Sunday, August 19, 2012

Well Done thou Good and Faithful Friend

Over the last few day's I have had a Janice Kapp Perry song running through my mind entitled:

Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servant 

You were called to serve a mission by a prophet of the Lord, 
and you bore your solemn witness that the gospel was restored.
You were called that you might testify and teach your fellow man 
the simple truths of Jesus in an unfamiliar land.
Yes, each child of God has promises to keep.
For the Savior has said, "If ye love me, feed my sheep"
Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
Well done, thou good and faithful son.
You have seen the field is white.
You have shared the gospel light.
You have earned the Savior's gentle praise, “Well done.”
You were called to help your brother find the straight and narrow way.
As the Savior's true disciple, you were led by Him each day.
In the service of your fellow man, you're only serving God 
 fulfilling his condition that all men must be taught.
In unmeasured time your mission now is done, 
but a lifetime of joy serving others has just begun.
Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
Well done, thou good and faithful son.
You have seen the field is white.
You have shared the gospel light.
You have earned the Savior's gentle praise, “Well done.”
Well Done.

I believe that this particular song has been playing in my mind due to one of my seminary boys just returned this past Friday from his mission.

Over the last two years this young man has grown immensely in his personal relationship with his Father in Heaven.
 Today in Sacrament meeting he shared some of the lessons he had learned and how he had grown.

Coming from this small town in Idaho he was never called to "boldly bear his testimony."  
He mentioned that on one of his first outings, he and his companion were invited into a home where the man of the house proceeded to place a bible on the table and made a comment something to do with the fact that the bible he had placed before them had multiple witnesses that The Book of Mormon was a fraud.
His companion related to him that now was a time for him to look this man right in the eyes and bear his witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

My young friend was unable to do that because at that moment in time, he himself was not sure about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, so he began to search, ponder and pray, so that he could find out for himself if the Book of Mormon was true and if the Joseph Smith was truly a Prophet of God.
He started with the Introduction of the Book of Mormon where there are as he related three promises:

1.  "We invite men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the messages it contains, and then ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true.
Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.
2.  Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world
3.  That Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these the last days and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah."

This valiant young man became quite emotional as he shared with the congregation how each and every one of those three promises were burned deeply in his heart and how he personally came to know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
He also came to know his Lord and Savior in a more personal intimate relationship and he knew without a doubt that Joseph Smith had been called of God.
He then asked his Heavenly Father for a chance to redeem his testimony to an investigator of the church.
His prayer was answered.  

He once again came face to face with a man who countered each and everything he attempted to share with him.
I can't remember his exact words on how it came about but the man issued a challenge to my young friend.
He took a breath and then he bore a powerful testimony that "he did not believe that the Book of Mormon was true, He Knew!"
He then proceeded to share with this gentleman that he also "Knew that even though he had never heard a sermon taught by the prophet Joseph Smith, or that he had never had the privilege of standing next to the prophet Joseph Smith; He Knew! that God the Father had called the prophet Joseph Smith to stand as a witness and that there was nothing any man could say that would change his mind on how strongly he felt about the divinity of the prophet Joseph Smith and how the teachings contained within the Book of Mormon had changed his life."  

There was no sparring of words after he bore that powerful testimony.

At a young age I was influenced by the promise the prophet Joseph Smith had made concerning the Book of Mormon:

"I told the brethern that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."

I found out for myself the truthfulness of the above statement.  As I searched the pages of the Book of Mormon I truly came to know my Lord and Savior.  It was thorough its pages along with the pages of the Holy Bible and other books that He became and continues to be my best friend. 

It wasn't until I left the sacred walls of the temple in 1997 that I like my young friend, had this great desire to learn more about the prophet Joseph Smith.  During the year of 1998, I come to know and greatly respect the prophet Joseph Smith.  
I too have had the prophets divine calling burned into my soul and like my young friend there is no man or nothing on this earth that will sway my testimony.

In closing my testimony  mirrors one of the last testimonies given by the prophet Joseph Smith:
"And now after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which (I) give of him:

 That He Lives!
For we saw him, even on the right hand of God;
and we heard the the voice, bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
That by him, and through him, the worlds are and were created,
 and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God."

It is my goal that when I am called home, my beloved savior and friend will be there with open arms to welcome me home and I will hear his gentle praise, "well done thou good and faithful friend."


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