Elder Tolen's Transfer History

Elder Tolen's Transfer History
Elder Tolen's Transfer History


Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 69 [78]: Falling into the Furnace

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hello my family! How are you! I just want to express my love and gratitude for each and everyone of you. You all mean so much to me, and you have all helped me through some remarkably rough times.

This week has been crazy! We have been so busy! We had interviews with President Wada, Zone Meeting, English Class, Game Night, and it was Easter! There was so much to be done!

President Wada and I had a great discussion during my interview, and we talked about how I'm in the last stretch of my mission. He said, "Leave behind a Legacy. Leave something behind for those who are going to follow you." And as I was pondering his thoughts during my personal study the next day, I was reading in the book of Daniel. Daniel 3 to be exact. In these chapters, we learn a little bit more about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Now, we all already know their story: they refused to worship the Golden Idol, this made the king mad, and so he cast them into a furnace, but, lo and behold, they were not burned up in the flames. Now, what does this have to with leaving behind a legacy? Let's dive a little bit deeper.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of Shadrach and his bretheren. We have just disobeyed the king, and broken the rules that society says exist. Now, we are standing over a furnace, a furnace that's is so hot that you literally just watched the guards next to you die because of the heat. So now, you are alone. What do you think is going through your head right now? You can't go back anymore. Well, we all know what Shadrach and his friends did. As the scriptures say, "And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace."

Alright, pause.

Now I'm sure you're still wondering how this all relates. Just bear with me. Now, let's take a look at this from King Nebuchadnezzar's point of view. To quote the scriptures, it says, "Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."

Inside the furnace, there was a fourth figure. A fourth person. Someone who didn't enter in at the same time as the others. If we refer back to the other scripture, only three fell in. And the king noticed this immediately after they fell in. There wasn't time for someone else to fall in. Which means, if we use our skills of deduction, that someone was in there before they even fell in. That person? The son of God. Our Savior and our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Christ was in the inferno waiting for them to fall in, so that he could release them from the ties which held them bound, and also protect them from the flames.

I'm running out of time, so I have to pick up the tempo of things but, we are all standing on the edge of our individual furnaces. We all have to decided if we are willing to take that step into the fire. It definitely doesn't look pleasant, or comfortable. And, sometimes, you won't be able to see any source of hope. But we all have one hope. And that hope is Christ. He is already in the inferno of our pains and struggles. He's ready to loose our bands when we choose to be His followers. So, bringing this back full circle, we all have the option as missionaries, or even as members of the church, if we will dedicate ourselves to this belief. I hope we can all decide to leave behind a legacy that doesn't end. I hope we will all choose to leave behind a legacy that is more than something temporal, but something eternal, because that's the kind of legacy we get from following Christ. Now, as the Lord taught, let's all pick up our crosses, and continue on his eternal journey! There is so much left to be lived! So much more to be discovered, and so much more to learn. This Easter season, I hope we can all come to a better understanding of the reality of Christ's Atonement, and what it really means.

I love you all, and I hope you all have fantastic weeks.

Elder Tolen


Dinner at the Bishop's House

Meeting up with Elder Livingston!

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