“Would You Deny Me a Blessing?”

Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, April 6, 1900

Mary-Fielding-SmithI recollect most vividly a circumstance that occurred in the days of my childhood. My mother was a widow, with a large family to provide for. One spring when we opened our potato pits she had her boys get a load of the best potatoes, and she took them to the tithing office; potatoes were scarce that season. I was a little boy at the time, and drove the team. When we drove up to the steps of the tithing office, ready to unload the potatoes, one of the clerks came out and said to my mother, “Widow Smith, it’s a shame that you should have to pay tithing.” He said a number of other things that I remember well, but they are not necessary for me to repeat here. The . . . name of that tithing clerk was William Thompson, and he chided my mother for paying her tithing, called her anything but wise or prudent; and said there were others who were strong and able to work that were supported from the tithing office. My mother turned upon him and said:

“William, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Would you deny me a blessing? If I did not pay my tithing, I should expect the Lord to withhold His blessings from me. I pay my tithing, not only because it is a law of God, but because I expect a blessing by doing it. By keeping this and other laws, I expect to prosper and to be able to provide for my family.” Though she was a widow, you may turn to the records of the Church from the beginning unto the day of her death, and you will find that she never received a farthing from the Church to help her support herself and her family; but she paid in thousands of dollars in wheat, potatoes, corn, vegetables, meat, etc. The tithes of her sheep and cattle, the tenth pound of her butter, her tenth chicken, the tenth of her eggs, the tenth pig, the tenth calf, the tenth colt—a tenth of everything she raised was paid. Here sits my brother, who can bear testimony to the truth of what I say, as can others who knew her. She prospered because she obeyed the laws of God. She had abundance to sustain her family. We never lacked so much as many others did; for while we found nettle greens most acceptable when we first came to the valley; and while we enjoyed thistle roots, segoes and all that kind of thing, we were no worse off than thousands of others, and not so bad off as many, for we were never without corn-meal and milk or butter, to my knowledge. Then that widow had her name recorded in the book of the law of the Lord. That widow was entitled to the privileges of the house of God. No ordinance of the Gospel could be denied her, for she was obedient to the laws of God, and she would not fail in her duty when though discouraged from observing a commandment of God by one who was in an official position.

“Go To the Mission Home!”

“Your Presence is the Assistance I Prayed for Yesterday”

DSC05064-300x225Felicien Dogbo Mobio of Ghana reccounts this story in the June 2012 Ensign.

The morning after I returned home to Ghana from my mission in the Ivory Coast, I woke up at 6:00 a.m. My appointment with the stake president to have him release me was not until the afternoon, so I decided to sleep in. While I was falling asleep, an impression flashed through my mind: “Go to the Cape Coast mission home.” I knew the Ghana Cape Coast Mission home, but I had no idea why I needed to go there that morning.

After having these thoughts, I began to feel anxious about the impression, so I headed to the mission home. On my way I worried about what I would say to the mission president. I knew he would ask me the purpose of my visit, so I tried to prepare a suitable answer.

When I arrived, I still did not know the answer. The mission president, Melvin B. Sabey, invited me into his office, thinking that I came there for him to release me. After asking a few questions, President Sabey told me to go to my stake president to be released.

“I know that, President,” I replied.

He paused for some seconds and then asked me the very question I had been striving to answer: “Why are you here this morning, Elder Mobio?”

“President Sabey, I don’t have a suitable answer to that question,” I said. “It’s just that this morning I had a strong impression to come here.”

He paused again for a moment and told me softly, “Elder Mobio, your presence here is the assistance I prayed for yesterday.” He explained that his assistants had just arrived with new missionaries. Among them was an Ivorian, the first French-speaking missionary he had ever received, and he didn’t know how he was going to communicate with him. Then he declared, “I am certain Heavenly Father heard my concern yesterday night.”

I had finally learned the reason for my morning impression. We immediately joined the new missionaries, and I interpreted for the Ivorian elder as he started his mission.

Seven months later I traveled back to the Ivory Coast to renew my passport and to share that wonderful experience with my mission president. He told me, “We are instruments in the Lord’s hands. He knows how and when to use us in His work.”

