What a fantastic week! We have taught this family, Carlos and Alexandra and their children, for about a month, and on Sunday we talked to them about confidence, commitment, and covenants (which is the gospel - faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end). Carlos and Alexandra are not married, and they had told us about some difficulties they were having. After talking a bit about faith and repentance, Elder Stoner and I talked about covenants and read President Monson's story that he shared in the Priesthood Session of the April General Conference this year about the couple who had arguments quite often, and they called President Monson, their bishop at the time, and asked him to come over (at 2 a.m.) and resolve their problem. He didn't know what to do, so he offered a silent prayer. He then asked them how long it had been since they had seen a sealing ceremony in the temple. It had been a long time, they said, so he invited them to go to the temple with him to witness a sealing ceremony. As they sat there, in the temple, and were reminded of the covenants they had made, they decided to start over and try a little harder this time around. So, we talked to Carlos and Alexandra about the power of our covenants and how they help us be happy and stay on the true path. We then invited them, and they committed, to pray about getting married and being baptized.
We returned to their house on Tuesday and before we even said the opening prayer they told us that they had decided together to get married and be baptized! Alexandra told us that she woke up early in the morning, earlier than usual, and went out into the dining room and sat at the table with her Book of Mormon. She prayed and then opened the Book of Mormon. The first thing she read was about baptism, and having faith in the Lord. In that moment, she felt the Spirit witness to her that this was what God wanted her to do. So, she went and told Carlos, and he was elated. He had been wanting to get married and baptized for a while, and it was a major surprise to him because she came and told him! As they told us all of this, we felt such a sense of gratitude and happiness to see the light and determination that came from receiving and accepting the witness of the Holy Ghost. They are truly dedicated to the Lord and have great desires to make covenants with Him. Our hearts were filled, and we will continue to work with them toward these goals.
I know that our Heavenly Father lives. His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior. He lives. His hand is in our lives. His work is indeed "a marvelous work and a wonder." Because of His atonement we can change, and we can make covenants that tie us personally to Him and to our Father, and the Spirit seals those covenants as they are made through the holy priesthood and kept through faithful obedience to the commandments of God. And those covenants, when honored and kept sacred, will allow us to return and enter the presence of our Heavenly Father with our families in never ending happiness. I know this to be true!
Elder Joe Fagersten