I hope Easter Sunday was a beautiful day for everyone. Temple Square was busy with individuals, friends and families who all came with a love and left with a passion for our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the way they hasten the Lord's work. As Temple Square missionaries, we feel honored, humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside them. The way they testify of our Savior, the way they truly give all their time, talents and efforts to building up the children of God around the world through the powerful spirit of their music, leaves me in awe and wanting to do more. It shows that no matter who we are, where we are, what our capacities may be, all of us have something to bring to the Lord's kingdom. Whether you bake and bring treats to a neighbor, help your siblings with their homework, play a hymn in a piano recital, listen to uplifting music in the car with your friends, you are doing the work of the Lord and I feel tremendously blessed to be working alongside you.
When we do such every day matters with an eye single to the glory of God, we truly become qualified to inspire the working of miracles among His children. What an exciting thought :) doesn't that just make you smile? Do you love the people around you? Then you can bring them closer to Christ. Do you look for ways to serve your friends and family? You are bringing them closer to Christ. Do you feel the spirit when talking with people in every day situations? You have already brought them closer to Christ.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is by the Prophet of this marvelous work, of this Restoration, Joseph Smith. I testify that he saw God, the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ and that he indeed was called to restore the very same organization Jesus Christ established when He taught during His mortal ministry.
He said, "A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."
When we begin with this love we have for God, with this love we have for our fellow-man, the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ spreads throughout the world in a very real and literal sense. When this happens, both sides of the veil rejoice as curiosity begins to develop into faith.
For Kathleen, it wasn't a thought-out lesson or a brilliant presentation that took her doubting curiosity into a beautiful desire to have faith, rather, it was a simple, ordinary text. Really...a very, very simple text.
It read, "Sorry it's taken us so long to get back to you! We were having difficulties with e-mail but will send it to you soon! We love you Kathleen and we're so happy to hear from you!"
However, what turned this ordinary text into a thought-consuming miracle was the timing of the Lord.
In the middle of our lunch, Sister Gearheart and I felt this very strong prompting we needed to text Kathleen and we needed to do it right that moment. It didn't make apparent sense as we were in a rush to get through our meal, but the prompting pounded and persisted. So off went this simple text, but then came a powerful reply.
"Wow...I was just thinking about you both when you texted!"
We smiled then when we read the text, but rejoiced today as we heard what a powerful effect this simple text had on her newly budding faith. We met Kathleen here at Temple Square and had a powerful lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation with a wonderful member family who brought her. When we called her again with our return appointment she said continually said, "Where's my proof? How can I have faith?"
Today as we shared with her the strong prompting we felt to text her right in that moment she said, "Sisters, I'm really beginning to think this is all real."
All it took was a text and two willing hearts to follow the promptings of the Lord.
Brothers & Sisters, we are all at different points of our journey to being with God and becoming like Him, but we must help each other along this path. We have not the right, but the responsibility to remind, re-teach and restore our brothers and sisters to this knowledge we have that we are literal children of God, our lives have purpose and our future is infinite. This gospel is real. It is as real, it is more real than you and me. Whatever it is you are doing, whatever talents you have, use them to help our fellow brothers and sisters along this path.
Kathleen is now going to church this Sunday for the first time in over 10 years. We love her, we pray for her and have felt and found the greatest joy in helping her step by step to remember who she really is.
I testify of the reality that our Savior died for each of us. Such a profound sacrifice should remind us that we are so much more than the world would have us believe. We are so much more than we can now see. We are so much more important, special, and loved than we can imagine, or our Father would not have sent His Only Begotten & perfect Son to atone for us all.
"O Lord, wilt though grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee." (Alma 31:34-35).
Will you each find a way this week to hasten the Lord's work? Remember, it can and will be found in your talents, personality and character that the Lord has blessed you with, it may even be something as simple as a text. Even the most simple of things can transform a curious thinker into a faithful believer who says, "I'm beginning to think this is all real." I know that the Lord's heart is full as we can all work together to bring each other back to Him. How great is our calling! :)
SHOUTOUTS: Jonathan LeFevre (congratulations! Your fiance is beautiful! Thank you for the invite!), Rob Versaw, Britania & Tom Busath (so happy I got to see you both today!), Bryan & Casey Briggs (congratulations on graduating, really, congrats to all my friends graduating this weekend!), Mom & Dad, Robert Donakey, Grandmother, Grandma Jeanie & Grandfather, Sara, Mary, Becca, Brother & Sister Donakey, the amazing and wonderful achievement day girls of the cascade crest ward, Sister Stutz...thank you!!!!!