elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany


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First, replies:

Aspen: Missionaries aren’t allowed to hold babies.

I know.

It is still pretty warm here, but these past two days have been a little chillier. STOP PRAYING FOR ME TO BE BOLD! Just kidding. Keep reading your scriptures. Also, I hope you are reading this on the couch. Look at your skin. Now back at the couch. Now back to your skin. Now back to the couch. Now think about cows. Think about cattle prods. That couch is the skin of a cow. It was taken off of a cow. It once held all of the insides of cow, inside. You’re welcome. Also, I can almost guarrantee that your boots are made of leather… >:)

Sawyer: I need you to google some worthless things for me. Also, it sounds like cross country is going awesome!

1. Why do poisonous berries exist? Berries taste good so animals eat them and spread seeds. Why poisonous berries that animals avoid?

2. What causes waves? Tides are caused by the moon, but what causes waves themselves?

3. How do people do quick changes on stage? Is it special clothing or a technique or both?

Thank you. I need my brain to stop itching.

And seriously. This pencil is incredible.

This week I’ve spent a little time studying humility, because of a German word, and because the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was wrong in what I previously thought. I had always seen humility as being almost unaware of your strengths. You think you’re weak, and that makes you strong. It’s saying, Oh, I’m not so good at that… or when someone gives you a compliment: No, that’s not true, I’m not that smart/talented/musical/pretty/ nice/cool/righteous/spiritual whatever. After all, Pride is thinking you’re better than everyone else. Isn’t thinking of yourself as worse the opposite? I thought it was deflecting praise away from yourself. And it’s not. The German word for meekness is “Sanftmut”. The literal translation of that is “soft courage”. How cool is that? That got me thinking – Christ was the perfect example, and he has none of the traits that I thought made someone meek or humble. So I did what every good little missionary does and went to topical guide.

2 Chr. 7:14: Humility is connected with seeking for God. It says in paraphrase, humble yourself and pray and seek God, and I will forgive you.

Proverbs 15:32-33
32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

D&C 136:32 says if you are ignorant, be humble and acknowledge it, and the Lord will give you wisdom.

And 1 Nephi 19:9 says: And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

Here is Christ. He allows, let me repeat, allows himself to be treated in this way. Because he deserved it? Of course not! He said, he was the literal Son of God! He could destroy himself and resurrect himself on the 3rd day! When he was asked the night before his Crucifixion if he was the King of the Jews, he didn’t waffle, he didn’t say “Well I’m not that great. I’m wearing rags, I can’t even get the people to like me…” He said he was more than that! He was the only way they would ever get to return to God.

And think of Moses. We read in Exodus of a self-doubting, weak man. Called to be prophet, he sees the Lord, and he says, I can’t go talk to pharaoh. I can’t make the people follow me. And finally, most cutting, I can’t speak! I’M TOO WEAK. Did the Lord say, “Wow, you’re super humble! You’re the right guy for the job!” No.

It says in Exodus:  11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?  12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

The Lord promises to help him, and Moses STILL doubts!

And in verse 14: And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

The Lord gives him Aaron, not because he needed it, but because Moses refused to believe in himself. This is not humility. This is not trusting in the Lord. Then we read of a different, wiser Moses in the Pearl of Great Price.

10 And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. – He admits he is nothing compared to God.

And Satan sees an opportunity, one he may see with us, sometimes. He says:

  And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, SON OF MAN, worship me.

God had just called Moses “son” several times, and had compared him to Christ. Then Satan works to undermine that immediately.

But this time, Moses stayed humble.

 13 And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: WHO ART THOU? For behold, I AM A SON OF GOD, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and WHERE IS THY GLORY, that I should worship thee?

In that critical time, where in the past he had failed, and in the face of the very personification of evil, he says one very important word: No. He was a SON OF GOD, chosen before the world was, a prophet of the Lord who parted the Red Sea, and this spirit, this Satan, thinks he can make him doubt his divine right to heirship? Not a chance!

I think that it is too easy to doubt ourselves and forget who we are. But that isn’t humility. Humility is recognizing the power of the God, compared to how small we are. And Humility is knowing exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are, and knowing that the Lord, who gave them to you, will never ever let you fail if you are on his errand. I give my testimony that the Lord never forgets us, never abandons us, and never forgets that we are the children of God. Let’s try to do the same. 

I love you guys so much. Have a great week, and next time I promise to, I dunno, actually tell you who I’m teaching and stuff.

Elder Greaves


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