Missionary Moment: The Wrong Call Was the Right Call
Contributed By Marilyn Murdock, Church News contributor
- Trust in the Lord's timing and remember that He is mindful of His children.
- The Lord works miracles in our lives despite our imperfections.
- Small acts of fellowship can increase unity in the gospel.
“In looking back on my life I realized that many of the problems I had experienced could have been avoided if I had stayed faithful to my covenants.” —Anthony Flores, Kapolei, Hawaii
My wife and I had drifted from the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church early in our adult lives. One afternoon the full-time missionaries stopped by our home to be sure we knew that a new ward had been formed in our area closer to our home. They invited us to attend church on Sunday.
In looking back on my life I realized that many of the problems I had experienced could have been avoided if I had stayed faithful to my covenants. I needed the Savior and the Church and began to turn my life around. I shared with my wife that I felt strongly we needed to return to church, but she was not ready. I accepted her response because I did not want a quarrel.
The missionaries continued to stop by regularly and invite us to church. Although my wife was reluctant, I prayed silently, asking Heavenly Father for His help. A short time later on a Saturday afternoon the phone rang and an unfamiliar voice said, “Brother Flores, the bishopric would like you to give the opening prayer in sacrament meeting tomorrow and would like to invite your wife to give the closing prayer.”
It is a good thing he couldn’t see the shocked look on my face through the phone. My heart started pumping with feelings of fear and joy all mashed up inside me, and I replied, “Sure, we would love to.” I immediately called my wife, who was visiting at a friend’s home, and told her of the bishopric’s request. Her initial response was, “Oh, no!” But when I assured her that I was as surprised as she was, she agreed to do it.
As we walked into church with our grandchildren, the missionaries welcomed us and their mouths dropped open with surprise but quickly turned to monstrous smiles and exuberant greetings. Brother Jones, the counselor in the bishopric conducted the meeting and announced, “The invocation will be given by Brother Flores.” I stood up slowly and walked to the podium and, as I approached, I wondered why Brother Jones, Bishop Ka’awa, and Brother Ho looked at each other in astonishment. I offered my humble invocation and sat down. At the close of the meeting my wife said a sweet and simple benediction.
We later learned that the members of the bishopric intended to call the other Brother and Sister Flores who lived in this new ward to give the prayers. We all laughed heartily over the “mistake.” Several members we had known for many years came to visit us at our home that week and welcomed us back. We soon began reaping the blessings of the gospel in our lives, and I will forever be grateful that the wrong call was the right one.
—Anthony Flores, Kapolei, Hawaii, shared with Marilyn Murdock, Las Vegas, Nevada