Monday, March 24, 2014
Two Posts from Elder Phillips
Marius' Bike Trip to the Temple
I love all of you and think about each of you daily. I ended my Sabbath Day speaking with Marius, one of my pre-missionaries. As a follow-up to your Mother's story about his temple experience I spoke to him tonight after Church. He shared that his temple experience was so profound that he just had to go back. You have to understand that by going back I mean he went without the tube, bus or vehicle. He had to ride his bike 5.5 hours each way to do 12 baptisms. Yes 11 hours total in pouring rain and freezing winds. When he'd completed the 10 people he was baptized for they asked him if he'd mind doing 2 more. You do the math. He road his bike almost one hour for each person he was baptized for to make sure their work was done. That is vision and passion at its best. I sat there with tears running down my cheeks as I listened to this converted boy share his excitement for the work on both sides of the veil. His greatest desire now is to go serve a full time mission. We love this boy! Pap
I spoke on Baptism tonight for a young man that doesn't know me very well. He just felt that Elder Phillips was supposed to give the talk on Baptism. As you know I'm teaching a young Chinese man that will be baptized in two weeks. I knew he would be there so I wanted to take that opportunity to share the importance of baptism while making it very personal for "G" also. I spent two hours pondering and praying for exactly the right words for my 5 minute talk. I wrote it all up and put did it in word on my Surface.
Well, I tried to open my talk with my quote and scriptures that I'd prepared and there was no way to find it. I said a prayer and asked for Father's help and got the peace to not try to find it and He'd put the words in my mouth. I breathed deep and took the leap of faith and let Father direct my words.
The true test of my success was stated by the young man being baptized when he bore his testimony after his baptism. He indicated he didn't know why he felt that Elder Phillips was supposed to give the talk until he heard it. We both were Catholics and had mothers that were our best friends. He also shattered her when he chose to join the Church. I had begun my talk by stating that I was a 19.5 year old that loved the Catholic Church and I also was an alter boy that was considering being a priest. When I told him that my mother had my clothes waiting for me outside my house after my baptism he was stunned at all the similarities of our lives. I bore witness to him that tonight he would be baptized by one having the true power to act for God just like Jesus. Also that by following his example he would also receive the greatest guide for life; the Holy Ghost.
I bore witness that this was the greatest decision I ever made. That decision impacted more lives than I could ever begin to count. Each of you and our grandbabies are some of those lives that were impacted. All the young people's lives that we've ministered to over the years. All the baptisms we've been part of. I can't imagine what my life would have been like without the Gospel of Jesus Christ in it. I wouldn't be married to your mother. I would have none of my best friends in the world, my children. I would have none of the joy's of my life, my grandchildren. I would simply have none of the people and purposes that make my life meaningful. I thank God for his restored gospel and that each of you have chosen to live it. My children, there is no real joy or happiness without this sacred knowledge we have. I love you beyond anything that I can express.
Pap/Elder James K. Phillips / Married to the best friend I could ever have; 40 years on the 28 of March. I think I'll take her to Wicked in London. Wow!