You Never Know part one
By Mikal J. Shedd of Independence, MO, USA
Chief among these is the power of community in Christ expressed locally in distinctive fashions while upholding a unity of vision, foundational beliefs, and mission throughout the world. —Doctrine and Covenants 163:11a
Fresh out of college, I began to go to church. A family immediately “adopted” me. The father, an elder, answered my questions; the mother involved me in the congregation—Oriole leader, church cleaning, church school director, and Light of Life leader for their daughter, Diana. Diana and I became close friends.
When the family followed God to a new ministry, I found myself in a family-oriented congregation with little to offer a single young adult. I eventually stopped attending.
A month later, the father of my adoptive family called. He found out I wasn’t going to church and suggested another congregation in Bellevue, Nebraska. Bellevue was near an air base and ministered to a wider variety of people. It took him two months of calling every Sunday to get me to go, but I eventually returned to “active service” in the church. Without his perseverance, I would not be active in the church today.
Five years later Diana moved back to town working on her master’s degree, and we connected again. She didn’t have a car, so I offered to take her to church. Every Sunday until she graduated, I drove across town to pick her up, usually sharing lunch as well.
Twenty years later and Diana is standing in my office at the Temple. We are both bishops in the church and serve on the World Church Finance Board. She is a mission center financial officer just as I once was. She says if I had not taken her to church all those years ago, she would not be active in the church today.
Her father did not know keeping me in the church would one day keep his daughter in the church. I did not know the impact of a simple act of friendship.
Our actions spread out through life, like ripples in a pool, and we never know how they will affect others. However, when we follow the Spirit’s lead, it will all work for the good of Christ’s mission.
Prayer for Peace
God who connects us, surprise us with what far shores our ripples can reach. May we be aware when they come back to bless us once again. May we send peace to shores far and near.
Spiritual Practice: Invite People to Christ
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 162:3b and 163:2b. Pray to be aware of people who might be receptive, and therefore blessed, by your sharing of the message of the Living Christ. Imagine being in relationship with them and inviting them to Christ. In preparation, discover your personal testimony of Christ. “Be persistent in your witness and diligent in your mission to the world.” Repeat this phrase throughout the day: “Christ’s mission, our mission, my mission.”
Today, God, I will pester (oops, I mean persevere) in my invitations to others to share in Christ’s peace.