I keep saying I’m not going to Un-Blog further until January 2nd, but I also seem to keep thinking of precious things I want to share. So, I hope you will take this as it is given, as an unscheduled happiness leaking out of the heavens.
Before this year ends, I want to tell you about my friend Steven. Of course, this isn’t his real name. I met Steven years ago in about 1992. I was trying to publish “Following the Light of Christ into His Presence” (FTL), and was enjoying a spiritual high.
I was at work when Steven walked in and asked if he could speak to me. I don’t know that I had ever seen him before. He was nicely dressed and well spoken. I invited him into my office. I thought he was a salesman.
Steven said he had read a manuscript copy of FTL my father had given him. His question was if I really believed what I had written.
Over the next two hours we talked deeply as the Holy Spirit warmed our souls. It was one of those blessed times when the teacher learns as much as the taught. Steven’s words changed from doubting to hopeful. He left, but returned every couple days for several months. Each time, we rejoiced in our blessings and drank the living waters. We became friends, very good friends.
About the end of this time Steven came into my office, and told me, “When I first read your book, and read the description of the blessings that accompany being born again, I thought you were exaggerating the blessings to encourage people to pay the price to obtain them.”
I started to say something, but he stopped me.
“Last night, as I was praying I had an amazing experience. The Holy Spirit came over me, and I felt like singing and shouting praises to the heavens. I realized that I was experiencing what the scriptures call “Mighty Prayer”. It went on for a long time. At the very end of it I heard a voice tell me my sins were forgiven, like Enos in the Book of Mormon. What do you think it all means?”
I asked him what he thought it all meant. It wasn’t my place to try to interpret his blessings.
He paused here to collect his emotions. His eyes were spilling tears I don’t think he was even aware of. When he looked up he said, “I guess I know what it means.”
I nodded. “I think you understanding is correct,” I said.
Steven expressed his amazement and humble gratitude for this unexpected blessing. Then he said, “Now I realize that you didn’t exaggerate the blessings one can receive at all. You actually understated them, because if you tried to tell the full extent of what people can obtain, nobody would have believed you.”
I nodded. “Some people experience these things in a very profound way and receive these blessings suddenly, like you just did. Others receive them more quietly, and over a longer period of time, but the blessings are the same.”
Steven has been my dear friend all of these years. We have since discovered great things together, and eaten fruit from the tree of life together, and rejoiced and rejoiced over the years. We have never gone hunting together, or to a movie, or camping or fishing. We just share this amazing bond in Christ, which has wrapped us in the warm blanket of eternal brotherhood, and together we know in Whom we rejoice.
Steven is presently serving as a Bishop, and as my best friend.