Sometimes I think the mission damages the trust you have in people. Whenever I hear someone accept a commitment to do something great, I don't rejoice anymore because very few of them actually keep the commitments they accepted.
Yeah! I'll come to church! I really wanna check it out!
Sunday rolls around and they don't show up. So who is going to say they'll come to church and then actually come? Ha, who knew you'd develop such trust issues on your mission?
We came across a man, named R, who said, "All you gotta do is believe and you'll be saved!" But what does that even mean to believe?
Since every day as a missionary is treated as if it were the Sabbath, Sister Reynolds and I decided to do something different on the Sabbath Day. So, we decided to watch Finding Faith in Christ...in German! Ja, Deutsch! I've seen this movie several times, so I noticed that they interchanged the word "glauben" in Deutsch with "faith" and "to believe" in English. But are they the same?
James says that "faith without works is dead". Faith requires works because the very nature of faith is acting upon what you believe to be true. Works can be service and performing good works, but it definitely is not wholly service and good works. Works is the act of faith, the act of doing; therefore, works can be prayer, scripture study, or getting up on Sunday morning to go to church. Even bigger leaps of faith would be accepting a date to be baptized and then doing it to show Heavenly Father that you are committed to Him and His cause.
Later on in the movie shows a scene where a man was picking up the bread he accidentally dropped. Jesus sees this man and straightaway helps this man pick up his bread. Along with this, He says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt.7:21, also 3 Nephi 14:21).
If entering into the kingdom of heaven is equivalent to being saved, then we must do the will of the Father so that we can be saved! So, does "doing" mean that we're doing "works"? Sure does!
So, this man, R, previous to his comment as earlier stated, repeatedly apologized for smoking and drinking in front of us. We didn't even introduce ourselves before he did so. He recognized us as representatives of Jesus Christ. Then he repeatedly said, "I know I need to quit smoking and drinking." He even put out his cigarette and placed his drink on the ground to listen to us. When he picked up the cup again, he said, "Aw, man! I don't even know why I picked this up!" with another apology.
The very desire and actions R was taking to be able to quit smoking and drinking were works. We perform "works" so that we can allow the grace of God to not only save us, but also to change us. So, what are some things that we're doing to "save" ourselves? What can we do now to become comfortable enough to dwell in the presence of the Almighty One whose Glory could kill us in just one glance?
Let's do something today. Don't lose the trust of our Heavenly Father!