This last weekend we had our stake conference. It was broadcast on Sunday to stakes in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Saturday night we met with the adults in our own stake.
I was impressed with the woman who spoke first in our Saturday evening session. She said she’d lived in California many years when she and her mother felt prompted to move to a small town, away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. They traveled through Colorado before deciding to settle in a small town in southwestern Colorado.
She and her mother began working for the school district serving lunches. Missionaries happened to stop by and dropped off a Book of Mormon, but neither she nor her mother read it. Through the job with the school district, she met members of the Church. Children invited her to their baptisms and other special events. When she started working for the court system, she worked with members who changed her view of others. She said that those she worked with didn’t see criminals, but rather children of God who made mistakes and needed help.
Her neighbors invited her, and her mother, to church events and befriended them.
Through all of these efforts, she decided to be baptized. The more she studied about her new religion the more she desired to go to the temple. As the year progressed, she started to fear going to the temple because she didn’t know what to expect. She shared how the Relief Society president was persistent, but never pushed her to go to the temple.
After some time passed, she decided to attend the temple. Twenty-two people attended with her. Her neighbors, those she’d worked with, the Relief Society president, and parents of the children who first invited her to go to church. She shared how she felt when she joined these people in the celestial room and the bond that tied them all together.
As I listened to her speak, I couldn’t help but feel the Spirit witness to me the truth of what she was sharing. What a blessing it is to attend the temple. I’ve been privileged to attend with my nephews when they first took out their endowments and when they married in the temple. But, the opportunity I had to attend with my own son before he left for his mission was an experience I won’t soon forget. To stand in the celestial room with him was such an incredibly peaceful and joyous occasion. I was filled with such gratitude for that experience.
Another thing I picked up from this sister’s talk was the involvement of so many people in bringing the gospel to her. Children and adults, not afraid to share the good message of the gospel, opened their mouths and their hearts to serve one of Heavenly Father’s children. Her gratitude to these people for loving her and helping her to find her way back to Heavenly Father was palpable in that room.
We never know what opportunities we may have to share the gospel with our co-workers, neighbors, or even through our internet associations. I’m going to try to be more diligent in sharing the gospel with people in my life in hopes of allowing them to find the same peace and joy I have found through the gospel.
Return to the neighborhood.
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