Thursday, April 30, 2009

Elder David A. Bednar Gives Answer to a Sister Missionary Seeking Answer on the Atonement

Brigham Young used to say that people we encounter are ministering angels to us when theyanswer questions we have asked God.

Sister Ashley Elison of the Taiwan Taichung received a special insight when David A. Bednar answered a gospel question she had during a member meeting:

Elder Bednar came and it was so amazing. Just our mission and Elder Bednar! He is sooo bold! When he talks to missionaries in person it's a lot different than his talks in conference. He is so funny...he says it like it is and doesn't apologize.

I wish you could have heard him! There were a couple times when he answered a question someone asked and started out by saying "don't get offended...choose not to get offended by what I'm gonna say." And then he went off. It was amazing...he's old and powerful and doesn't beat around the bush.

He doesn't worry about offending someone or making what he says sound good. He just says it like it is. But he's so humble at the same time. Just like the prophets in the scriptures, bold, yet humble. He's amazing! It was set up like a question and answer setting. Pres. Hoer asked us to prepare inspired questions to ask him beforehand. So we had about 3 hours with a prophet of God to ask him whatever we wanted. He told us that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that we would probably never have a chance like this again.

With that in mind,I should have been the first one with my hand in the air. But I was too scared...the whole time I wanted to raise my hand and ask my question, but I was too scared it would be a stupid question to ask a prophet of God.

And before I knew it the time was gone and I never asked! I learned my lesson! That's not a good feeling to miss an opportunity like that! But the meeting was incredible...he taught some deep doctrine that I've really never understood before. It was incredible to sit at the feet of a prophet of God...close enough to ask him questions and hear his answers face to face. Wow! I wish you all could have been there!

The real miracle came that night though. After zone conference, Elder Bednar had a devotional for the Taichung stake. It was broadcast live at our chapel in Zhunan. It was set up the same way...people in the audience could ask any question they wanted, and they had a professional translator there. Elder Bednar was amazing. His answers were so inspired, and everything was there on the spot.

There was one part that he talked about the power of the Atonement,and it was an answer to one of my inspired questions from conference. He spoke about how we all know how the Atonement helps us overcome sin, but a less often discussed power of the Atonement is how it helps us "become a Saint"- Mosiah 3:19.

He said there are three phases discussed in that verse in Mosiah...1. putting off the natural man(stop doing bad things) 2. start doing good things 3. become a Saint. He talked about the power of the Atonement helps us through every single phase of the process...not just number 1. In the Liahona there is a talk by Cecil Samuelson about the it! He even quotes Elder Bednar in that talk. He talks about how our own willpower, hard work, or determination is not what's gonna help us become a Saint. It's reliance on the Atonement. I needed to hear that! My hard work, determination, and willpower is important as a missonary, but it's never gonna be enough. And that's relying on myself, not the Lord. It's just amazing to me...the power of the Atonement extends into realms we just don't understand. Anyways, Elder Bednar set a challenge...he said to read the Book of Mormon and look for every example of "in the strength of the Lord." And by doing this he promised we would be able to understand and utilize the power of the Atonement in our lives to do hard "become a Saint." So I started the Book of Mormon again, and I'm gonna find every place in the scriptures that uses that phrase or something similar! An assignment and a promise from a prophet of God.

This missionary was really uplifted by his boldness and learned that the spirit can make us bold so that revelation can come with power of the Holy Spirit. Elder Bednar is picking up the baton and going throughout the world addressing missionaries in a special question and answer format.

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