Missionary Moment: “God Gave the Increase” to Our Investigator

Contributed By J Garr Vincent, Church News contributor

  • 21 March 2018

When an elder reached out to President Hugh B. Brown to thank him for changing his investigators’ heart, President Brown responded with a single humble scripture.

Article Highlights

  • Through the words of a humble Apostle, God prompted one man to be baptized.

In 1955, I was serving as a missionary in the Western States Mission. My companion and I were asked by a member if we could give the missionary lessons to her husband, who was not a member. We were thrilled with the request and immediately started our weekly meetings.

After several weeks the husband began to lose some interest in our meetings. At that same time, the Western States Mission office called us and alerted us to the upcoming Sunday stake conference in Denver, where the General Authority visitor would be President Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency. They told us that the Sunday morning meeting would be especially valuable for any investigators that we were teaching.

My companion and I immediately went to the home of the husband investigator and invited him to join us on Sunday morning. Much to our delight, he said if we would stop by his house on the way to stake conference he would be ready to go with us.

On that Sunday morning, we stopped by. He quickly got ready and after some time we were on our way. We arrived late at the Denver stake conference. The only seats available were on the first row right in front of the pulpit. The three of us took our seats and soon President Brown gave his message. And a powerful message it was. Talking about the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the Restoration, he offered the perfect message for our investigator.

When President Brown finished and sat down, our investigator turned to us and said, “Elders, I want to be baptized.” What a thrilling experience it was for all of us. The following Saturday my companion and I had the honor of baptizing and confirming our investigator.

I was so inspired by the experience and President Brown’s powerful message that I wrote him a letter and told him how wonderful he was and what a great thing he had done on that Sunday morning. Soon I received an envelope from the office of the First Presidency. The envelope contained a blank sheet of stationery, with a scriptural reference typed in the middle of the page:

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:5–7).

All three of us had been taught well on that Sunday morning, but I had been taught a second time by a simple scriptural reference on a blank sheet of First Presidency stationery.

—Brother J Garr Vincent is from the Olympus Cove Ward, Salt Lake Mount Olympus Stake.