This morning Elder Owens and I met with George Peterson. Initially our discussion was a little empty and it lacked compassion. It began with Elder Owens and I expressing the fact that we all sin and that we must all repent. Brother Peterson, being a less active member, expressed his disgust at the way the people from the church judge him and scrutinize on his sins. I tried to use Alma 7:11-12 to express that Jesus Christ understands everyone’s pain, but the scripture didn’t have the impact that I had intended. After an exchange of bitterness and hopelessness, I asked George if I could have a moment to ponder the scriptures and search for the message that the Lord would have me share. At first I looked through some scriptures that I had been studying previously, then I asked George if we could have word of prayer. I cannot record word for word what I prayed for but it was a sincere and powerful prayer. Afterwards I turned to D&C 123:3, 7 and D&C 122: 9. At this point George was in tears and he asked me to share the verse again. The phrase that stood out to him was “fear not what men can do” and “God shall be with you forever and ever”. The Holy Ghost shared a message with George that was beyond anything that I could have ever shared with him. He began to open up and discuss the trials that he had faced and he explained that he realized that he need to to stop worrying about what we think of him and start worrying more about what God thought of him . He expressed his feelings about his wife that left him and his children that fell away from the church. But he recognized the power of the Atonement and was able to feel the desire to come unto Christ and endure to the end. At this point he said that he was ready to hear our message- to which I explained that we weren’t prepared w/a lesson. But his desire for more led us to a discussion in which Elder Owens opened up and shared a personal story about his family and a connection was created between Elder Owens and George. George expressed God’s will to Elder Owens and told him to write to his brother about his mission. He explained to Elder Owen’s how to write the letter and promised him that if he did, Elder Owen’s brother would come unto Christ and be married in the temple. It was surely revelation, as the spirit was present and the message was truth. Elder Owen’s heard a similar promise in the priesthood blessing he received in class from Brother Clark. The first blessing told him of the promise and George told him how to go about bringing that promise forth. All who were present felt the Holy Ghost and received an outpouring of revelation from God. It was truly incredible to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands. And I’m grateful that the Lord prepared me so that I could participate in this even. I have never felt so much love towards a complete stranger in all my life. It was truly incredible.
See D&C 84:85
I remember that I wanted to say to George, “forget yourself and come back to the church”-however, I recognized that he already felt that attitude from the members, I felt the Lord’s compassion for him and shared the scripture mentioned above. The Holy Ghost gave him the impression that he needed to get over his feelings of being-wronged and return to the church.