Wednesday, May 11, 2016

6th Week in Japan -- 1st Area; Pondering Honor

Sister Kirsten Parker with Sister Riggs, visiting an elderly beautiful Japanese woman


This part is written by Kirsten's Mom:   Sorry readers for my delay in getting this next post out.  I was really exhausted and I didn't think I had much subject matter from her this week (it was mostly personal communication, along with 3 pictures).   In re-reading the personal letter, I found some inspiration with which to write:  Honor.  In May and June in the United States, we have several holidays which honor our foundations in life:  Our parents (Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day) and also Memorial Day, which used to be called Decoration Day (decorating the graves)--1st time was in May 1868 to commemorate the fallen dead from the US Civil War, which now we have as a day to remember all our dead, both from family, friends, and military dead.

Kirsten gave me several sentences of thanks for being her mother.   Then she shared this quote:  As Jeffrey R Holland said in October 2015 General Conference, "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child...
This kind of resolute love “suffereth long, and is kind, … seeketh not her own, … but … beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Most encouraging of all, such fidelity “never faileth.” “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed,” Jehovah said, “but my kindness shall not depart from thee.” So too say our mothers."

Similarly, fathers are very important to the well-being of families.   I would reiterate that righteous fathers are very important too.   Studies have been done about the effect of having both mother and father in the home, and that each parent contributes something which the other parent cannot do equally.   It is unfortunate that in many societies, the role of good parents, male and female, is being torn to shreds.  Anything else is not the exact replacement of a good mother and good father in the home.  

Now, some people may argue, "but my mother or father was..." gone, or mean, or distant (emotionally unavailable or unconcerned).  I recognize that not everybody grew up with this ideal model in their home.  However, there is still room to be grateful.  Our mothers and fathers gave us life.  Life is an opportunity to learn from experience to choose good over evil.  It is the opportunity to gain wisdom and develop our talents, and then assist others in their walk through life.   Our parents minimally, probably changed our diapers, fed us, clothed us, or had us go to school.  They taught us to not touch fire, or reminded us to be home by dark.  If nothing else, maybe we got good genes from them:  strong legs, hard-working hands, a quick intellect, witty humor, some other talent, or if lucky, a nice-looking face.  Sometimes, parental words of warning and restraint, came from their experiences, as they have become judges of character, and could and can sniff trouble coming a mile away.   Young people should not be defiant, but grateful for instruction.   Young adults should not be defiant either, thinking, "I'm over 18 I can do what I want!"  This is a teaching of the devil, because such a rebellious attitude leads to a spirit that cannot discern or does not care when they are falling into sin.  [Wicked] Adults are the perpetrators of the worst things in this world, not children {okay, there are some wicked children now, but you know what I mean by this}.  
Our ancestors may have given us a great legacy, or they may have simply endured a difficult life so that we could be here at this time.  We can take inspiration from their ability to endure, when we pass through our own trials.

Just as we honor our parents and ancestors for what they contributed to us, we should also honor our Heavenly Father, and our Lord:

Hebrews 12: 
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 

The apostle Paul from the New Testament had knowledge that in the last days before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, that society would fall apart and people would fail to care about true law, would hate being told what to do, and would discard and destroy good values.

2 Timothy 3:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [boy, isn't this prevalent right now, labeling good people with proper values as "hateful"]
 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: 
from such turn away   [do not embrace their ways].
The apostle Paul then goes on in chapter 3 to explain that lust would drive people to do bad things, and that in spite of their smartness they still would be clueless about what is really true, and that deception of the issues would abound, and that one day, the folly (in colloquial language = foolishness or stupidity) of their choices that they thrust onto society would be known by everybody.
The following passage is similar to 2 Timothy 3 about what would be the predicament [in these last days]:
2 Corinthians 6:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
*****
Another observance in the May - June time frame, is honoring the laws given by God, called Shavuot by the Jews.  49-50 days after the first Passover in the Spring, the Hebrews received the 10 Commandments (etc). at Mount Sinai. This was the Old Covenant. Originally, all were invited to go up the Mount to see God [Too scared of dying in God's presence, they just sent Moses to the mountain top.  Moses later lamented that he wanted everybody to be prophets with the Spirit.  Numbers 11:29].      The New Covenantal promise of Christ that he would send the Comforter (the gift of the Holy Spirit) was given to the ancient Saints on Pentecost (Acts 2), which coincided with Shavuot.   The Holy Ghost fell upon many people, and about 3000 were converted to the Lord on that day, and baptized.  Easter is actually supposed to coincide with Passover week.  If it did, Pentecost would always be on the same date as Shavuot.   
Please take this time to remember gratefulness for that which your parents and ancestors have done for you.   Remember your Heavenly Father everyday, and every Sabbath Day, remember to keep it holy.
Takoyaki

Kirsten also sent this picture.  I am not sure if this was food served at a home.   It looks yummy, but trust me, it's got a list of ingredients which for a American (or at least me) could be an acquired taste. http://www.justonecookbook.com/takoyaki-recipe/

She also mentioned that she finally got to visit the home of the bishop, by appointment {for those of you who don't know what this means, it is the leader of the local church congregation}.   The Japanese people can be exceptionally busy due to long work or school schedules.   Working with the church leadership and membership is crucial to doing effective missionary work, because fellowship is the glue that brings people together.

Signing off, K-Mom

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