Posted by: capetownelder | August 8, 2011

The Order of Things

G’day mates! I thought serving with an Australian companion I’d hear “g’day” a lot more often, but since he’s been out as long as I have he’s lost some of the treasures of the Australian lingo.

So, we met with a rather interesting investigator this week. We have been instructed by the missionary department to refrain from using names of those we are teaching in letters, so I’ll refer to this man as Martin. Martin is studying Theology at some university here in Cape Town and loves reading the Bible. He is passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, though he will openly acknowledge he has much more to learn and was perfectly willing to have us (3 20-somethings!) share more with him.

A little side note here, I am always impressed with those who choose to listen to a bunch of unlearned young men in smart clothing professing to be representatives of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If I didn’t know what I know now, the chances of me being very open to listen would be minimal.

We talked about a few things, all of which he felt were “too new” for him and he said that too much new information “goes contrary to the order of God”.

“Everything we need has been expressed in the Bible,” Martin said. “We need no further revelation.” But he did admit he hadn’t studied the great apostasy following the death of the apostles in the New Testament. He eventually consented to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it and get back to us.

But that caused me to think: how does the Lord feel about new things? Is He introducing something new to Him or is it just new to us because we don’t have the foresight He does? I took this thought back to the apartment with me and studied it out. Think about it: why does the Old Testament use words like LORD and JEHOVAH and other indirect titles for Jesus Christ while the early and middle part of the Book of Mormon is so specific with names such as the virgin Mary or the name “Jesus Christ” itself?

Perhaps it was that God knew if the Jews of that day, who had so meticulously studied the Old Testament and adjacent laws pertaining to it, had known such specifics as “the virgin Mary” or “Jesus Christ” the plan of salvation would have been significantly altered. One needs to look no further than Herod himself who in his paranoia, when informed by the wise men of a priestly Baby born in Bethlehem, commanded all new borns up to the age of 2 to be ruthlessly slaughtered. Now imagine how risky it would have been if the Biblical prophets had been as specific as the Book of Mormon prophets were about the who, where and when of Christ’s birth?

Now turning to the western world where most of the Book of Mormon record took place, what harm would specifics do for a nation so geographically separated from the ministry of Christ? Death threats and devious plans to stop the progress of God’s plan on Earth would have had little effect with a gigantic ocean separating the two lands.

So I came to this general (and ever broadening) conclusion that the order of things is always “line upon line, precept upon precept”. God in His infinite wisdom withheld certain information in the past and even in this present time because we are simply not using what we have now to its full capacity. Only when His children could handle the Bible did our Father reveal the Book of Mormon and a host of other revelations.

I love this gospel and I love the Order of Heaven. Through my study of the scriptures, I have discovered that the Lord works according to our righteousness. He commands us not to run faster than we have strength, so why would he reveal everything all at once and expect us to internalize it all?

Thank you for your prayers and supports. As my mission president will frequently proclaim, “Study the scriptures!” We must learn to love the scriptures, because there are secrets contained inside that need discovering!

Love,

Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission

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