Moroni saw me daily
Often, the people God place in our lives provide us with the impetus to move from one piece of joy to the next. it is not always about trials and fear. Life is about more than enduring to the end. it is also about living in the moment.
Patrick M., the son of Patricia M. mentioned in an earlier blog entry, is another spiritual giant in my life who fellowshipped me encouraging me, Rodric Anthony, to want to be a missionary and live the life, the Christian life
I was there when Patrick left and returned from serving a mission for Christ representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. When he returned from that glorious service, he brought with him some of the most severe stories about his missionary experience, effectively mortifying me of missionary service for myself.
I know, I said that this was not about trials, so to speak. Just keep reading. I do not believe Patrick told those scary stories on purpose, but I hung on every word of his, becoming the annoying little brother type. His services as a missionary definitely put him on my mental hero status board, a pedestal.
One story he told me about a companion of his with mental concerns. Patrick saying that he knew that the Lord wanted him to be the one to deal with that companion and all of his issues, revealing that he had several companions with psychological concerns. This was on of the issues that brought fear with it into my hearted about serving a mission, the psychologically challenged companions.
The only reason one of his companions went on mission was to fulfill his rite of passage in Mormondom. We don't go by Mormon's name anymore, but what this former missionary that Patrick told me about was nothing but a cultural manifestation without any religious substaince, so Mormon.
This companion did not want to be there. In fact, this one companion of Patrick’s could not go home! The family told the mission president that if that elder went home early, he would have no home. They would disown him!
Harsh, I know! It made no sense to me then. And, it makes no sense now that I have a son who is old enough to serve as a missionary. I cannot imagine disowning my son forever just because he did not serve a two-year mission. I don’t want to imagine it either.
Patrick could not believe what he had experienced on mission! He told the stories because they were incredible to him and to us--his family and me. He knew I wanted to go on a mission so he told me that I should be prepared when I went to Utah, admitting that the people can be racist and there is hazing in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.
With tell of thoses stories, I became more anxious, not knowing that I had to go through such things just to preach the gospel! Patrick’s mission sounded horrible! In fact, I remember nothing good that he told me about the mission save the Lord confirmed to him that his chief reason to serve a mission was to minister to his companions. The spiritual changes in him showed evident in his walk, as when he returned from his service, he was more like his Mom, Patricia M., a spiritual giant. Now, for that change to come upon me, was I willing to risk going to the MTC! Yes. I would risk it.
"And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance," Moroni inscribed in reference to people like missionaries and others called to minister in the Church. "To fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men." (Moroni 7:31)
Patrick said that he had a feeling that God put him in the places he needed him on mission to help his companions. During Patrick's missionary service, it was before the Spiritual Bar was raised. This was during a time where missionaries went into the mission filed to gain their testimonies as the shared the Restored Gospel rather than share with the world the testimonies they had of Jesus Christ as a function of the Restored Gospel.
Patrick realized as a minister of Christ that he had, as Moroni records, "to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they, [not only the people he taught outside of the church with his missionary companions, but the ones whom he served with as ministers] may bear testimony of him." (Moroni 7:31)
In his episodes with his companions whom he had to monitor, he did so with the understanding that he was to serve as their connection to Christ until they could foster their own connections, if ever.
It was not a curse, as I would find out later on my mission. Patrick was not at fault that I did not hear his entire story, but only the part that was unsavory. Ministering as a witness of Christ was not only to those who stood outside the Church, but to those who stand in it, as well.
"By so doing," Moroni instructs, "the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof."
That service that Patrick performed would lead to someone's testimony in Jesus, even if it led only to the solidifying of Patrick's testimony alone! It also led to my testimony and willingness to serve as a representative of Christ as a missionary even if too, I had to be what Patrick was to his companions. A minister is a minister to all whom Christ's service put in his or her way, because "after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men." (Moroni 7:32)
What has Moroni seen in you?