A Glimpse of Glory

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H. Burke Peterson

Some of the most interesting and rewarding experiences I've had have been in the mission field as I've met with the missionaries. I've seen missionaries, "ordinary" people—people like you and me—exhibit the type of faith Alma had. I was in a meeting in Mexico a few weeks ago. One of the missionaries there stood up to bear his testimony, and he let us know that he knew why he was there and that the Lord was watching over him. Then he told us about a family he and his companion were teaching.

The father in that family had had an operation two or three months earlier. The incision had opened up his stomach from his breastbone down to his waist. Because of the poor medical facilities there he hadn't healed, and he was left with a large open wound. He was not even able to sit up. The physicians seemed to be doing nothing to correct it, so he had to return to his bed for two months.

As the missionaries taught this family the gospel, the family liked what they heard; they accepted what they heard, and the point was reached at which they were ready to be baptized the next Saturday. The father couldn't be, of course, because he couldn't get out of bed.

The Elder bearing testimony said that that evening, after the family had accepted the challenge of baptism, he and his companion were thinking about and reading some stories about missionaries of former days. They read about Elder Matthew Cowley and his great healing experiences down in the South Pacific. And the Elder said to his companion, "You know, Brother Cowley was a missionary. We're missionaries. He wasn't an Apostle when he was out there on that first mission, yet the Lord helped him heal. Why wouldn't he help us heal?"

Then the Elders did something that was crucial to their purpose: they decided to prepare themselves to call down a blessing from the Lord on this man. They spent a day in fasting and prayer. Before they left home that evening, they knelt down and prayed: "Heavenly Father, now please bless us to say in this administration what thou wouldst have us say."

Full of faith, they went to that family's home, laid their hands on the man, and administered to him in the power of the priesthood. They blessed him to get well, and they felt full confidence that he would. As soon as they had finished the blessing, the man got up and walked around the bed for the first time in two months. He was tired, so he went back to bed, but three days later he went down into the waters of baptism and was baptized along with his family.

This is the faith of the Elders. This is the faith of those who prepare themselves to receive the blessings of heaven.

Now, lest you be discouraged, be aware that the Lord doesn't always come to our rescue that quickly. He doesn't always answer our prayers immediately, even after many pleadings. We could tell story after story of some babies that have been born after years of pleadings. One young couple had been married eleven years and still had no children. Finally they started to plead and plead as they'd never pleaded before. And it happened. They received their baby. But this is not always the Lord's answer. Some do not receive a child in answer to much pleading. We must learn to trust the Lord's decisions. Sometimes he holds back his answers for a very special reason, so that we'll be tested and tried and our faith will be strengthened.

Such experiences as I have mentioned are sufficient evidence of the glory that is available to all the children of our Father in Heaven. But we have to do our part to get a glimpse of that glory. I want to testify to you that whatever effort it takes to live righteously, whatever effort it takes to say no at the right time or to say yes at the right time, it's worth it. I testify to you that Jesus is the Christ, that he really does live, and that this is his church. I know this without any reservations. May each of us have the blessings that will sustain us as our testimony is strengthened, that we may steadfastly pursue the course that will bring us the glorious reward promised to those who are faithful and devoted to our Father in Heaven.

Happiness does not mean our lives are devoid of problems. An absence of problems does not bring happiness, and those who understand that recognize problems as blessings.

Brethren, the priesthood we hold as young men and older men is the authority to perform our duties in the same way the Savior would if he had our individual responsibility....Most important of all, our priesthood is the authority to be the kind of father, son, or brother the Savior would be if he were in our family.

We should understand that the spirit isn't killed with a spiritual sword. The spirit isn't killed with the bullet from a gun. A spirit dies gradually. It is my observation that people, young or old, don't fall into sin and transgression in an instant. It's a gradual step-down process.

Excerpt from the book: A Glimpse of Glory, by H. Burke Peterson