Monday, June 29, 2015
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
When a suitor came to call, if the parents like him, they would twist the candle up so it would burn a long time.
If they didn't like him, they would twist it down so it would only burn a short time.
When the candle burned down to the top of the coils, the suitor had to leave.
A heavy-set man walked into the Cultural Hall where I was serving. He was alone. He told me that for some reason he had agreed to be the bus driver for a youth group visiting Nauvoo from Lexington, Kentucky. He didn't know anything about Nauvoo and said he wanted to understand a little about it.
One of the miracles of being a missionary is witnessing the Holy Ghost put words in your mouth, draw forth the feelings of your heart, and confirm the testimony you bear. Instead of giving the customary tour, I was led to ask him what he knew about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He said he knew nothing. The look in his eyes was of an earnest seeker of truth.
It was a busy day in Nauvoo on the 18th of June, 2015, but for the entire time I spoke with him, no one came in for a tour. I found myself sharing with him the beautiful story of Joseph Smith's first vision, of his obtaining the Book of Mormon and organizing the Church. I reached in my bag and pulled out a Book of Mormon. I told him how much I loved it, explained it to him and told him that he could get a witness of its truthfulness as I had.
He listened intently as I spoke. At the end of our conversation I offered him the Book of Mormon in my hand. For the first time in our visit he said, "No, I can't take it. I am an associate Baptist preacher." I told him how much I appreciated him listening to my message with such respect and interest and told him I also respected what he was doing.
We parted with very good feelings. I did not feel disappointed but exhilarated! It was such a thrill to share with someone with an open heart the glorious message of the gospel and testify to him that it is true! I know the Holy Ghost was there to bear witness of my words.
Sometime after he left, I realized I had not given him my profile card nor gotten his email address. But I knew that for some reason I was not to do that this time. I also know there was a reason I could not give him a Book of Mormon. I know that I was led by the Spirit to do things exactly as I did. The seeds I sowed with the Lord's help were planted in rich soil. In their own time they will bear fruit. I am so happy!
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
A LIVING TESTIMONY
Sometimes we get those gentle reminders that this is the Lord's work and that if we are willing, we can be instruments in His hands and that He will put the words in our mouths that He would have spoken. On Wednesday, June 10, 2015 Sister Boyle and I were serving in the Seventies Hall. She had just finished a beautiful presentation in the main part of the hall to a father and mother and their two teenage sons.
For some reason she added, "Would any of you like to stand at the pulpit and bear your testimony? There was silence until the words escaped my lips, "Dad, this is your golden opportunity!"
After a brief pause, Dad replied, "Yes, I think I will." He walked up to the pulpit and opened the scriptures sitting there. He began to read D&C 135:3 with deep emotion. "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it." He continued reading until he had quoted the entire verse. He concluded by bearing a fervent and powerful testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration.
The whole room was filled with warmth. As I sat in the pew behind the family, I could see the mother frequently wiping her eyes. The older son's shoulders shook as he silently wept. Everyone sat basking in the conviction and love that filled the room. All of us were in tears.
As the family at last stood to leave, the older boy threw his arms around his father. Together they wept as they embraced. I'm sure there were many special moments for this choice family visiting Nauvoo. But perhaps the most priceless of all will be the tender memories of a father sharing with his family his burning conviction of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restored Gospel.
A repeat picture but the only one I have handy of the Seventies Hall.
One of the fun things about Nauvoo is seeing people I am surprised to see - Charles and LaVon Cole, Jeanie Robbins & her family, Jan Payne from our Castle Rock days. And Friday Shawn drove to Nauvoo! We visited a beautiful park with a waterfall and celebrated birthdays and Father's Day over lunch. It was so fun!
Thursday night we had the most spectacular lightning show I have ever witnessed. Instead of being along one horizon it completely surrounded us on all sides and lasted for over an hour. Here is the one picture I captured, plus 1 minute of lightning on a video clip accompanied by a chorus of frogs.