|Ye are blessed for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you. |
Doctrine and Covenants 62:3
|We found these roses growing in a rough area of Blackburn, England. Amongst all the litter and run down buildings, many sprayed with graffiti, there was still beauty to be found--gems amongst the garbage.|
Some people may be those roses half buried in the dust and stones on the road to Damascus, waiting to be found and called to follow him. Will they listen when the missionaries or members knock on their door? Will they stop a few minutes when a missionary or church member tries to talk with them on the street or at the grocery store?
As for Paul's experience, I don't think the Savior will come down to get the attention of the wandering souls, but he has personal representatives assigned to find them in the form of missionaries and church members. They are his instruments, his good will ambassadors, and his gatherers whom he gives the responsibility to go wherever he sends them to labor--be it on a mission as a full-time missionary, or as a home or visiting teacher, or member missionary. With the difficulty these valiant servants experience getting others to listen to the gospel, they probably wish they could be angels so they could fly about, sound trumpets, and shout their message from the roof tops. Maybe that would get people's attention!
Those without the gospel do not know what they are missing. Every fast and testimony meeting reminds me what blessings the members of Christ's Church gain in having the truth that comes with knowledge of the restoration of things as they were when Christ was on the earth. Today in the meeting, many members testified of what they know to be true and they uplifted and edifyed many others. It was faith promoting to see how much joy and strength people get by coming to church. One sister told about how our missionary (who just entered the MTC) was not going to be able to report to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) as planned, since the sisters who were supposed to go there had not received their visas in time. She would have to wait until there was a companion for her. Then, on Wednesday, another mission called the MTC and asked if there was room for a sister who had been serving a mini mission in their area, but needed to do a full time mission. That was a direct answer to prayer!
Our bishop shared how he was riding his bike to get in shape for a 200 mile ride to raise funds for the youth. He was going up a steep hill when a man stopped to tell him there was an easier way up the hill. He put a bit of pressure on by saying that choosing the easy path was "a no brainer." The bishop chose the harder path to achieve his goal of getting into shape. He said that is like in life. We have two paths to follow--one easy, that offers no reward worth having in the end, and one more difficult that promises the ultimate reward of joy in God's eternal kingdom. People will attempt to pursuade us to take the easy way, but as our stake president has said, "If we invest time in spiritual matters, the reward is eternal." Those things that are worth having, are worth the extra effort.
So, to bring this around to the roses and finding lost souls, we have to just keep searching to find them no matter where we have to go, or what effort we have to make, to rescue them and help them come unto Christ.
What if you are the rose that needs to be plucked off the dusty road to Damascus and placed on the correct path so you can bloom spiritually? Are you lost in the rubbish of worldly way? Pray someone will come along to show the way.
There are no short cuts to Eternal Life.Yes, it is a struggle sometimes to be true to the faith, but it is surely worth it! I know this to be true.