Sunday, November 17, 2013


It's unbelievable lately how all the Sunday school lessons seem to correlate so well with things going on in my life.

Today's lesson was about missionary work. It was so fitting because we had a missionary farewell in our ward today and the entire topic in sacrament meeting was about Preach My Gospel. Because it was a farewell we had many visitors attending our ward today; members and non-members.

After sacrament, most of the visitors left but one of them who happened to be a relative of the missionary and also a bishop from Arizona stayed and came to Sunday school. He shared some very insightful comments throughout the lesson but there was one in particular that he shared which sent wonderful chills up and down everyone's spine.

He said that there was actually more than one third of the hosts of heaven who rejected the Savior's plan and supported Lucifer. Because our Father in Heaven loved them so much he sent his other children to go find them and bring them back. He said that we were missionaries before we even came to this earth. We went and reached out to our fallen brothers and sisters and brought as many back as we could. The rest who would not come back remained cast out of heaven.

He then went on to say that because we showed the Lord our willingness to find and bring back His lost children, we were then selected as "the chosen" generation to come to the earth at this time to find His lost children again.

My patriarchal blessing talks about things I had done in the preexistence that were very pleasing to the Lord and earned me the right to be born in the environment  I was born in. I have always wondered what it was I might have done. After hearing this good brother speak about the missionary work we did in the preexistence I couldn't help but wonder if that might have been what I did that was pleasing to the Lord and earned me the right to be born in a good environment and in the gospel.

I felt a wave of warm peace come over me as I thought about this. It was something I had never considered before and I felt that the spirit had taught me a new truth today.

Further into the lesson  the instructor talked about our ancestors having to make sacrifices and leave behind wives and children to serve missions. He also talked about things that stop young men and women from going on missions today. He asked if any of us could share an experience about this from one of our own ancestors.

Just last week I came across a new story of an ancestor of mine as I was compiling family history. It was a great, great, great uncle of mine, Labriel Pickett. Instead of serving a mission as a young man he married instead.  He and his wife were married in the Manti temple in 1918. When he became a 2nd counselor in the bishopric of his ward,  it was a time when there was a great missionary shortage in the church.

President Grant sent out a plea for married men to go on a six month mission.

He was called to the Chicago, Illinois mission and left wife home to raise four small children and take care of the small farm. After four months he came back home when his father died. He always felt bad and wanted to go and serve another mission. In 1948 He and his wife were called to serve in the Gallup, New Mexico mission which was a Natvive American mission. They labored two years and were asked to stay an extra six months which they did. They had only been home two years when they were called again to the same mission. Six months into their mission Labriel died of a sudden heart attack while helping the saints cultivate their garden on May 25, 1953.

This story reminded me of a story spoken of by Elder Richard G. Maynes during the last General Conference. He spoke of his great grandfather who in 1910 was called to serve a mission in England, leaving his wife and children back home in Utah. He suddenly died of a heart attack while changing a bike tire.

He said, “This is what the gospel gives us—not immunity from death, but victory over it through the hope we have in a glorious resurrection. … It applies to [Joseph Maynes]. … It is a pleasure, and it is a satisfaction and joy to know that men lay down their lives in righteousness, in the faith, true to the faith.”

I shared the story of my ancestor with my Sunday school class. Reflecting on all of this has me truly believing that the members of the church are of the chosen generation who were the Lord's best missionaries in the preexistence, are His best missionaries on Earth and again will be in the post mortal life. 

I testify that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and you were born at this time where you now live for a reason. You have a great work to do! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

No comments: