When my son Joseph was twelve years old, he traveled with me to Kenya in east Africa. We flew into Nairobi, which is the capital city, then traveled by four-wheel drive vehicle into the area inhabited by the Masai—a friendly, happy, beautiful people.
When we arrived in the village, Joseph suddenly found himself surrounded by thirty or forty Masai children his own age. The children were laughing, a smiling, and talking to him, trying hard to overcome the enormous cultural and language barrier.
Our guide explained that we were in a remote area, and that although these children had seen white men before, Joseph was probably the first white boy they had ever seen.
I could tell Joseph wanted to be friendly, so I handed him a chocolate bar.
“Give them a piece of candy,” I said.
He opened the package and broke off a square. He tried to hand it to a boy who seemed about fourteen years old. I will never forget the reaction of that boy. He looked at the chocolate and drew back. He didn’t want to have anything to do with it.
So I said, “Show them that you eat it.”
Joseph put a square of chocolate in his mouth, then handed another square to this same fourteen-year-old boy. The boy looked at it and held it. He was suspicious as he friend to understand it. Then he took the first, tiniest little bite, then a larger bite; then he put the whole piece in his mouth. You could see the joy come over his face as he tasted chocolate candy for the very first time.
Then we handed out pieces of chocolate to all the other children, and they weren’t afraid to try it because they’d seen someone they knew eat it and he had enjoyed it. There was something wonderful about that chocolate.
Later in our trip, we came back to that same village. As soon as we arrived we were surrounded by the same group of children, and we didn’t need a translator to know what they wanted. They wanted more chocolate, more of something wonderful and sweet.
I would like to compare the taste of that chocolate bar to the taste of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although the gospel tastes sweet and wonderful and good, sometimes other people don’t understand it, and it’s hard to get them to take just a tiny bite. But if they’ll take that bite, and then a larger bite, they will arrive at a marvelous moment when they place it in their mouths and taste the wonderful sweetness.
I think that we, as members of the Church, are much like my twelve-year-old boy was, surrounded by a world of people who want more of something they don’t even understand. I believe that many of the prayers of the people on this earth can only be answered by the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lord has given us the mandate to take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. We can’t say, “They might not understand.” We must help them. There is nothing that will be sweeter to them than the gospel, nothing that will bless them more than the knowledge of the truth.
We have something wonderful and sweet, something much more vital than a chocolate bar, something that affects everyone for all eternity. We have tasted the gospel, and we know it is good. We cannot and we must not ignore the opportunity to help others taste it, too.