Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015-- Email #87

June 29, 2015
Echague, Philippines

Dear Family,

Well, that is a lot to process! I feel so humbled to have such a beautiful blessing brought into our family! I don't know if I've ever voiced this, but I've always felt there would be someone arriving in the family with a physical disability, because I felt like there was something we needed to learn from a situation like such. Here we are, and with the perspective the restored gospel gives us, casting out all fears and reassuring us that Celestial glory is the ultimate destiny for this precious gift. Like you've said, I am also very excited to be a student to this wonderful, cute teacher. 

To be honest, yesterday and today I'd been really having a hard time personally accepting myself the way I am. I've felt quite knocked over, for lack of a better term, by the fact that the things I'd been asking for in sincere prayer were not the will of my Heavenly Father, and that I was in severe need of a new perspective and a few more rounds of being "humbled to the dust". I'd been completely ignorant of a multitude of tender mercies because I was looking for something else. The news that I've just read from home felt a lot like as you've been describing it; in a few short words, the whole world changes, and that book of life we've been imagining up suddenly, and absolutely necessarily, is put into the hands of the "author and finisher of our faith", who knows what we need and executes His plan of salvation with unfathomable precision and exactness. I'm so glad my perspective has been changed this morning. I'm so glad all of our perspectives have changed this week. 

I don't have a whole lot of time left to email today, but I just want to share one insight we received from a recent convert this last Saturday. She's a primary teacher in the Ward, and she had been teaching the children the story of Jesus healing the man who had been blind from birth. I'm sure you're familiar with the story. Today, however, I think this puts on a whole other meaning for all of us. The disciples passed this man on the street, with a genetic malady, and asked the Savior, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" 

"Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

I testify that we will be the witnesses of countless works of God wrought through this beautiful baby girl, from the day she was born 'til the day she leaves us. 

Jesus then uses an unusual method to heal the man from his blindness. "When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." 

After the man received his sight, the Pharisees railed him with questions, trying to debunk the power of the One who had healed him. At first, the man's primary explanation has to do with the way he was cured. He explains the clay, the washing, etc. However, the man seems to realize, during the course of the cross-examination, that the reason he was healed was not because of the mud in his eyes, or the pool he washed in, but because of this mysterious man, who came to him and told him to do as He said.  "He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." After defending this man for quite some time, the Pharisees cast him out, denying miracles because they were looking for another source, far from their God. 

"Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."

"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind."

I think we've all had our eyes opened by the Savior this week. I'm so grateful for the eternal perspective the restored gospel gives us, and helped us immediately realize that it was He who had opened our eyes, and He who has all power to help us with the purest love in existence. I'm so grateful to be here in the Philippines, and I treasure every moment of every day I have this name-tag on, and I'm able to invite others to come unto Christ, and have spiritual eyes be opened, not by mud or man-made remedies, but by the Savior Himself, and His power restored to the earth in the last days. Hosanna, Hosanna, to God and the Lamb! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Kocherhans


Mercedes Kathleen Vest
Born June 24, 2015
7 lb 9 oz  20.5 inches

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