Missions are Fun

Preston Temple photo taken 21 Nov. 2010

A missionary is someone who leaves his or her home for a little while so others can have their families forever.

Curious about Mormons? Go to the source and find real people at mormon.org--read what they believe and have live chats if you wish! (an official Church website)

Or, go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, official web site: lds.org.

Note: The Blain's England Manchester Mission blog is a personal blog that is not endorsed, approved, or sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our Mission Scriptures

Our Mission Scriptures:

"Oh, that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart . . . Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth." Alma 29:1-2 (Book of Mormon)

" . . . be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Bible)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Parable of the Clueless Peasant Girl & Saying Goodbye to Lost Opportunities

O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.  And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, . . . O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.  3 Nephi 10:4 & 6 (also Matt 23:37 and Luke 13:34)

How often have we received promptings about things we need to be doing in our lives?  On this mission, we meet so many people who tell us about amazing answers to prayers, miracles in their lives, and some ask questions about dreams or other experiences they've had.  Many of these events seem to carry a spiritual message for that particular person.  Yet, they don't return to activity in the Church.  There life doesn't change.  People who are not members of Christ's Church, often gain a personal witness of the truth they are being taught, yet they don't follow through with baptism for various reasons.  Human nature is to resist change even to our detriment.
Walking through the Newcastle Town Centre for the last time.  People are everywhere without a clue the gift they could have  in their life that is worth more the any precious gem or metals.  Will the people who refused to listen to the message about the restoration of the fullness of the gospel have another opportunity, or has the moment passed and the opportunity gone?
Walking into the light (strange phenomenon the camera caught that couldn't be seen with the naked eye) through the tunnel we've gone through a hundred times at least as we go to our car after shopping in the town centre.

People have no idea who they really are (sons and daughters of Heavenly Father) and why they are here (to learn, prove faithful, and return to him), and where they will go after they leave this earth (back to that God who gave them life and living with Him forever in endless joy, if they make those choices to do so).

Fare thee well, Newcastle folks.  We will always remember you with great love. 
  In this outfit, it looks like I scared everyone out of the town centre!

The Parable (written for a special purpose to teach a gospel principle)

In Medieval times, a beautiful young peasant girl lived in a secluded spot in a very dangerous forest with her elderly parents.  These parents had given up their hopes of ever having a child, until years ago, to their surprise they found a tiny baby on their doorsteps wrapped in red and purple silk blankets lying in a golden basket.  The couple considered her a gift from God and they loved her dearly and delighted watching her grow through the years.  She was taught to work hard and to be thankful for everything, though they did not really have much but a warm cottage and the items they had accumulate by trading the wood the father cut in the forest.  The family had to always be on the lookout for wolves and other dangerous animals that roamed the forest, so they went out together and one stood guard while the others worked.  Because the couple had always been fearful of the dangers in the forest, they kept their little girl hidden from strangers as well.  Their hearts would have broken if someone had ever taken her away from them.

One day, as the peasant family was working in the forest, a knight on a beautiful white horse was riding by and stopped when he saw the family.  The saddle blanket on the horse was red and purple, along with the bridle and reins.  The elderly couple noticed this, remembering the red and purple blankets in which their adopted daughter had been wrapped.  There was nothing they could do to hide their daughter, since the knight surprised them.
This is an earlier photo of the knight with his red and purple shield, but not decked in the brilliantly colored reins and saddle blanket that is described in the story.
The knight said he had searched with an army of men over the years for the king’s grandchild who had been taken from the palace when she was a baby many years ago and never seen again.  All supposed she was not alive, yet the king had asked his knights to never top searching as they rode on assignments for the king over the years.  The King’s cousin, at that time years before, had tried to take over the throne, but the cousin was killed in the uprising, along with the King’s only child and his wife.  The King was never able to find out who took his only grandchild.  Now that the King was getting old, he wanted more than anything to leave all that he had to his grandchild, if she were still alive.

