I cannot begin to express the powerful emotions I felt in our ARP (Addiction Recovery Program) meeting last night.
We missionaries contribute at the end of the meeting after the others have shared, so I was last but I could hardly speak. There was a powerful healing spirit that permeated the room. Here were broken hearts and contrite spirits. Every participant had put a sincere offering on the altar in coming there and sharing for their fellows. As I looked into the faces of these men who mean so much to me, I began by paraphrasing a scripture that was given to me in the temple,
“And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.” (D&C 78:18)
I told my brothers there that I consider them my dear friends and that if the Savior wasn’t there with us, then I didn’t know where else he would be. Did he not say, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt 18:20). I related how my mission president had told us at the time of his release that he couldn’t help but look out on us and smile, not because we were where we needed to be, but because he knew we were headed the right direction.
We have had many successes and many more setbacks. It isn’t as important where we are, but where we are going.
I love this call and I love those I serve (Alma 29:9-10):
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.