Monday, May 19, 2014

prayers more effective

This week we went to the temple as a mission. We split into four groups and went four different days. It was really good though. I learned a lot. One of the biggest highlights of it was just feeling the Spirit there. 
We also had some really good lessons and met some great people. Every once in a while we get to teach the seminary class. They meet at 6am instead of doing it as a period during the day like in Utah, so we wake up early to go. It's a great way to start off the day. We had a good lesson with some good participation even though it was really early. I unfortunately don't have time to write in my journal so I don't remember any of the highlights that happened during the week... haha. But I know it was good. I will mention something that I was thinking about today though. I was reading in Alma 10-11 and was thinking about the story there about Alma and Amulek going to the city of Ammonihah to teach. The city was so wicked that they had rejected Alma when he came before but then the Lord provided a way for Alma and his new companion to come in and preach what they needed to say. The wicked lawyers and people tried to argue and contend and prove Alma and Amulek wrong in whatever way they could. Eventually they prove their wickedness by killing all of the few believers of that city by burning them and their records. Only a few were able to escape but they left the city. Soon after Alma and Amulek suffered in prison and the Lord later delivered them by their faith. The interesting part of the story has to go with the general idea of it. I learned this while reading a quote this morning by one of the former prophets or apostles--the reason the city of Ammonihah was kept for a time before--even while so many were wicked--was because of the prayers and lives of the righteous who lived there. The righteous prayers and lives of those few people upheld the city. The quote talks about how prayers can change nations and lives. It put a new perspective on the power of prayers. Soon after the righteous saints who lived in Ammonihah were rejected or burned the city was overrun by the Lamanites and everyone in the city was killed. The righteous--who were protected by God--were no longer there. I've been trying a lot to make my prayers more effective and more meaningful. I don't understand everything about prayer but I know it's important and it's helped my grow--more than that it's been necessary for my growth. 
Well, I love y'all. Have a good week!
Elder Russell

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