The old couple looked at one another and at their daughter, knowing she must be that child.  They loved her so much they could not deny her the opportunity to have everything beyond her wildest dreams.  They asked the knight for a moment to speak privately.  As they huddled together, the parents told the daughter she needed to go with them to the King to see if she was his granddaughter.   The girl argued with them as she didn’t want to leave her home in the woods, for she knew nothing else.  The parents convinced her that she could be forced by the king to appear, so it was better to have them take her.

The parents told the knight they would bring their daughter to the king to see if she might be his lost granddaughter.  The knight rode off to tell the king what he had found.  He wasn’t excited about it, since many young girls have been found over the years because the parents claimed she was the king’s granddaughter, but the king knew none of them were when he checked what he was looking for in the way of proof.  The king knew something about the granddaughter that no one else knew.

The couple and the peasant girl left their humble cottage and traveled to the palace.  On the way, they faced danger and difficulty, but they knew what paths to take and where to watch for danger because the knight had given them specific instructions.  Upon arriving at the palace, they asked to see the knight they had met in the forest.  He arranged for the peasant girl to be taken to the king.

The parents were allowed to accompany the girl into the waiting chamber where the girl had to be bathed and dressed in a simple white gown before she could appear before the king.  It was quite a terrifying experience for her, as she had only bathed in a tiny tub filled with water at home.  She wasn’t used to anyone helping her bathe and dress either.  She vowed she’d never return to the palace.  Even though there were dangers around her forest cottage, she thought she could keep safe from them, but the palace, at the moment, was entirely new to her and she didn’t want to have anything to do with it.  She just wanted to hold on to those things she was most comfortable with—her old clothing and her own ways.

The parents and girl were escorted before the king.  The servants who bathed her also walked with her.  The parents carried the golden basket and silk blankets in which the girl had been wrapped.  The king took one look at the peasant girl and gasped.  She looked like his son when he was that age, except for her longer amber-colored hair.  He asked her to speak, and she refused because she was so afraid.  Her parents told her it could mean the end of all of them if they didn’t do what the king told them to do.   He then commanded her to move closer with her family, which she did.  He asked her to say, “Father, I have been out in the garden with the baby and she is glorious.”  She said the phrase haltingly.  The king couldn’t believe his ears!  Her voice was exactly like his daughter-in-law’s who had been killed!  The king saw the golden basket and the blankets and began to cry, but he still didn’t want to be tricked into believing this was his granddaughter.
The king then asked the servants to come forth and tell him if they found any marks on the child as she was bathed.  They said there were two marks.  She had a small mole on her left shoulder blade shaped like a heart and a tiny red dot on her little finger.  The king then knew this was the granddaughter he’d searched for over the years.  He was beside himself with joy!

He explained to the girl that he had gotten old and needed to have her take over the kingdom.  All that he had was hers and her adoptive parents.  He wanted more than anything to get to know her and to enjoy his life with her, lavishing upon her whatever her heart desired.

The peasant girl, much to everyone’s surprise, declined the offer.  She said she was happy in her forest home and had all she needed to make her happy.  The king (and the old couple) tried to convince her this was the best opportunity for her future happiness.  She refused to accept all the king offered and the little family went back to the forest leaving the old king heartbroken and everyone confused as to why the peasant girl would turn down such a marvelous opportunity.

When they got home, the old couple still tried to convince the peasant girl she should accept her inheritance and live up to her potential.  The peasant girl could not see that the couple would one day not be there to protect her in the forest all alone.  She didn’t think ahead as to the consequences of her choice.  All she could see was the present comfortable place she was in and she was fearful to face the responsibility and expectations of being a princess and eventually a queen.  She was perfectly happy keeping things the way they were. 

The king could not do anything to force the peasant girl to accept all that he offered even though he loved her beyond comprehension.  He couldn’t even offer guards to protect her for the rest of her life because she had not officially been accepted into the kingdom as the rightful heir to the throne.

What will become of the beautiful peasant girl in the future?  Will she be able to deny her grandfather, the king, the joy he could have with having her back with him living in the palace?  Will she continue to deny the comfort and happiness her adoptive parents could enjoy with their remaining years if they became a part of the royal family?

Why would she reject all the king wanted to give her and all that her adoptive parents wanted her to have?
You write the end of this story for the peasant girl

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