Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

A Promise

Moroni 7:37 - D&C Introduction

On Thursday morning last week I had a remarkable opportunity.

I listened to an 18-year-old boy speak of an experience he had the day before.

This boy is from Germany.  He was here to visit for a two week stay.  While he was here he experienced a tender mercy ––he had the opportunity to meet Elder Uchtdorf.

As he prepared for that visit he wondered if he might have an opportunity to as Elder Uchtdorf a question.  He said, "I have never spoken to an Apostle, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what my question should be."

His sincerity caused me to reflect.

If I was given the opportunity to ask one question to an Apostle of the Lord, what would it be?

He explained that he has been researching the LDS faith for almost two years now.  He has studied, and asked questions, and pondered.  There is only one thing he hasn't done.

He said, "You know how there is a scripture that says you should ask God with a sincere heart, with real intent if it is true?  I haven't done that.

I haven't done that because I am scared of what the answer will be."

Then he looked at the teenage kids who surrounded him and said, "It's different for you.  When you pray and you receive an answer everyone is happy for you.  That won't be the case for me.

I don't think my parents will be happy.  My friends in Germany won't understand.  It will change everything about my life.

I have a lot of fear about asking with a sincere heart, with real intent."

Then he looked around at each person in the group and said, "I decided I would ask Elder Uchtdorf how do I overcome the fear so that I can ask with a sincere heart, with real intent?"

My heart overflowed in that moment.

Suddenly I knew what it was to be sincere.  Real.  Having faith.

"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." (Moroni 10:4)

As I listened to him talk it dawned on me that I was about to finish the Book of Mormon and that as I turned the final pages I was going to be given an invitation.

To ask.

With a sincere heart.  With real intent.  Having faith.

I have decided that I am going to do that today.

Even though I have done it before.

And there is one more thing I am going to do.  I am going to remember how merciful that Lord hath been unto the children of men.  I am going to ponder it in my heart all day.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks said that "mercy is a blessing that is greater than deserved."

I remember Nephi's testimony in the very first chapter, "Behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith..."  (1 Nephi 1:20)

I can't help but notice Moroni's words here in the very last chapter, "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts."  (Moroni 10:3)

As I read through this chapter today I couldn't help but think about my friend from Germany, and how merciful the Lord was as He orchestrated the events of that week so that my friend could speak to an Apostle of the Lord.

I can picture so clearly the moment when Elder Uchtdorf pointed his finger to that boy's heart and said, "You will feel it right here."

A tender mercy.

A question that came from a sincere heart, with real intent.

A promise...

"by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:3-5)

 

 

Emily Freeman