03:42:23 pm on August 13, 2008 |
President Brigham Young said that inspiration only comes after sweat. This means that we must strive to excel in our work. Thus, when we do our best in our callings, our faith grows. Faith really is a seed. It grows well when it has appropriate nutrients. These nutrients are our efforts.
Our first effort must be to strive to know and love our Heavenly Father.
The Lord is saying “you already know me.” God does not change whether we love Him or not. But there is a change in us. This change is to be purified and to be born again.
D&C 88:63 says:
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you “
This is the way. When filled with God’s love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or see or understand.
A few years ago, when I was a young missionary, I served in a small country. It was a great opportunity for me because the place I usually lived in was a huge city. Because it was so small, there wasn’t even any sister missionaries in my area, so there were few investigators. Also, my mission had a special rule that elders couldn’t teach woman and sisters could not teach man. For this reason, I and my companion had special permission to teach women. However, we discussed it and decided not to teach sisters. Sometimes missionary can have temptations about girls and we didn’t want to make trouble and wanted to work hard. So we decided to proselyte to only men.
We worked really hard. We ran every day. We did do our best every single day. I remember that every night before I fall sleep, I pray to God with a tired body. “Father, I did do my best today just like yesterday. I love you. I want to work harder than today by showing my love tomorrow.”
I taught English twice a week at the church. Because I really didn’t have time to have dinner, I went to the bread store which is right next to the church. There was a young woman who worked at the store.
One night, as I lay down after my prayer just like the other day, I felt strongly to talk to that young woman about the church. I thought “hmm, This must be some kind of strong temptation. However, I will not be tempted. I will stay worthy for 2 years!’ and I fell asleep.
The next morning, when I prayed to open the day, I felt same feeling. I thought again it must be a really strong temptation. I got the feeling a third time when I read Book of Mormon in the morning. So my companion and I discussed this. And we decided to go to meet to her and try to share the gospel.
Because I had never experienced proselyting to a girl, I was shy and afraid. But I got up courage to talk to her.
‘We are missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We want to introduce the good news that the God who loves you wants you to know Him.’
I was surprised at her response. She said,
‘I’ve been waiting.’
When she was 13 years old, she had had a discussion with sister missionaries. But her family had moved away. Even though she was not a member, she remembered the black name tag.
She recognized the missionaries but she couldn’t talk to them. And nobody introduced the gospel to her. I made an appointment to meet the next day at the church.
The next day, I heard some surprising news from her. The day we talked to her was her last day to work at that place. Also, she had planned to move away a week later. But she delayed her moving for her baptism. Isn’t it surprising? This is our faith. This is the Lord’s work.
After I returned from my mission, I became a MTC teacher in Korea. I taught gospel to missionaries who would serve in Korea. I had the privilege to teach one sister missionary who was baptized by me. Can you guess who she was? It was her: the same girl we taught in that little area. A few months ago, I heard she returned with honor.
I have learned some interesting things from this experience.
1. I would not have had inspiration if I didn’t work hard like I did.
2. I felt the inspiration several times, specifically when I prayed and read scriptures.
3. The 3 inspirations were not voices, but they were small and silent feelings.
Blessings require effort and sacrifice.
Prayer fulfills our sacrifices. It results in miracles. Miracles bring conviction. Conviction strengthens our faith.
Brothers and sisters, the time to serve a calling is limited. And time is passing very quickly.
I pray that we will live worthily and work hard to strengthen our faith and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.