I know that if we immerse ourselves in the glorious work of Heavenly Father, we don’t need to worry. We just need to give heed to the promptings of the still, small voice and let the Lord guide us.

“I Felt the Unmistakable Prompting to Park My Car”

Thomas S. Monson Shared This Story in “Bring Him Home”

imagesI was en route from my uptown sales office to our plant on Industrial Road. For some reason I had driven down First West, a street which I never had traveled before to reach the destination of our plant. Then I felt the unmistakable prompting to park my car and visit Ben and Emily, even though I was on my way to a meeting. I did not heed the impression at first but drove on for two more blocks; however, when the impression came again, I returned to their home.

It was a sunny weekday afternoon. I approached the door to their home and knocked. I heard the tiny fox terrier dog bark at my approach. Emily welcomed me in. Upon seeing me, she exclaimed, “All day long I have waited for my phone to ring. It has been silent. I hoped the postman would deliver a letter. He brought only bills. Bishop, how did you know today is my birthday?”

I answered, “God knows, Emily, for He loves you.”
In the quiet of their living room, I said to Ben and Emily, “I really don’t know why I was directed here today, but I was. Our Heavenly Father knows. Let’s kneel in prayer and ask Him why.” This we did, and the answer came. As we arose from our knees, I said to Brother Fullmer, “Ben, would you come to priesthood meeting when we meet with all the priesthood and relate to our Aaronic Priesthood boys the story you once told me when I was a boy, how you and a group of boys were en route to the Jordan River to swim one Sunday, but you felt the Spirit direct you to attend Sunday School. And you did. One of the boys who failed to respond to that Spirit drowned that Sunday. Our boys would like to hear your testimony.”

“I’ll do it,” he responded.

I then said to Sister Fullmer, “Emily, I know you have a beautiful voice. My mother has told me so. Our ward conference is a few weeks away, and our choir will sing. Would you join the choir and attend our ward conference and perhaps sing a solo?”

“What will the number be?” she inquired.

“I don’t know,” I said, “but I’d like you to sing it.”

She sang. He spoke to the Aaronic Priesthood. Hearts were gladdened by the return to activity of Ben and Emily. They rarely missed a sacrament meeting from that day forward. The language of the Spirit had been spoken. It had been heard. It had been understood. Hearts were touched and souls saved. Ben and Emily Fullmer had come home. (“Bring Him Home,” 11/03, “The Spirit Giveth Life,” 5/85 & 6/97, “Called to Serve,” 11/91)

“Brother McKay, They Got Your Message”

David O. McKay Witnesses the Gift of Tounges Among the Maori in New Zealand, 1921

David-O.-McKay-230x300The occasion was a conference held at Huntly, New Zealand, a thousand people assembled. Before that time I had spoken through interpreters in China, Hawaii, Holland, and other places, but I felt impressed on that occasion to speak in the English language. In substance I said, “I have never been much of an advocate of the necessity of tongues in our Church, but today I wish I had that gift. But I haven’t. However, I am going to speak to you, my brothers and sisters, in my native tongue and pray that you may have the gift of interpretation of tongues. We will ask Brother Stuart Meha who is going to interpret for me, to make notes, and if necessary he may give us a summary of my talk afterwards.”

Well, the outpouring of the gift of tongues on that occasion was most remarkable. Following the end of my sermon Brother Sid Christy, who was a student of Brigham Young University, a Maori, who had returned to New Zealand, rushed up and said, “Brother McKay, they got your message!”

Well, I knew they had by the attention and the nodding of their heads during the talk. I said, “I think they have but for the benefit of those who may not have understood or had that gift, we shall have the sermon interpreted.”

While Brother Meha was interpreting that or giving a summary of it in the Maori language some of the natives, who had understood it, but who did not understand English, arose and corrected him in his interpretations.
President George Albert Smith and Brother Rufus K. Hardy visited New Zealand several years after that event, and Brother Hardy, hearing of the event, brought home testimonies of those who were present, and he took the occasion to have those testimonies notarized. So it is the gift of interpretation rather than the gift of tongues, that was remarkable.