“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”( 1 Nephi 3:7)
Recently I asked two friends what impact these lines from the Book of Mormon had made on them. Did they have any “go and do” moments in their lives?
“For sure!” answered the brother. “I did one year of Institute. It had just been introduced into South Africa. In the reading was a statement by Spencer W Kimball about the obligations of church members. He said that ‘a mission is not an alternative program’. That statement made a huge impact on me. I was not excited about it, but I felt I had no alternative!”
Realising he needed to make money to do this, he resigned from his job as he had heard that selling property had the possibility of high returns. “While I was working my resignation period, I was offered a position in Johannesburg with the same group of companies, but at double the salary, plus a car!”
Within 6 months he had earned the money he needed, and off he went on mission.
The second person I spoke to was a sister who had been less-active for 16 years. “I had this continuous yearning for some spiritual element in my life,” she said. “I looked for an easier option than the church, but nothing satisfied me.”
Finally, she turned to the Lord in prayer, asking if what she had to do was return to the church. She asked Him for positive confirmation of this. “Please tell me boldly!” she said to the Lord. “I don’t do subtle.”
That Sunday, after a very unsatisfactory visit to another church, she returned home, feeling despondent. “I turned on the TV, and the program ‘Touched by an Angel’ was showing. Suddenly, the story featured the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I was shaken, but not convinced.”
The next day, road works forced her to take another route to work, and for the first time she saw the spires of the temple on the skyline. “I was doing training for Mike’s Kitchen in Parktown, and my office was upstairs, above the restaurant. I had a meeting scheduled with a signage guy, but before going to the meeting I had to go downstairs into the restaurant. The place was thronging with senior missionaries, all sporting their badges!” She rushed out of the room and went upstairs to her meeting, where she was handed a folder with the company’s catch line emblazoned on the top “How many signs do you need?” To the consternation of the man from the signage company and to her great embarrassment, she burst into tears, and had to leave to compose herself.
“I went into action. I looked up the telephone number of the Sandton chapel, and fortuitously the Bishop, Warner Molema, was there.” He answered her queries, got her details, and on Sunday she was at church. On Tuesday, he and his counselor visited her in her home, and by Thursday, the home teachers arrived.
She decided that she needed a friend, so she called the Sunday School teacher and invited her to have lunch with her that week.
She did not leave it at that. “I had decided that I would throw myself into absolutely everything the church was offering. I attended whatever was going on. I went to Institute, every fireside that was advertised, every Relief Society meeting that was held, and a year later I went to the Temple and received my endowments.
“Looking back, I realised I was not the only one who heeded the ‘Go and Do’ injunction. My bishop put all those things in place. And my Sunday School teacher is still my friend today. Of course, most importantly, my Heavenly Father answered my prayers in a way that could not be questioned. All that happened in 2001. I am so grateful to be a part of this great work.”