Preparation for “Great and Mighty Things”
Five years ago I was an active member of another church. I had been reading the Bible frequently, and I was growing in my knowledge and testimony of the Savior.
Several times while I was reading the Bible, Jeremiah 33:3 came to my attention. It says: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Shortly after this I met the missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To my surprise, they expressed a sincere testimony of the Savior and also introduced me to the Book of Mormon. I had not known that the Book of Mormon was “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” and a record of God’s dealings with a remnant of His people. Rather, many of my uninformed friends and I had questioned whether Mormons were Christian. But when I read the Book of Mormon and teachings of the Church, I recognized the clear, true doctrine of Christ as I understood it according to the Bible. I continued to meet with the missionaries and asked a lot of questions, despite opposition from friends.
During this time Jeremiah 33:3 again came to my attention a number of times—especially when I prayed for confirmation of the validity of the missionaries’ message. I came to realize that the missionaries were not only fellow Christians, but they were also the key to the “great and mighty things” God wanted to show me—including the message that the Lord Jesus Christ has restored His Church in our dispensation through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
I joined the Church on May 14, 2005, opening new doors to my potential. My testimony has increased as I have gained knowledge of the restored gospel. I have also received blessings from the Lord through His Church.
Brad Godshall, Pennsylvania
I Will Go and Do
At the end of December 1995 I discovered that I was pregnant. My husband and I were not prepared for this news and wondered how we would provide for this child as well as for the rest of our young family. Our budget was already stretched beyond its limits. I felt unqualified to handle this challenge. I realized I needed Heavenly Father’s guiding hand in my life and more strength than I could generate on my own.
In the past my scripture study could have been described as sporadic. But as we were coming upon a new year with new opportunities for change and growth, I decided to rededicate myself to daily scripture study so I could have the Lord’s power and influence in my life.
On January 3, 1996, I was reading the third chapter of 1 Nephi. I came upon verse 7. I knew that verse by heart. I had memorized it in seminary. I had sung about it countless times as a Primary teacher during singing time. So I skimmed it quickly before moving on to verse 8. Then a thought interrupted my reading: “Go back and read verse 7.” I did.
It said, “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” No sooner had I completed reading this verse when another thought came to my mind: “This applies to children too.”
It then struck me: to multiply and replenish the earth was a commandment! I read the verse again with this specific commandment in mind. The revelation came that somehow Heavenly Father was going to help us accomplish feeding, clothing, educating, and providing for another child. I shared this newly discovered revelation with my husband. My faith that Heavenly Father’s hand was guiding—and would continue to guide—my life, was bolstered. I didn’t know how He was going to do it, but I knew that He would, and I could put my trust in that.
After several years and the birth of another child, I can say that Heavenly Father has held up His part of the covenant. He has been there to help us provide for, care for, and educate our children. I know that He will always be there to help us accomplish what He commands us to do.
Sheri L. Wilson, Utah
A Source of Strength
As a person suffering from a chronic illness, I often struggled to stay positive when I felt I could do much more if I were fit and healthy. Then I came across 2 Corinthians 12:9–10, and it literally changed my life.
The verses read, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
I felt that the Lord knew of my frustrations and that through this verse, He was speaking directly to me. From that point, rather than being held back by a debilitating disease, I was able to accept that through my illness, I can learn to be much closer to Heavenly Father. Living life at a pace that is slower than what most people experience allows me more time to pray, study, and meditate. As I rely on those aspects of the gospel, I draw nearer to the Source of strength and hope.
My situation has also helped me to be more aware of and sensitive to others’ suffering. This helps me “glory in my infirmities” rather then dwell negatively on them. This attitude adjustment, which came from studying the scriptures, has truly been life-changing.
Life can be full of anxiety. For me, anxiety came from family health concerns, the instability of employment in the industry in which I worked, and losing a daughter to childbirth complications. I sorely needed peace in my life, so I turned to the scriptures.
Many scriptures speak of peace, but a verse I have found particularly helpful is Doctrine and Covenants 59:23: “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.”
I have learned that doing “the works of righteousness” does not mean holding the right position or having a lot of money. It is living by the Spirit. Doing so has led me to a simpler life. I now work in a different, less-stressful industry and am enjoying the basics of life, like gardening and spending time with my grandchildren. I am grateful to have learned that in catching my breath and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, I can find true peace.
Joseph Brierley, Utah
Appreciation for the Savior
I set a goal at the beginning of 2007 to read the entire New Testament and write answers to the questions in the New Testament Member Study Guide in my scripture journal each week. It was a meaningful experience for me throughout the year and helped me to learn more from the New Testament.
That year was difficult for me. I started the year pregnant, but I had a miscarriage in early January. After months of trying, I became pregnant again, only to have another miscarriage. As the week of Christmas approached, I fought feelings of frustration and depression.
That same week I began to read the book of Revelation. It had always seemed mysterious and difficult to understand, and I felt intimidated. One morning I read chapter 7. As I read verse 17, the Spirit touched me, and I began to cry. It reads, “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
I felt a warm, comforting feeling and received a witness that no matter what I am called to suffer in this life, the Atonement of Jesus Christ will make it right. No matter how difficult my circumstances, “God shall wipe away all tears from [my] eyes.”
This scripture changed my outlook and gave me hope. I felt a new appreciation for the Savior Jesus Christ and a new joy in celebrating His birth.
This experience also helped me to see the value of regular scripture study. When we open the scriptures and our hearts, we find what we need for our individual situations. When we study the scriptures, we give the Holy Ghost an opportunity to testify of truth and bring us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Olivia Dahl Cobián, Nevada
The Power of the Word
“Success in righteousness, the power to avoid deception and resist temptation, guidance in our daily lives, healing of the soul—these are but a few of the promises the Lord has given to those who will come to His word. Does the Lord promise and not fulfill? Surely if He tells us that these things will come to us if we lay hold upon His word, then the blessings can be ours. And if we do not, then the blessings may be lost. However diligent we may be in other areas, certain blessings are to be found only in the scriptures, only in coming to the word of the Lord and holding fast to it as we make our way through the mists of darkness to the tree of life.”
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), “The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 79.
Helps for Home Evening
Read and discuss the stories from the article. Have each family member write down a favorite scripture. Read these scriptures and guess which person wrote it down. Invite each person to share why their scripture is meaningful to them and how they have found “power in the word.” Conclude by reading the quote by President Ezra Taft Benson.
Photography by Craig Dimond
Illustration by Clark Kelley Price