Spiritual Experiences – Counseling with the Lord!

During transfer meeting on Wednesday President Anderson shared a number of spiritual experiences from letters he received from missionaries. They were used as examples of concepts that he was teaching. This is something he does each week in his letter to the missionaries and are powerful tools to show what can be done when the missionaries ‘Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings.’ Here are the experiences that he shared this week.

“Sometimes we fail to counsel and plan with God, our companion, our Districts, our Zones, and even our members, (remember all of us is better than one of us, especially the Lord). We do it all on our own without God’s additional help, and without a backup. We must go to the Lord in prayer to be inspired with options, then going back to the Lord to know which one is best. I know that God will help us as we implement His inspired plan to baptize and not give up:


“On Sunday morning we were planning on having three simple baptisms. It was about an hour and a half before church started and we were setting everything up so it would be ready for after the third hour. Then, we received a call… It was Juana and Victor telling us that they were too busy to come to church and get baptized. They got an opportunity to move into a new home and they had to take care of it all that day. We tried testifying all we could but they kept saying they couldn’t make it. We could tell by their voices that they were nervous. We were devastated. A few minutes later we decided we needed to pray. So we found an empty room and knelt down and prayed for help and guidance. After the prayer we both felt positive and peaceful, we both knew that somehow they were going to get baptized. About a half hour later after talking about it we went into the room again and asked for guidance on what we needed to do to make it happen, we gave some options and ideas to the Lord and asked for which one was right. When the prayer was over we immediately got up and decided we needed to go and visit them. So we headed to their home with a member. Once we got there we found that they weren’t there; walking back to the car not losing faith yet, we ran into the sister that said they were at the new house. She didn’t know where it was exactly but she gave us a direction and the color of the house, we found it within a few minutes. They were there! We immediately ran in and testified and converted them to come with us and offered to help after the baptism. They accepted! And they were able to come with us to church and get baptized, later that day they were sooo happy that they came and felt soo blessed.”


In our “plan to baptize” make sure the members are an important part:


“While we were waiting for our member to park her car we met Lisa. Lisa is a single mom of 3 and before we could even ask to leave a blessing on her home she asked where our church was. As we told her and testified of the peace and strength it would bring to her family her eyes brightened. We asked to leave a blessing on her home. She gathered her 3 kids and we left the blessing. After the blessing  our member, who before this would not go harvesting with us, bore pure and simple testimony of Christ and the blessings of baptism. We invited Lisa to be baptized and she said “Yes! this is what I need!” Lisa and her 3 kids are coming to church this week and are preparing to be baptized on the 10th! I love harvesting so much our members are becoming more and more converted. Our member, on the way to go see the next appointment, said – ‘wow that is amazing, does it really work?’ We told her that just like the Liahona it works as we have faith and that everyone that we have found has been that way. Yeah! We have another harvesting lover here! It is the best!”


Elder and Sisters, I know we will have difficulties and sometimes it will be hard, but as Elder Holland say, “Salvation never was easy”:


“Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?… I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary… I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price…. For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy… I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul… If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way… The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign March 2001)”

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