Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Classic talk: Dad's talk after their mission to Indonesia (A classic, I will never forget this talk)

Jay wrote the following about our Indonesian Mission.
(On my Mission to Indonesia)

                1. I have learned that the Lord's way is the best way, and that following the prophet, and the mission rules is the way to faster and more complete success in any endeavor.  

                2. I have learned that serving as a senior missionary is a special way to bring about special blessings, that never seemed to find a solution when we were home, for example a child who we wished would get married, or one who needed to turn his or her life around but couldn't find a way to leave undesirable friends.  We have experienced so many outstanding blessings for ourselves and our family, while we served in a foreign land, that we feel ever so much more deeply indebted to our Heavenly Father.

                3. I have learned how fortunate one is to have a good companion, who is strong where I am weak, who remembers what I forget who is not afraid of work, who is eager to go the extra mile to turn a stranger into a friend, or to keep an old friend, or let love sink into an investigator's heart, who is continually thinking of better ways to be effective missionaries, who loves the Gospel, and who thrills at reading the gems of wisdom found in the scriptures or church magazines, who never forgets t o remind us when a prayer is needed, who said from the very beginning how she wished we had been called on a proselyting mission, and then made that wish a reality by assisting in the conversion of two people and seeing them baptized and fellowshipped into the church, who became the branch's favorite grandmother and became known for the temple cakes she baked for children as they reached their eighth birthdays.

                4. I have learned that one of the better ways t o feel the Spirit is through music.  In Indonesia, everyone loves to sing, and they do so with lovely strong voices.  Many times I have been in a congregation in our little branch in Bogor, and some other branch and felt as though I was in the middle of a great choir.  Bogor Branch was asked to provide a choir to sing a number at our district conference.  There were about 25 members eventually who were in that choir and we sang a medley of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives," and "Oh Holy NIght." With a director of some experience we practiced for 2 to 3 hours every Sunday for several weeks.  The performance went well.  With all of us singing at full voice, we gave it our best.  The Spirit fell on the Choir and the audience, which could not be denied or mistaken.  I had to stop singing three times from the overwhelming emotion and the Spirit that I felt.  After the choir had finished, there was not a sound in the whole chapel until the next speak commented on what had just happened.  After the closing prayer crowds of people approached the choir members and commented on what a lovely rendition it had been and how strongly they had felt the Spirit.  We still heard comments weeks afterward on that wonderful experience, when God heard our prayers through song and answered back with a manifestation of His Spirit to be with us, on that beautiful "day of Pentecost."

                5. I have learned that people who live in poverty are often more generous than those of us who are more well-to-do, who would spend their last few rupiahs to give us food or drink, who would give us sincere thanks for any small favor, and reward us with big, broad, and often toothless, smiles on the least bit of recognition shown to t hem.  I have learned that language or different color of skin or of religion is not a barrier to loving one's neighbor.  I have learned that severe suffering is often endured in complete silence.  And despite t he poverty widespread throughout the land, the people typically, when at all possible, will find a way to clothe their school-age children in very nicely laundered and pressed, required uniforms, and to present their children clean and neatly groomed.  You see, families are as important to Muslim as they are to Mormons.

                6.  I have learned that life goes on after terrorist bombings, one of them which happened on the same block a few doors down from where we had been just a few minutes before it happened.  But at no point in our missions did we feel unsafe from any kind of threats in a land that is something like 90% Muslims.  You see, there are all kinds of Muslims just like there are all kinds of Mormons.  And a very few of them have been linked up with the terrorists.  Those who are valiant in their faith are in no way to be confused with those who would flagrantly kill innocent people.  Good Muslims, like Mormons have endured persecution and have found it difficult to get an honest history written about themselves.  Yes, there are risks in going on a mission in a place like Indonesia, but nowadays there are risks anywhere in the world wherever you happen to be for a couple of minutes or up to a couple of years.  So we follow the precautions that are taught us, obey the rules and turn the problems over to the Lord and joyfully get on with our business as Saviors on Mount  Zion, wherever that mountain happens to be.

                7.  I have learned again and again, that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that this is the true and living church, guided by a living prophet, that it has a special mission to perform among the peoples of the earth.  I learned also that other people and other sects have much that is true and desirable, and that we need to learn not to be puffed up in pride, for all people are the children of God.  He remembers them too, and from time to time he speaks to them through their members, their leaders, their founders, their reformers.  None of them have all of the truth, but such as they have of the principles of the Gospel are worthwhile, and are leading them to a position where, in this life or the hereafter, when they are able to hear the Gospel in its purity and its fullness, I believe it will sound familiar, and fulfilling, and the Spirit will be able, so much more effectively, to convince them to receive and to accept it.

                8.  I learned that there are close to one billion worldwide followers of a man named Mohammed, who are pure, saintly, generous and full of charity, and whom Sister Richardson and I count among our dearest friends.  They were our NGO's, who claim to be Muslims, and are followers of a religion called Islam.

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