Friday, September 9, 2011

Migra Migra Migra!

So, I am a Spanish missionary.  I like it.  The people are usually very friendly, and if you make them laugh they'll talk to you for hours.  Plus, they feed you.  Oh, boy, do they feed you.  Empanadas, enchiladas, tacos, tortas, carne asada, mole, sope, and a number of american dishes as well.  Love the people.

I often talk to people about life.  Where are they from, how long have they been here in the United States, what's their favorite food, how's their family.  I often ask them why they're here?  By that, I mean to say, "Why did they come to the United States?"  I mean, why go to all the trouble of traveling to the border, paying over five thousand dollars to a person called a Coyote in order to cross safely, get here in a country that speaks a language radically different from their own, and then go through all the struggles of getting a job, apartment, and raising children with neither social security card, US identification, credit history, or usually a GED?  Life is not easy for a hispanic immigrant.  Why bother?

Usually, the answer is to get a better life.  It's not fun, it's very difficult, and you have to constantly be on the outlook for la Migra.  But, there's work here in the United States, and there's relatively little in Mexico.  (I'm not going to argue about politics.  They're here, that's all I care about.)  They need jobs to take care of their families there, to build themselves a nice house there, to do all manner of good things.  They understood the risks, and decided that the potential gain was much greater.

In the same way, all of us here on this earth have taken a decision.  Though we don't remember it, we all made a choice to come to this earth.  Back before the beginning of time, we lived with God.  He is, and has always been, our loving Heavenly Father.  He wants what's best for us.  Although he has a glorified, perfect, immortal body, back then we didn't; instead, we were spirits.  We had arrived to a point where we could no longer progress.

So, Heavenly Father called us all to a grand council to discuss the issue.  He told us of his plan; we could go to a place he had prepared for us, called Earth.  There, we would take physical bodies, and be able to choose.  A  part of being able to choose is that some of us would probably not make it back; we'd make bad choices, and disqualify ourselves from having all that God wants to give us.

As part of this plan, Jesus Christ was chosen to be the Savior.  He would make it possible for all of us to come back to God.  It would require faith and repentance on our part, and perfect obedience, pain and suffering on His,  but if we were to fulfill the conditions we could become clean through his Atonement.

We were all tremendously excited.  But then, Lucifer stood up and proposed a different plan.  Instead of having free choice, and perhaps falling, he suggested that we would all be escorted through this existence, and be forced to do what was right.  Nobody would fall away, and for all this he suggested that maybe he should get the credit, and be God for a while.

Amazing as it is, a third of heaven followed Satan, as he came to be called.  They will never receive the chances that we have, and never have bodies.  However, we are here because this life is something good.  We can learn.  It's not easy.  We understood the risks, and we decided that the potential gain was much greater than any risk.

(For a child's version of this history, with accompanying scriptures, see The Old Testament Children's Storybook)

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