Sunday, June 1, 2014
I thought our family letter might be of interest to my blogger friends this week!
Last Monday was Memorial Day. We spent part of the day delivering lunches for the local “Meals on Wheels.” No one else wanted to see us and we had no graves of loved ones to visit so it was a very slow day. I think I sent Elder Holt to the grocery store three times.
It was also a hard week. We have been so blessed most days to teach two, three or sometimes four lessons, mostly to lost sheep who are very mixed up people with multiple, difficult problems because of not keeping the commandments. Truly we have witnessed again and again the truth that "wickedness never was happiness!" Way too often people sin because they do not understand the gospel, or take it too lightly as though it is like a restaurant menu, from which they can pick and choose, when, and which commandments to keep. It is very exhausting and frustrating to help people realize the need to repent, and keep commitments! Yet, we have those wonderful moments when people do catch the vision!
Last summer, we drove to a home about 10 miles east of our small Texas town, in search of an inactive member named Richard. No one from the Ward knew anything about him. We found the house, and Richard’s father came to the door and told us he wasn’t home, but invited us in. He explained that his name was Richard also, and that he and his wife Jean had moved in with his son about five years ago. He also said that he and his wife were members, but they had not been to church for about ten years. He gave us information so that we could request his membership records. Several weeks later, we visited him again and met his wife. We encouraged them to come to Church, but they did not show any interest. However, we learned that they were converts, and were sealed in the Temple about twenty years ago. Also, they were very involved in family history then. We continued to visit them each month, and then Richard went with Elder Holt to General Priesthood meeting last October. Shortly after Christmas they came to church and Richard, along with another less active member, came to General Priesthood meeting with him in April.
At our next visit, we showed them a five minute video on the Temple. We challenged them to take the Temple Preparation Lessons and go back to the temple. Jean then shared with us some dreams she has been having about her father and then her mother. In one dream her mother was crying and telling Jean, “I cannot find your father, please help me find your father.” Jean said she absolutely knew the meaning of this dream because she has not completed her parent’s temple work. Well, what a testimony and a relief to know, that their loved ones on the other side are also reaching out to them. As with so many others we have found, we know the Lord sent us to their door.
In the first lesson we taught the Plan of Salvation. While reading D&C 76 about the three degrees of glory, they were absolutely stunned to realize, that to qualify for the Celestial Kingdom, we must be valiant in the testimony of Jesus. (In their hearts they knew they were not living as they should) They had been completely certain, that because they had been sealed in the temple, they WERE going to be saved in the Celestial Kingdom. Much like they had honestly believed that just because they loved and accepted Jesus Christ, they were automatically born again and saved in their old Baptist faith. The shocked look on their faces registered the very tangible moment they truly began to repent! It was an amazing thing to witness! The spirit was SO strong!
This week we completed the last lesson. During the lessons on the temple, Richard especially, has been very tearful and grateful that these lessons have reawakened his love for the temple. He has expressed sweet memories associated with the Dallas Temple Open House, and then having their deceased son and two others sealed to them. They have been coming to Church regularly, paying their tithing, living the Word of Wisdom (which they previously weren’t) and two weeks ago they met with the Bishop. They are excited to go to the Temple with us as soon as the Bishop feels they are ready and have a track record of keeping the commandments. We feel it is a great blessing to know them and we are becoming great friends. It is also a great testimony to us that when people truly understand how absolutely essential the commandments and ordinances of the church are, it gives them the motivation to be valiant, faithful, committed members of Christ’s church!
This week we visited our convert Jeannette again. She received her Patriarchal Blessing several weeks ago and it was a wonderful blessing. She had just received a copy of it in the mail and was excited to read it to us. We always knew she was a special woman and the Lord confirmed it to her and us. She is so golden! What joy!
Dad & Mom
Posted by Bonnie at 9:52 PM