Thursday, February 21, 2008

Overcoming Obstacles with the Scientific Method and Divine Inspiration

From Elder Paul Freeman, dated February 20, 2008

Dear Family,

Once again I spend half my email time thinking about what to write. There aren't a whole lot of new developments. Nothing amazing or life changing. It's all just the same old missionary type stuff. I've been in one area for about four months now and that's the longest I've ever been anywhere. It's cool because we're finding a lot of people to teach and some of them are just barely starting to take the right steps to gaining a testimony of the restored gospel.

There are plenty of distractions and things that get in the way, but that's why we are here. We are being tested to see how we overcome those distractions and obstacles. First, we have to recognize the obstacles and then resolve to do whatever it takes to get over it. Usually it doesn't take a whole lot to overcome obstacles; the only hard part is finding the right way. There are infinitely many ways we can't overcome obstacles. Thomas Edison knew that: he found several hundred ways not to make a light bulb. So, when we rely on ourselves, we have to sort through several hundred variations of the wrong way to go about it.

The most wonderful thing about the gospel is that we can go straight to the Lord for the only right answer we need. He will answer in His own way only after we do everything we can to figure out our own best solution. That's how we grow. It's the scientific method coupled with Divine inspiration. It's the same reason our math teachers always tell us to show our work, or the step we took to come up with the answer we have. So when our answer is wrong they can look back through and show us where we tripped up and we learn for next time.

Heavenly Father also wants us to show our work, then when our answer is wrong he can go back and show us where we tripped up. Check out that section in the Doctrine and Covenants [Section 9:8-10] where Oliver Cowdery found out about it. But, not only is it the way investigators come into the gospel, its the way we stay in the gospel.

Thanks for all the emails and pictures and everything, especially the support of your prayers.


Elder Freeman