Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Heather got baptized and confirmed yesterday!!!!

So it looks as if I will be arriving at MHT 11:30 pm October 23. I got my itinerary, kind of a weird and surreal experience.

Guess what? Heather got baptized and confirmed yesterday!!!! We were/are so happy!!!! The Branch was very supportive and loving. While she changed we sent around index cards for them to write a note and their testimony on. They all loved the idea. The Spirit filled the room as the piano played and everyone was quiet as they wrote. It was a wonderful baptism!!! She was so excited to be baptized. She also came with us the Relief Society broadcast Saturday night. She loved it. We all did. It was fun to sit as a Branch and enjoy the conference.

We had a few investigators drop us. One was after a very powerful lesson. We taught powerfully about the restoration of the priesthood and especially the atonement. We believe the wife would have accepted the baptismal invitation had the husband been a little more open. After testifying boldly about the power of the atonement and of Christ, he said he wouldn't be able to believe there really is a God until he can touch the prints of the nails in Christ’s hands.

He has been dealing with health problems. Under the direction of the Spirit we promised him; if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by the proper authority of God he would be healed. Completely healed. He said he couldn't believe that. It was very powerful! They felt the Spirit testify to them the truthfulness of what we taught them. We were filled with the Spirit and we knew they felt it too. But they still choose to not accept it.

We were talking afterward about it and we realized they had been prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel message. He had prepared them. He placed us in their path. We taught them. We did our part, all we could. It then came to their decision to accept or reject what we taught them.

Heavenly Father is preparing his children everywhere to receive the gospel in its fullness. He places his servants in their path. They then use their agency and choose to receive it with full purpose of heart or not.

It was kind of neat because we realized we had no regrets as far as teaching them. We did everything we knew how to do to the best of our abilities. And now their blood is not on our hands, just as Jacob teaches about in the second chapter. He teaches the people so they may know what the right path is and what the Lord expects of them. He is then guiltless before God. It relates to being parents too. Parents need to teach their children right and wrong, correct principles and then let them govern themselves. Because, if they didn’t teach them then the sins of their children will be upon their heads.

It is such a great feeling to know you have done your very best, that the Lord will not hold you responsible for not teaching some principle or not testifying with power and authority. We have been called to be a light unto the nations. How can we be a light if we are not willing to tell others what is right and what is not? When we have the Spirit and are filled with charity, boldness is not scary or offensive. We correct because of love, because we truly desire their salvation. That is what we felt with our investigators. We saw them in white in the temple. We want them to have their family for eternity. That is why we were so bold with them. We did everything so they could understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope that all makes sense. It was a powerful experience. One I won't forget.

I too am so excited for General Conference!!! I’m curious to see what they talk about. Saturday was very much about personal preparedness. I loved the example given of the sister who only had enough strength to finish the trek but not enough to run back and help her sisters. That gave me a visual that I hope to achieve. I want to be strong enough so when hard times come I can help those around me. So I can lift them up.

I too am excited for seeing you all at the airport. But I must admit every once in a while it makes me nervous. Now I have to go home and make decision that will impact the rest of my life and my eternity. Scary!! But I turn it to the Lord and He takes it away. He tells me not to worry and gives me His peace. I’m so grateful for that!

Forever love!!!
Hermana Stephenson

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