Week 10 – Talihau/’Utungake

Kai kuli! I finally ate dog this week. It tastes pretty good, kind of like a mix of horse, turtle, and rat. Just kidding, I don’t know how to describe it.

Elder Hopoate was sick all week so we stayed at home most of the time. At first it was kind of frustrating but it was nice having so much time to study. I read the first three books of Moses, and when Elder Hopoate wasn’t sleeping we listened to talks.

I don’t have a lot to talk about because we didn’t get to work much but I’ll share something I learned from my studies:

A large part of Exodus describes the many plagues that afflicted the Egyptians because Pharaoh wouldn’t allow the Israelites to leave. After enduring hail and fire, locusts, thick darkness, etc., the last plague sent by the Lord is described in Exodus 12:29-31.

29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people,both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord,as ye have said.

From the Ensign magazine I read a talk by President Boyd K. Packer given in the 185th General Conference. This is my favorite quote from it:

“The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth has never been rescinded. It is essential to the plan of redemption and is the source of human happiness. Through the righteous exercise of this power, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fullness of joy, even godhood. The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan; it is the plan of happiness; it is the key to happiness.”

The plague that finally broke Pharaoh was the slaying of all the firstborn of the Egyptians, including his own firstborn son. Pharaoh’s perspective is a tragic one. As President Packer says, the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth is the source of human happiness and joy. Pharaoh could harden his heart against the many other plagues that afflicted his people, but understandably could not endure the death of their firstborn sons who had likely brought them so much joy.

After pondering the perspective of Pharaoh after losing his firstborn son, I thought of the symbolism between the Passover and Christ. I gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the sacrifice that Heavenly Father made by allowing His Only Begotten Jesus Christ to endure the infinite suffering of the Atonement. It’s difficult to fully comprehend but I wonder if it was like Pharaoh losing his son but to an infinite extent of sadness.

It’s nice to get back to work this week. Thanks for reading and ofa atu.



Author: Elder Patrick Watts

I am serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission.

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