Streets of Jeruselem

Today I am reminded of the story of King Lamoni in the Book of Mormon. King Lamoni was taught by Ammon after Ammon defended the King’s sheep and impressed the king with such great loyalty. The story is folgendes:

20 And the king said: How knowest thou the thoughts of my heart? Thou mayest speak boldly, and tell me concerning these things; and also tell me by what power ye slew and smote off the arms of my brethren that scattered my flocks—

 21 And now, if thou wilt tell me concerning these things, whatsoever thou desirest I will give unto thee; and if it were needed, I would guard thee with my armies; but I know that thou art more powerful than all they; nevertheless, whatsoever thou desirest of me I will grant it unto thee.

 22 Now Ammon being wise, yet harmless, he said unto Lamoni: Wilt thou hearken unto my words, if I tell thee by what power I do these things? And this is the thing that I desire of thee.

 23 And the king answered him, and said: Yea, I will believe all thy words. And thus he was caught with guile.

 24 And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?

 25 And he answered, and said unto him: I do not know what that meaneth.

 26 And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?

 27 And he said, Yea.

 28 And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth?

 29 And he said: Yea, I believe that he created all things which are in the earth; but I do not know the heavens.

 30 And Ammon said unto him: The heavens is a place where God dwells and all his holy angels.

 31 And King Lamoni said: Is it above the earth?

 32 And Ammon said: Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning.

 33 And King Lamoni said: I believe all these things which thou hast spoken. Art thou sent from God?

 34 Ammon said unto him: I am a man; and man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true;

 35 And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.

 36 Now when Ammon had said these words, he began at the creation of the world, and also the creation of Adam, and told him all the things concerning the fall of man, and rehearsed and laid before him the records and the holy scriptures of the people, which had been spoken by the prophets, even down to the time that their father, Lehi, left Jerusalem.

 37 And he also rehearsed unto them (for it was unto the king and to his servants) all the journeyings of their fathers in the wilderness, and all their sufferings with hunger and thirst, and their travail, and so forth.

 38 And he also rehearsed unto them concerning the rebellions of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, yea, all their rebellions did he relate unto them; and he expounded unto them all the records and scriptures from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem down to the present time.

 39 But this is not all; for he expounded unto them the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world; and he also made known unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and all the works of the Lord did he make known unto them.

 40 And it came to pass that after he had said all these things, and expounded them to the king, that the king believed all his words.

Today we had an appointment with Frau H. Last week, on Wednesday we had committed her to baptism for the 28th of Dezember. SHE ACCEPTED!!!!! Today we talked to her about the baptismal interview questions, and we were SHOCKED!

The First Book of Augsburg

1. And the missionaries asked: Do you believe that the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith?

2. Now when the missionaries had said these words, Frau H nodded saying: Yes, I never met him in person, but I believe that he restored the church.

3. And it came to pass that the missionaries pulled out a likeness of the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and said, This is the prophet of the Lord on the earth today, his name is Thomas S. Monson and he speaks with God. Do you believe that there’s a prophet on the earth today?

4. And it came to pass that Frau H believed and said, Yes, I believe that this man is the prophet of God. And the missionaries asked, What does that mean to you to know that there’s a prophet on the earth, and Frau H said, he leads me and helps me to know where I need to go. He can help answer my questions when I need help.

Oh, it was incredible! She’s amazing and she’s a believing heart and I just love her so much!!!!!!

She’s so excited to be baptized on the 28th of Dezember and she’s just so wonderful! Please keep her in your prayers that she will still have the desire to be baptized and that she will have the courage to follow up on it on the 28th. We are over the MOON with excitement!

Yesterday, in Relief Society we were reading in the “Teachings of the Prophets: Lorenzo Snow” manual, chapter twenty-four. The teacher asked the question to one of the members, “Sister, you’ve been to Jerusalem, what was it like for you to be there?”

The sister responded with a dramatic account of what it was like to walk in Jerusalem on the same streets that Jesus walked. She said that it was a very besonderes experience and overwhelming to know that this was where Christ had lived and ultimately died. (I found myself feeling a little jealous for her experience.)

Shortly after she’d finished her account, another sister raised her hand and began to relate the experience of a friend of hers who had gone to Jerusalem and they had simply said that it was only an awesome vacation. No more, no less.

Her comment left me feeling a little bit confused because the group seemed to take that as a sign that if there was no besonderes feeling then what made Jerusalem so special, what made the fact that Jesus walked the earth so special?

It then spurred a discussion about how wonderful it would be to travel to the Kirtland temple to see where Christ had shown Himself to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, how amazing it would be to visit the Salt Lake City temple to see where Lorenzo Snow saw Christ in the temple.

As I sat there, the swirl of German floating in and out of my ears, I was honestly bothered by this idea.I had been to places where the Lord had shown himself to others, and it had felt besonderes, but it was not the ground on which my testimony was built.

Later, as I contemplated the experience I realized that it would be incredible to go to Jerusalem and see the Garden of Gethsemani, to hear the heavy burdens of our Redeemer echo throughout the milleniums, it would be undeniably poigniant to touch the sea of Galilee, knowing that Christ walked on the water there, and it would be incredibly touching to touch the stone that His body was laid after His death, to stand where Mary stood as she was the first to see the resurrected Christ, but what would it influence?

I realized that it didn’t matter if I never went anywhere in the world that the Lord had physically manifested Himself, it wouldn’t influence my testimony for good or for bad.

I stand fast in the knowledge that Jesus Christ walked on the earth, that He came here to die for us, and that He died and was resurrected on the third day. I may have never set foot in Jerusalem, but I know these things to be true. I have built my testimony on a solid foundation, a foundation of reading, praying, church attendance. I am so very grateful for the remarkable testimony that I have, a testimony that I gained by walking my own streets of Jerusalem, even if they were merely the pages of an ancient book preserved by the grace and mercy of God.

Love you!

Lillie

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