Nothing really new going on, but yesterday as I sat in church I thought about a conversation that I had recently with Tom. I told him some spiritual experience I had and he said he had never heard it before. As I thought about that I decided I would use this blog to write some of those I remember so my family would have a record of some of the special times in my life.
The first one that I remember came when I was investigating the church. Two wonderful ward missionaries – Grant Anderson and Merrill Johnson – were my teachers. Frank Gonzalez, my cousin and neighbor, and his family had joined a few months before. Frank said that I should listen to the missionary lessons. I can not remember why I agreed but I did. Probably it was because Frank and his family was very close to me at that time.
My missionaries did not have an easy time. Mainly because Frank gave me a copy of the missionary lessons so I knew what they were going to ask me. Since I was 19 and thought I was smart, I carefully made sure that I did not answer the questions the way I should.
At that time the lessons were basically a series of questions that any reasonable person would answer in a certain way so they would reach a point where they natually asked to be baptized. Of course being a smart-ass I was determined not to go along.
To make a long story short, after a number of for what to them must have been frustrating lessons, one of them looked me in the eye and told me that I needed to earnestly pray to God to know if what they were teaching was true. From reading the lessons I already knew that logically the gospel made sense, but I had not done anything to try and get a spiritual witness. Therefore the suggestion to pray came at just the right time. So I prayed and got a spiritual witness. This of course led to my joining the church.
Many years later, when we were serving our MTC mission, I used the story of my own conversion to tell missionaries in the MTC that they should never teach the gospel without the spirit. Even if they are just teaching their companions. Until a missionary can get a person to sincerely pray to know the truth, they will have little success in converting them. They may get them to be baptized but they will not be converted until the spirit has told them that the church is true.