Elder M. Russell Ballard recently gave a talk about the evidence of God’s hand in the events that led up to the Restoration of the church. It helps to take a step back and look at the different things that happened in order for the final result to happen. We see this all the time as missionaries. We talk to people who are ready to learn about the gospel who met with missionaries 30 years ago but weren’t ready then. God prepares peoples hearts just like he prepared the world for the Restoration. Elder Ballard shows how God spent hundreds of years “preparing the soil” so that he could restore his church in its fulness.
I was thinking about how God has prepared things in my life and I thought of my Dad and how he came to learn about the church. I will paraphrase it a bit but he had spent years looking at different churches. His religious background was pretty diverse and he looked into just about everything. My Dad sent me his conversion story and this part of it really stood out to me.
“…I feel I have a seed in my heart, and it knows the truth, and it knew what I was looking for, adn after awhile I just gave up and concluded that if there was a ‘true’ church, then I could not find it. So a few years later, I came in contact with a man through a tax planning organization. He was from california and had flown in especially becasue of a lot of local interest in our small Iowa town for what his company offered. I liked this fellow’s manner and appearance and after the meeting asked him if he belonged to a church. I sensed there was more to him than met the eye and I was curious as to what it might be He answered that he was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints, which I found meant ‘Mormon’. That was intersting, and as was my acquired habit, I inquired about his beliefs and his tory. I was not prepared for what followed…”
If my Dad hadn’t spent so long looking at different religions then he wouldn’t have been ready to ask someone at a tax planning seminar about his religion… We could debate all day about whyGod does things certain ways but if we really look at our lives we can see God’s hand in where we are, and where we are going. Most of the time we don’t know why but sometimes God moves us to where we need to be. Like this guy…