He was on a scooter, waiting for the light. I had only seconds to talk to him.
Miracle at a Stoplight09249_000_023
As my missionary companion, Elder Platt, and I were walking through a market in the streets of Taichung, Taiwan, we stopped at a main intersection and waited at the red light. Just after stopping, I heard a familiar sound behind us. As several scooters pulled up beside us, I turned to see who we could talk to. At that moment, a distinct impression filled my heart and my mind. No voice was spoken, no words were uttered, but I felt impressed that I needed to talk to the man on the scooter just a few steps to my left.
I moved with a sense of urgency to speak with the man. It felt as if someone was actually pushing me from behind and moving my feet for me. I opened my mouth and asked the man, “Are you having a good day today?” He looked at me and responded that he was having a bad day. At that instant the stoplight turned from red to green, and my heart fell. I was afraid the man would drive away. I had said nothing to him of the Restoration of the true and living Church of Jesus Christ, of the Prophet Joseph Smith, or of the Book of Mormon. I had not even told him the name of the Church.
The people around us began to drive off, but the man did not. He suggested that we move to the side of the road to talk more. I was shocked, but I gratefully complied with his suggestion. At the side of the road, Elder Platt and I shared with him the name of the Church and much more.
A few weeks later, that man, Su Meng-Wei, and his two sons and two daughters were baptized and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
From that experience, I learned that as we faithfully strive to do the Lord’s work in His way and on His timetable, we are sometimes privileged to witness miracles. The prophet Moroni declared that “God has not ceased to be a God of miracles. Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes?” (Mormon 9:15–16). Miracles can come with the touching of hearts and the changing of lives.
Preach My Gospel contains this promise to missionaries and members of the Church: “The Lord is preparing people to receive you and the restored gospel. He will lead you to them or He will lead them to you. … Such people will recognize that you are the Lord’s servants. They will be willing to act on your message.” 1 It was no accident that Elder Platt and I were at that specific stoplight at that exact time.
Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us individually. In no coincidental way, He provides a way for all of us to come to a knowledge of the restored gospel. The Lord was mindful of the challenges and difficulties in Su Meng-Wei’s life. He knew that Su Meng-Wei had recently become unemployed. He knew that contentious words had been spoken in the Su house that morning.
The gospel has brought more peace to the Su family and has strengthened their family relationships. It has helped them find greater happiness and direction in life. They have found the power to face life’s challenges with hope and without fear.
We may not see it at first, but those who have been prepared will recognize that we are the Lord’s servants. They will notice something different about us. They will see goodness and will want to know more about it. As they feel the Holy Ghost, they will be willing to act on our message. Just as this message has touched the hearts and changed the lives of the Su family in Taiwan, so it can and will touch the hearts and change the lives of those we know, wherever in the world we may be.
Praying for guidance, we can daily ask ourselves this question: whom do I know that the Lord is preparing to come to a knowledge of the restored gospel? Exercising our faith in this way, we will be ready to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and open our mouths to share the precious truths we are blessed to know.
Marvelous opportunities are sure to follow.
Illustration by Michael Parker