Angels by My Side


It was my turn to stop someone and talk about the Church. I had been in Germany only two days, and I was terrified of the people and of my calling as a missionary.

I anxiously searched the street for someone I thought might react positively. I wondered how I was ever going to do this for the next eighteen months.

I didn’t want my companion to know how scared I was, so I held my breath and walked up to a woman in her early forties. But instead of asking her the questions I had intended to, I turned from her and ran. The fear of rejection was more than I could handle—I had to escape.

When I was finally able to collect my thoughts, embarrassment swelled inside of me. I desperately wanted to hide. My fear had been exposed, and it was preventing me from being a good missionary.

Unfortunately, as the days went by, my weakness did not subside, and I began to worry that I would never be a happy, brave, and successful missionary. My weakness became the main topic of all my private prayers.

Nothing seemed to help until I had been in the mission field for about two weeks. It was a chilly spring morning, and my companion was making breakfast. I was sitting on the floor, looking up scriptures on missionary work and reading them out loud.

Doctrine and Covenants 84:88,” I said. [D&C 84:88] “And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also.” My voice broke. My mind raced as I realized that, as a missionary, I had divine support.

I started again, “And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”

I had no reason to be afraid of teaching people the gospel. Heavenly Father was on my right hand and on my left, and his angels were around me to make me strong. From that morning on, whenever a wave of fear came over me, I just imagined those angels all around my investigator, my companion, and me. There was no way I could lose with that kind of support.

[illustration] Illustrated by Keith Larson