Monday, October 15, 2012

The Atonement is like an Infinite Wave Function

Monday, October 1, 2012 8:43 AM
Hey, so this week was interesting and it looks like it was a bit crazy there too.  Liza sorry you got hit by a car, well it's better than a bus.  You know that reminds me, one day I was getting off the bus and the bus driver shut the door as I was getting out and the door smacked my head.  Yeah, after that he opened the door. 

So this past week was full of... well not very much progress.  We had a lot of trouble finding our investigators and I think that is a sign that a lot of them don't have much of  a desire to continue learning.  But we did end up finding a really great family the other day to teach.  The husband has a drinking problem, but they have a desire to change.  They both cried the first time we visited them, and we will try really hard to bring them to church this next week.  

I am out of time and promise to write a super long email next week!  Sorry.  I'm doing great and I will send a letter this week about all the adventures I have had in the last few weeks.


October 8, 2012

Hey Fam,

So this week I'm trying to repent and write a long letter to you all.  These last few weeks have been hard for me.  Our zone achieved our goal of 25 baptisms with 37 this last month (my area contributed 14 of those).  Unfortunately, these last few weeks have been really tough, finding people and getting them to progress.
We have met a number of people but unfortunately have not had much success bringing them to church.  I am trying to figure out what I can do to get things to start moving again.  

I have really been enjoying the insights I have been having about the gospel and especially about the atonement.  This was something I thought of.  At times I find people that say to me "I don't have sins" or "I never committed a sin in my life."  Well, that is always a lie unless you are younger than 8 years old.  And it got me thinking about how I can explain to people that they have sins and need Jesus Christ.  I didn't really like the idea of saying, "Hey, have you ever committed this sin?  Or, have you done this or that?"  It's not really that effective and can lead to hard feelings, so I decided to think about it a bit more.  Then when I was reading in 2 Nephi 9.  I was interested in the part that  says that the atonement was "infinite."  Well, I stopped to think about "infinite."  What does that mean?  Well, in mathematics it means without end, continuance for ever, something people have been trying to define for a long time.   In math they also talk about how there is an infinite number of fractions between any two given numbers.  And then, something clicked and I came up with an interesting way to explain consequences to our actions.  Here's how it goes.

Imagine a lake completely still.  If you drop a pebble in the water, what happens?  The one small disturbance sends ripples throughout the water that reach every bank and affect every point of the water's surface.  It is the same sort of thing with our actions.  When we do a good turn, we send ripples through the water affecting, in time, every person in the world, however small the effect is.  When I learned about waves (of sound, light, radiation, or water), but specifically sound, my teacher showed us a graph with squiggles above and below a horizontal line, at any given moment you have an inequality of energy above or below the line but silence is just a straight line without disturbances.  When you have two waves that are opposites with the same magnitude, they cancel each other out.    But if you have two waves that are of the same frequency, they strengthen each other, creating one wave of greater magnitude.  

I think of the atonement like a wave.  The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is like a wave that calms or cancels out the waves of a troubled sea leaving peace and calm.  Now remembering the infinite nature of the atonement, we see that the bank of the lake is not regular, but full of complexities.  And like the world we live in, there are a whole lot of people throwing pebbles, rocks, boulders, and even causing avalanches that disturb the face of the water.  In the end, you have a combination -- a wave equation that is infinitely complex and, in the case of our world, of a magnitude incomprehensible to the human mind.  That is where Christ enters with the atonement.  His sacrifice was infinite -- the wave that counteracts all the waves of trouble in the world.    We I think about the atonement like a wave, I feel like it is easier to repent and make that first step towards change because it was infinite and it's the only way we can calm the disturbances we have made.  We can also see that when we do good, the waves we send (with time) will reach everyone and that when we work together sending out the same good waves they combine and amplify each other.

I love you all.  Conference was great.  And I pray for you all daily.

-Elder Clark

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