Sunday, July 09, 2006

Homecoming

This afternoon I attended a homecoming that reminded me of the core of missionary work. The missionary who just returned shared spectacular stories about angels, ancestors, and the working Atonement. In the end, though, it was not his stories but his demeanor that most captivated my attention. His face shown with love and testimony—those ineffable spiritual forces emanated from his face like sunbeams. There was something is his facial expression, and in the way he focused his eyes and cocked his head when he spoke of those he remembered from Brazil, that testified to the mighty change that transformed him while he served the Lord. Even before he spoke, watching him on the stand, the Savior’s countenance was apparent in his face.

In the end, isn’t that what missionary work is about? That mighty change? That sweet song of redeeming love? That forceful molding of a willing heart? That kindness and hope that press themselves upon us, like sun from behind the clouds? Like the Spirit, the change that comes in beyond adjectives and nouns, it lies within the realm only knowable through experience—an experience like hearing a recently returned missionary speak in an English highlighted by a Brazilian lilt of the glory and power of the Atonement and the Restoration.

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