Thursday, March 18, 2021

Hearing the Voice of the Lord in the Mind #4 - Blessing, helping and Informing Mission Presidents and their Wives, Missionaries and others

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            See the Introductory blog (#1) for explanation about this blog series on hearing the voice of the Lord in the mind. The below are accounts shared by those who have experienced this and have thereby been able to bless and enlighten others. Most of these are self-explanatory, but if desired readers wishing further context can (in most cases) go to the original source:


Elder Robert C. Gay:

            While serving as a mission president in Africa, I was forever taught this great truth. I was on my way to a meeting when I saw a young boy alone, crying hysterically on the side of the road. A voice within me said, “Stop and help that boy.” As quick as I heard this voice, in a split second, I rationalized: “You can’t stop. You will be late. You’re the presiding officer and can’t walk in late.”

When I arrived at the meetinghouse, I heard the same voice say again: “Go help that boy.” I then gave my car keys to a Church member named Afasi and asked him to bring the boy to me. About 20 minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The young boy was outside.

He was about 10 years of age. We found out his father was dead and his mother was in jail. He lived in the slums of Accra with a caretaker, who gave him food and a place to sleep. To earn his board, he sold dried fish on the streets. But after this day of hawking, when he reached in his pocket, he found a hole in it. He had lost all his earnings. Afasi and I knew immediately that if he returned without the money, he would be called a liar, most likely beaten, and then cast out onto the street. It was in that moment of alarm when I first saw him. We calmed his fears, replaced his loss, and took him back home to his caretaker.


Elder John H. Groberg:

            At about the time our ward moved into its new building, Jean and I moved our growing family into a new and larger home. By that time we had been blessed with two more beautiful daughters—Marilyn in 1962 and Jane in 1964. With each of these births my feelings for my daughters and Jean were deep and wonderful, and I realized anew that they were truly my first priority.

One evening after all our moving was completed, I was alone in the bishop's office, prayerfully going over some names for important positions. I leaned back and was thinking deeply when suddenly, as clear as anything, these words came into my mind: "You will go to Tonga and there preside over a fiftieth anniversary celebration. You will receive further instructions." I could hardly believe it. I hadn't been thinking about Tonga and I put the thought into the back of my mind and said nothing to anyone about it.

Over a year later I had another somewhat strange and unexpected impression. I was at work one afternoon in late April, 1966, when I was suddenly hit by a very heavy sensation and felt that I should go home. I wasn't sure what the problem was but wondered if Jean was all right, as she was expecting our fifth child soon.

When I arrived home, Jean was resting. I asked her if everything was okay. She said she was fine but that I should look at the mail because there was a letter from Salt Lake City.

"What does it say?" I asked.

"I don't know," she replied. "I don't open your mail, but when I saw the envelope I felt a strange sensation."

"Bishops get lots of mail from Salt Lake. What's so unusual about this one?" I asked.

She replied, "Well, this one is addressed to Elder John H. Groberg, not Bishop John H. Groberg. It's something unusual, I know."

I went to the study, found the letter, opened it, and read:

"Dear Brother Groberg:

"We are pleased to extend to you a call to preside over one of the missions of the Church… . Your wife is called to serve with you… . A seminar for new Mission Presidents is scheduled for June 22, 23, 24… . You are both invited to attend… ."

It was signed by President David O. McKay and his counselors.[1]


Elder Robert L. Simpson:

            I don’t know what I would do without my sweetheart and companion, and certainly in terms of eternity this companionship is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. I had something happen a few years ago that was quite important to me. Sitting at my desk in southern California, I heard the telephone ring. I reached over to pick up what I thought was another routine telephone call, when the voice on the other end of the line said, “Brother Simpson, this is President David O. McKay speaking.” I couldn’t believe my ears; I couldn’t believe that a prophet would be calling an ordinary member of the Church seven hundred miles away. During the next couple of minutes, he proceeded to call Sister Simpson and me to preside over the New Zealand Mission.

            As I hung up the telephone in total shock, my first thought was the same as most of you have had as you have been called to Church positions—“Why me?” I then proceeded to think of dozens of others who might have been called instead. I thought to myself, “The prophet probably looked for someone who knew the Maori language,” but immediately I jotted down a dozen names of other missionaries who knew how to speak the Maori language as well as or better than I. Then I thought to myself, “He probably needs someone who has had administrative experience in the Church, such as in a bishopric or high council.” Then I proceeded to jot down another list of returned New Zealand missionaries who had had this experience. Then this thought came to my mind—indelible, sharp, and clear—“But of all these men, you’re the only one married to Jelaire Chandler, and that’s why the Lord has called you.” Now, young people, that’s how important it is to find a sweetheart and companion to be at your side who can supplement you in your priesthood and share with you the dream of exaltation and eternal life together.


Elder Richard G. Scott:

            One day I was interviewing a young lady for an assignment in the mission—a choice young lady, a recent convert to the Church. As I reviewed her personal history and asked her the questions about her personal life, she answered as though she were reviewing her personal history page by page. Then, it seemed, she skipped several important chapters. Nothing she said told me that, but I had that strong impression in my heart that she was leaving something important out.

            I went back to ask questions about that area, but no matter how I phrased the question I got the same result—no comment on that area. As I anxiously tried to communicate with her, a very powerful impression came to me—to my mind and to my heart. I knew specifically what had happened to her. She had been betrayed by a trusted doctor who had taken away the most precious gift: her chastity. Being a new member of the Church she had not known what to do as you and I do. She had sought the Lord, asked for help, anguished over her efforts to repentance without fruition.

            I began to feel impressions to counsel her, and she became nervous and turned her head to the wall so that all I could see was the back of her hair. Yet specific counsel flowed forth, and I gave it to her. Finally an impression came which I communicated. “I don’t need to talk to you any more, do I? You have made a decision.”

            She whirled around and asked, “How could you possibly know that? I want to bear to you my testimony.” And as she poured out her love for her Father in heaven and her conviction of the Church’s truthfulness, there flowed between us a power, a real power and a strength. Neither she nor I wanted that moment to end. I discovered again how the Lord could use a servant as an instrument to answer the urgent desires of someone who wanted to do right but had no idea of how to proceed. He answered her prayers unequivocally.


[1] Groberg, The Fire of Faith

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