Mormon MissionariesI need my sleep but I have to remind myself that the Lord doesn’t. He cares about our salvation, our thoughts, our hearts 24/7; He is constantly working behind the scenes and sometimes stage-front with everyone. I love the metaphor of the almond tree in Jeremiah, though it’s not often talked about. The scripture records:

The Lord assures us that He is watchful and is aware of the first fruits of the almond tree, which He is responsible for bringing forth and which He notices, and which He can hasten. He is similarly aware of each of His children, and where they are on the path, and of the exact second needed to do the ministering He needs to do. I love that feeling of security in God’s sovereign knowledge of us.

Because of our knowledge of the Father’s love, power, and omniscience, we should never give up on someone who has a spark of interest in the gospel, or even who may not show us that spark. Such was the case with Randy Chiostri. His introduction to the Church came when he dated Nancy. He took her to dinner. On the first date, Nancy refused any alcoholic beverage. No wine for her.

“How curious,” he thought. She replied that it would violate her beliefs to drink or smoke, and so the conversation turned to matters of faith. Randy married Nancy on the one-year anniversary of their first dinner date. But he could not then accept her religious beliefs. It took him nearly eight years to resolve his questions about the Church. One pair of missionaries after another taught him. Finally, he was touched by the Spirit and baptized.

President Hinckley, who once joined him in Chicago during a visit to the Saints there, remarked that Randy was “consumed with his love of the gospel” and that it had become “the major interest of his life” (Ensign, October, 2007, Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep p. 2).

Not only is there power in example, but there is power in believing that for some it takes time to overcome the traditions of our forebears and to step into a new life.

Never give up on anyone.

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