We've met with the Bishop, had that meeting, which went well. We are back on track to the baptism(although despite Arthur's willingness, I think he has more than earned but wah, wah, never mind). Arthur has let his children know of our plans, and the response we receive is warm, positive and upbeat. I have to admit, I am pleasantly surprised and pleased. I am not sure what I thought his children's reactions would be, but they have shown themselves to be most gracious on the matter.
We make arrangements with the young missionaries for the last lesson. I believe there are more missionary lessons, but the missionaries have advised us that we need to have four lessons and attend church services three times to be readied for the remaining procedures towards baptism. We have this fourth lesson with the missionaries, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I am in my element. I have several challenging questions I have written down in the handout they gave us to study before the lesson. As I listen to the lesson, I come to appreciate that I have a strong biblically based knowledge of the gospels, this lesson is going quickly and smoothly and deciding against using the time in challenging questions (one or two perhaps) I did get to throw in a couple of quick references to the elevated status Jesus gave to women, ie, it was woman that he first appeared to upon leaving the tomb, it was woman who recognized him as Jesus, it was woman he commanded to go and share the message that he lives, a message the men did not receive happily from a woman as in the historical time of that history women were held in lower regard by the men of that time. It was men who failed to recognize Jesus although he appeared to them several times at different places. And there is the woman with the Alabaster Jar whom Jesus said we should remember her name for all time.
The missionaries, pronouncing that I seem to have a strong testimony of Jesus, concluded the lesson. Well, good, I have part of this down, as I do not yet have what is called in the LDS vernacular a testimony of the Book of Mormon and I'm Really Working on Joseph Smith the prophet. More about that in another post.
Actually, this lesson included a rather well made short 20 minute film documentary format of the life, parables, and gospel of Jesus, and I found it to be a pleasing representation. I would have perhaps taken issue with only one or two words, but otherwise it seemed to stay true to the biblical gospels.
We made arrangements with the two young missionaries to meet up with them and take them to dinner at a local restaurant within the week. It was refreshing to meet with them under more social conditions, exchanging stories with our meal, and less about the teaching exchanges we have had with them to date.