Monday, June 29, 2015


In 1993 Neal A. Maxwell said that "the gospel's principles...require synchronization. When pulled apart from each other or isolated, men's interpretations and implementations of these doctrines may be wild."

Wise words. The gospel in its entirety balances itself out. Every time it says something specific, in a more general view it is really saying "Yes, but..."

I think that not being aware of this has a lot to do with why people get so frustrated by religion, missionaries included. 

Here is a scripture that I just got off 
  • Mormon 9:8

    8 Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.
  • I do not share this to feign that I understand all of the scriptures. I share this becuase all of my past frustration with the church came from not understanding where it was coming from. 
  • Life is like that--we're frustrated with people until we understand where they're coming from.
  • If you want to understand the church, seek to understand the Gospel, and then seek to understand the church. The gospel answers a lot of questions, such as "Why is life hard sometimes?" and "How can I be sure that what I'm doing is worthwhile?"
  • I tell you now, as a missionary for this church but also as Allison Tolman, fledgling human, that if you are sincerely looking for the truth, and if you are willing to swallow your pride and put your heart out on a limb, you will find out a lot of things. Some examples could be: There is such thing as truth. Something bigger and definite that exists independent of us and all our scrambling and the chaos we are used to. Or: God is more than willing to speak to you, but on his terms. Are you willing to listen, even if he told you something you weren't expectig to hear?
Hermana Badu and I had a lovely week. Yesterday the sky waited to rain until after church, which made for an unusually full chapel, and lots of happy hugs and double-air kisses. We are teaching an investigator named Olga who is one of the most beautiful, charitable young mothers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She is a good friend of Hermana Armoa, who shares the gospel with everyone she knows. Hermana Armoa and other members have been sitting in on discussions with us, which invariably makes for better, more productive discussions, and we are very grateful for this place and all these good people here, members and non-members, in our corner of Formosa. Due to reducing numbers in the mission, we have a bigger area now, and are discovering a couple of previously unknown barrios, which invariably causes us to feel excited and uncertain, in a swashbuckling adventurous sort of way. 

That's all for now, sorry no photos this week! 
Love, Hermana Tolman

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