Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Promising in the Name of Jesus Christ

March 4, 2012

I felt pretty restless as I laid in bed last night.
It was not until we met again with our investigator yesterday that I realized the Spirit had been preparing me all week to address his concerns. It began with my personal study in chapter 5 of Preach My Gospel, that deals with using the Book of Mormon to respond to objections and as the main resource for people's conversion. I didn't know why at the time I felt so pressed on studying it. Then came the subtle feeling on Saturday a few hours before our appointment that prompted me to ask, "Elder Woo, do you think he is going to show up today?"
"Of course," came the reply. I supposed he was right; he has always been honest and good about keeping his commitments.
Not long before the appointment was meant to happen, he cancelled in a simple text. We said it wasn't a problem, and would see him at church the next morning. 9:00am at the chapel came around yesterday morning, and something told me he wasn't coming. He didn't.
Long story short, we met him later on a bench nearby the estate where he lives. He got a lot of biased material from the internet. I appreciated the fact that he wasn't there to argue, but really did want to understand. I asked him to consider for a moment the small church that the apostles were running at the time proceeding Christ's resurrection and return to Heaven. I asked him if it had ever occurred to him that what the internet might have said about the "Christians" had it existed in that generation. The only reason that struggling church prevailed and was preserved (at least in principle) through all of the persecution and violence and false rumors in that time was because of one simple reason: it was true.
In the end, after a long and very detailed discussion, I asked him if he was willing to read the Book of Mormon every day and truly figure out for himself if it was from God. The concern came out that the past week he had stopped reading. Elder Woo said that it was alright and he could do better next week. But something inside me told me not to leave it at that. With a wave of seriousness and a sudden deep concern for the welfare of his soul, I looked him in the eye and said, " as a representative of Jesus Christ, our purpose is to declare to the world that Heavenly Father is real and that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Our purpose is to tell the world that the Book of Mormon is true. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that if you read it every single day and ask Heavenly Father with a sincere heart if it is true, I promise you that He will personally answer your prayer." With a changed demeanor on his face, he said he'd pray. Last night towards the end of his prayer, he told Heavenly Father that he had intended earlier that morning never to attend church with us again, but that the enthusiasm and the sharing of the missionaries had helped him increase his desire to truly find out.

I went home last night and begged God to answer his prayer. I wondered to myself how many times I've made a simple promise in the name of Jesus Christ without realizing how much I relied on Heavenly Father to ensure that promise to came to pass.

I know that this is the work of God. We need Him. Jesus Christ is our Savior. The Book of Mormon is true.
Elder Hazen

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