Here is why this is such an important story

Here is why this is such an important story

We know that you feel it, you may not understand these feelings at this time, you might not even want to agree with us on this matter, but we know you are feeling the spirit. He definitely did not take kindly to the suggestion that he did not want to admit to assigning his good feelings to the same thing we were. Those verses above unveil a very powerful concept vital to missionary work. When you are teaching by the spirit of truth, and you feel the spirit, know this…that the hearer of the message is feeling it too. Whether it is to the same magnitude as you or the same emotions is not relevant.

Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. Now that experience seems like we certainly did not “rejoice” together, but that was the investigators choice, his freedom, if you will. Is this so? How are we to know? The truth is, the spirit was there, he felt it, we felt it, we identified it, and he chose to assign those feelings to something else. That is ok. He has that agency. But we did what we were supposed to do, knowing that the promise of the verses from D&C 50 indicate that if we feel it as the preachers of truth, the hearers are feeling it to. I testify to you that this is how missionary work gets done.

Whatever “extra” good feeling they have, no matter how subtle, is the Lord’s promised mechanism from the above referenced verses that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?

Many will react as the man I just described. What you must come to terms with is that the Lord distributes his spirit in these discussions, but it is still a world of agency. Did we understand one another in the way the verse above meant? Perhaps only in the sense that we made clear the spirit was there and he made clear that his good feelings about our message doesn’t necessarily mean it was the spirit. Nevertheless, the spirit was there, we felt it, and he felt it, and he kicked us out, and we KNEW we had done what the Lord wanted us to do (or should I say that Ricciardi did what the Lord wanted me to do). Elder Ricciardi did not need him to agree with us to know that the spirit touched him, because the spirit touched us WHILE WE WERE TEACHING HIM THE TRUTH.

If you will embrace these verses, open your mouth at all times in all places (just swing), be strictly obedient, your mission experience will change your life forever. These are courageous moments to boldly tell someone they are feeling something they don’t either understand or necessarily agree with. But here is the key, many will “rejoice together with you” and many won’t. You must be ready to make that bold statement when the spirit prompts, and not let fear (that tool of the devil and the devil alone) creep into your heart. BUT IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THE PROMPTING, you are keeping investigators from the chance to understand that what they are feeling is directly correlated to the truth they are hearing. Remember, you teach truth and feel the spirit, know that they are feeling the spirit too.

When you have meetings where the preacher (missionary) and hearer (anyone you are teaching, which includes your missionary companions) understand one another and rejoice together, it is life changing

The difficulty comes in the courage to identify and explain it to the investigator, and the investigators willingness to accept that this is what’s happening. Remember, this event still may not end in the investigator being baptized, but that does not take away from the courage to recognize and identify the spirit when teaching gospel truths, and the effect that such experiences have on you personally. You will not feel the spirit in every discussion that you teach, I sure didn’t. When you do feel the spirit, know that the spirit is not just touching you for your own personal edification and leaving everyone else in the discussion “out in the cold”.