”Give me a young woman who loves home and family, who reads and ponders the scriptures daily, who has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me a young woman who faithfully attends her church meetings, who is a seminary graduate, who has earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award and wears it with pride! Give me a young woman who is virtuous and who has maintained her personal purity, who will not settle for less than a temple marriage, and I will give you a young woman who will perform miracles for the Lord now and throughout eternity.” Ezra Taft Benson
Jesus, throughout His ministry, blessed the sick, restored sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear and the maimed to walk. He taught forgiveness by forgiving. He taught compassion by being compassionate. He taught devotion by giving of Himself. Jesus taught by example. - Thomas S. Monson, “Those Who Love Jesus,” Ensign (CR) October 1985
Can human hearts be changed? Why, of course! It happens every day in the great missionary work of the Church. It is one of the most widespread of Christ's modern miracles. If it hasn't happened to you--it should. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Born of God,” Ensign (CR) October 1985
Years ago I was on my way to a high counselor speaking assignment to a small branch in our stake, when I was started by an impression. A little inner-voice said, “You’re gonna sing a hymn in sacrament today, by yourself.” I said, “No, I’m not.”
I said that because as a child I had a singing experience with my grandmother that left me traumatized about singing in church. Grandma had written some original words to a familiar tune. The problem was she had too many words for the music and it was impossible for me to keep up with her.
It was a really embarrassing experience and when I tried to sing after that in a church setting, I just couldn’t do it. I’d freeze up with fear, hoping the congregation would think it was the emotions of the Spirit and not my fear that was the problem. But I knew the truth. I was terrified.
Outside of a church setting I could sing with no problem. So, when the little voice said, “You’re gonna sing in church today”, I said, “No way.” The voice persisted and finally I yielded, “Well, if the Lord wants me to sing, somehow He’ll find a way to help me.”
So, when I arrived at the chapel, I grabbed a hymn book and opened it at random, without looking, and the booked opened to the hymn “How Great Thou Art. I spoke to the the pianist, who was also the branch president, before the meeting and said, “Look, I’m not saying I’m gonna do this for sure, but should I decide to sing this hymn, can you play it? Of course, he could.
Half-way through my talk, that little voice said, “Sing it now.” I nodded to the branch president and he went to the piano and played the introduction. Just before I started to sing, a deep calmness came over me and I was able to sing with no problem. Noticed a lady sitting with the missionaries wiping tears from her eyes. Wasn’t sure if it was because I was doing that bad of a job or if something else was going on.
At the end of sacrament meeting the missionaries brought this lady up to meet me. One of them said, “You need to hear this.” This wonderful, humble lady explained that the missionaries were teaching her so many things that were new to her, that she had knelt in prayer that morning and prayed that Heavenly Father would allow her to hear something familiar as a witness that what she was learning from them was truly of God.
She then smiled and said, “How Great Thou Art” is my very favorite hymn and I feel my prayer has been answered. I saw the Lord’s hand, not only in her life, but in my life as well as He allowed me to be an instrument in His hand to help her, and to be helped as well with overcoming my fear of singing in church.
How great the Lord is and how kind He is to us His children. – Grandpa Tony