Christ not only fulfill a law but by his great and eternal sacrifice He became the Law. He said it himself to the Nephites, "Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life."


Elder Baird 

Hearing from an Apostle of the Lord - Jan 26

Hello my wonderful family! 

This week has been full of ups and downs. It has been a rather emotional week! 

First off, I got transferred. Did I know it was coming? Pretty much! But man it was hard. The emotions of being released as a branch president and being transferred from Coshocton I think was a small trial run for in 10 weeks when I am released from being a missionary and when I leave Ohio. In other words I will be pretty emotional. So make sure there is lots of food in the house so I can eat my sorrows away. But we are not going to talk about that anymore because that is a very long time away (at least I wish it was!)
I am still in leadership. I am a zone leader again. The better news on transfers is I am still in the same zone and stake as Coshocton. That means I get to go back "home" to Coshocton on exchanges and I still get to work with President Birch. I love President Birch! He is an incredible man! 

The highlight of the week was last night. Last night we had our Quad Stake Missionary Fireside. President Daines wants to make the firesides different then they have been! So we are doing Musical Missionary Firesides. Well Elder Pike and I with Sister Myers are basically the musical fireside council with President Meldrum (a counselor in the mission presidency). Well we had it all planned out. Then came the best call ever. We were told that Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would be presiding and speaking. So that meant that we had to change it. up. It was amazing last night. We had two choir numbers and 2 special musical numbers. We heard from President Daines and a recent convert. 

Elder Christofferson was amazing! He taught plain and simple doctrines. I was hoping for a discourse on how we can be translated or where really Kolob. Well once he started to speak the Lord rebuked me. He let me know very clearly that the Apostle was not hear for me or us as missionaries. He was here for those that were new members and most importantly for those that are not members yet. Well with that back drop can you guess what he spoke on? Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and repenting. The highlight thing that I learned was this. That the ordinance of baptism covers all sins past and future. That it covers prospectively and retrospectively. The way that is possible is if we repent and partaking of the sacrament. I just love that concept that proper baptism with the right authority has a cleansing effect and take effects on all sins if we but access the Atonement through repentance and the sacrament. The other awesome highlight of yesterday was the way how the choral songs worked out. At the end of December Elder Pike and I had not heard back from Pres. Meldrum. So we decide to plan it out and see what Pres. Meldrum thought. Well the two that both Elder Pike and I felt strongly about was the songs, "Come Follow Me" and "Come Thou Fount". When we called Presidnet Meldrum about our idea for choral songs he said, "You would not believe it but those were the two I was looking at doing. I found music for them today." Now if you know anything about those two songs you will see that they were perfect for the topic Elder Chirstofferson spoke on. Coincidence? I think not! The last highlight of last night was that I got to shake hands with every key holder on the stand. I actually got to shake Elder Christofferson's hand twice. It was a wonderful night! 

Hope you all have a great week! My new address is 1570 Crystal Court Apt A Newark Ohio 43055. 


Elder Baird