From: Ethan Cade Brimhall [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2017 8:34 AM
Not really! I just wanted to give my parents a little heart attack 😉
Some random things from this week. I saw a Land Rover Defender, a car that my dad fanboys over. Also, I saw a bucket that at one time contained pool treatment chemicals. I wonder what its history is like? I GOT REAL AMERICAN PEPPERONI PIZZA. Of course, “real” is a relative term with frozen pizza. TIA (This Is Africa) experience of the week: a TV was used as a light for a party for an investigator I visited briefly. It was just a white screen with the brightness turned all the way up. Worked surprisingly well! And a picture of a rice plant is the lock screen on my tablet. If that doesn’t scream “white guy trying to fit into African culture” I don’t know what does.
The Ebola thing was half-joke, half-reality. I was out Thursday to Sunday. I mean, while I was in bed I felt okay, but once I tried to get out, my body just said “nope” and dropped energy like the ball drop at Time’s Square on New Year’s. Went to the hospital and ran some tests. Typhoid came back positive, but those tests are known for giving false positives. Took some medicine and recovered by Sunday night. The Sherwood’s were extremely helpful through the whole ordeal. I felt a little bad putting them through yet another hospital visit (me with my toe, companion with malaria, now me again with some stupid bug). I had a lot of time to think, which sometimes can be a bad thing, but I chose to reflect on a few principles that I’ve been learning more about recently. I’ll share two.
Sins of Omission
There are two types of sins: sins of commission, where you do something that is bad, and sins of omission where you neglect to do something that is good. On a mission, sins of omission take on a new level of importance. I may have been thinking about this because I felt I was omissively sinning while laying in my bed not sharing the gospel, but nevertheless, it’s an important thing to know that you can sin even when not doing anything. King Benjamin puts it this way:
26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
King Benjamin then counsels us not to run faster than we have strength, which comforted me while I was sick since I literally did not have strength to get up and run at all.
Sunday was the four-year anniversary of my little cousin Sullivan’s death, so naturally I thought about what makes it possible for me to see him again. This is the best thing to happen to mankind. Ever. And thankfully, this removes the otherwise permanent effects of sin (including ones of omission) and death. I have a personal testimony of the Atonement. I have been forgiven. I have been cleansed. I have been lifted above the demons I was subject to before I looked to Christ. Because of Him, we all have a chance. I encourage you to watch a video that the Church introduced with that title, Because of Him. It’s one of my favorites. It’s an Easter video, but it’s good for any time. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-00-1420-because-of-him?lang=eng
I love you all and I hope you take some time to think about the One who makes true joy possible!