immortality and eternal life of MAN, not men, but MAN.
The Lord's work is always focused on the one. And this week I learned the importance of truly focusing on the one.
There is a man named Mike who married a member of the church almost 20 years ago. She has struggled with attending church over the years and staying active, but she knows without a doubt that the church is true. Almost five years ago she finally convinced her husband who has never attended ANY church in his life, to meet with the missionaries. He felt the spirit immediately, but has never felt worthy to be baptized all these years.
He has a lot of health conditions and when I very first came to the area, he was progressing. We tried to meet with them, but health got in the way and they both literally disappeared for six months. Bishop called us a few weeks ago and explained that she wanted to come back and that he wanted to take the discussions again.
This man listens to the Book of Mormon every day and prays over meals, as he wakes up in he morning, with his wife when they are arguing, everything. He knows more about the church than most members do. But he has never prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true. The last time we met with him, we got him to FINALLY agree to baptism, but we couldn't get a date set. And we haven't been able to meet lately because of health.
Well this last week, they gave us a call and asked that we arrange for Mike to be given a blessing because of the health difficulties. He had told us before of a man in the ward that he felt very close to and Mike knew that this man loved him and cared for him. So we gave this brother a call and arrangements were made.
As we talked before the blessing, this ward member said to him, "Mike, what is holding you back from being baptized?" to which he responded, "I don't feel like I'm worthy".
I can't even begin to explain what happened after that. This brother explained the power of the atonement. No one is worthy before they are baptized. The whole purpose of baptism is to be made clean and to receive the spirit of the Lord. We don't have to wait for the atonement to work because we are all broken and we all need to atonement no matter our circumstances. Baptism is only the beginning to help us know how to more fully access the powers of Christ's sacrifice in our lives. The spirit was beyond tangible. It was so powerful. This brother then said in the most loving bold voice you can imagine, "Mike, I want to baptize you a week from. I want to help you take this step. I'm here to help you through this. We're going to do it together".
There was not a dry eye in the room. We then asked Mike to pray and ask the Lord if he was to be baptized a week from. I'm not sure if I have ever felt the spirit so strong in my life. It was incredible.
His story has only just begun, and due to a rough weekend with his health, the baptism will not be able to happen this next weekend, but we will be meeting with them tomorrow to create a better timeline. He's ready, even if he doesn't feel like he is, he just needed someone to help him through it.
We were reading "The Miracle of a Mission" this morning and I loved this quote: "This is higher and holier and more sacred and more eternal than anything you've ever done. It is by definition the most important thing you can do in the world, in time or eternity. For this reason you are engaged in the saving of the human soul. And that is the highest and holiest work in the universe" -Jeffrey R. Holland
It's not about everyone, it's about the one. It always has been and always will be about one human soul.
Love you all!
|you can't see it here... but that tree looks like it's snowing. i love christmas!|