Elder Low's report:
This week I read the introductory pages of the Book of Mormon (as I’ve decided to start it over from the beginning and go all the way through). I have never really read these pages with much attention in the past, so as I read it this time around I thought it was so cool how in these pages the Lord inspired Joseph Smith, ancient prophets, the 3, and the 8 witnesses all to bear witness of the truth of the book, as well declare its purpose and relevance in the lives of all mankind. In particular this part hit me, found at the end of the title page of the book which gives us insight as to how it is that we should read as to obtain the blessings stated as the purpose of the book:
"...Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ."
as we read and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, condemning not the things of God as a result of pride, we shall truly come to a knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, that we may be filled with joy as we are found also spotless before him.
The past couple weeks we were having a problem with finding new people to teach. Each week we said that we would focus on finding at the beginning of the week so that we would fill our schedules for the rest. Unfortunately for one reason or another we just weren't acting on that. Finally this week we made specific plans and goals and moved everything out of the way so that we could do what we knew the Lord was expecting of us and it worked. Within two days we had already found 5 people new to teach who accepted the invitation to be baptized. We knew we were being blessed by God for our effort but it wasn't enough. We had received training after training on achieving standards. A lot of times in the past I have felt like matching the set standards of excellence for our key indicators is an impossible task but we felt like God had prepared the way for us to achieve the weekly standard of excellence of 7 new investigators so we prayed and kept working. On Wednesday we got a call from someone I didn't know. He told us he wanted us to come over to his house. We did. It was the house of a less active member who we had knocked into two months ago. She had kept our number, and even though she hadn't come to church in that time, when her friend came from Cuba she told him to call us. He accepted baptism immediately. This week we got 8 new investigators.
I know that as we follow the Lord with all our hearts, condemning not his word, but instead changing ourselves to be like him, we will feel his embrace, our joy shall be full, and shall know from what source those blessings flow.