March 26, 2016 – Holy Week
You will notice that in one of the pictures we, Elder and Sister Jex, appear as Roman Centurions or “Mariones” as they are called here. Makes sense that solders in God’s Army would make good Roman Centurions, doesn’t it?
The Philippines consider themselves a Christian Asian country and Holy Week is a definite indication of that. On Marinduque Island they have a famous “Mariones” reenactment. Local residents parade through the streets dressed as mean looking roman centurions and citizens of Jerusalem searching for Longinus, the legendary soldier who pierced Christ’s side on the cross and later converted to Christianity. Longinus had recent changes in his life that prepared him to accept the blessing of the gospel of Christ. Their parade winds up and down the streets each day during Holy Week. The Mariones are easily distinguished by their unique dress of wooden or papier-mâché masks, helmets with plumes, breastplates, and capes. Even youngsters dress as Mariones. By Saturday they are successful in finding the one they are looking for while 800,00 visitors and 200,00 locals watch.
Amazingly this reminds us of missionary work. Missionaries parade up and down the streets of the city looking for those who want the blessing of the restored gospel in their lives. They are easily distinguished by their unique dress of white shirts, Sunday dress, name tags, and a bag. They continue each day going up and down the streets, among the rice fields, and through the jungle. Because of their diligence they are successful in finding the one they are looking for – the person who has had recent changes in their lives to prepare them to accept the blessings of restored gospel of Christ.
God lives. Jesus Christ lives. Through his atonement we are able to undo our mistakes and be relieved of our burden.
March 6, 2016 – Tangled Wires
For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
– Moroni 7:16
We enjoyed watching an electrical repairman working on power wires in San Juan. He was on his ladder working furiously to fix a problem among the tangle of wires above, below, and on either side of him. The wires were such a tangle that instead of removing the power pole, it had been cut off, top and bottom, and was hanging with nothing supporting it but the tangle of wires themselves. Not something you see every day.
Apparently it was quite difficult to distinguish the working wires from the bad ones. Previous workmen had left the bad wires and routed around them because they didn’t have a simple test to distinguish good from bad.
Fortunately we have a simple test to distinguish good from bad in our lives. Moroni says that if something invites us to do good and persuades us to believe in Christ, it is of God and is good. This simple test can be applied anywhere to prevent us from having a clutter of bad wires in our life. We can sort through our tangle of confusion about political agendas, dress and grooming, and even movies we watch and music we listen to. We don’t need to be left hanging with no support.