Today, my Marriage and Family teacher, Brother Brooks, told our class an amazing story of doing the right thing while going through hardships. It has truly inspired me, and I want to share it.
Brother Brooks told us about a time on his mission, where he got a new companion. The first day he was with him, my teacher woke up to find his shoes were already shined (something my teacher did himself, and quite often). In addition, he smelled a warm breakfast waiting for him. Brother Brooks said he had never had a warm breakfast in his entire mission, and that he immediately thought very highly of his companion. They were together for 2 months, and every single day, his companion would have shined his shoes for him before he woke up and already have a warm breakfast made for my teacher to come to. Naturally, my teacher thought, "Wow! This companion must have come from such a great family with high values! I thought I knew all the General Authority, but I must've missed one, because this guy's dad must be a General Authority!"
During their time together, however, Brother Brooks learned a lot about this young man who was his companion. The young man was an only child, and the only member of the church in his family. His father was very well off, and had much money. When the young man was 17 years old, he had a couple of friends who were LDS who went to early morning seminary every morning. The young man was so intrigued about why they did this, and wanted to find out what was really going on, so he went with his friends to seminary for a couple of months, and found out the Church was true.
When he went to his father and mother to tell them that he had received a testimony that the Church was true, his father said, "Well, son, we have raised you to be able to make your own decisions and choose the path you wish to follow during your life. We will allow you to get baptized, but just know that we do not support this decision, and we do not agree with you that you have found the true church. Also know this, that if you get baptized, I will take you off of my will." (In his father's will, the young man was to receive a very huge amount of money). The young man said, "Well, dad, I hope that you will see differently and that you won't do that, but I still want to be baptized." So, the boy got baptized, and the very next day, his father took him off of his will.
A couple of years later, the young man turned 19 and was taught that every young man was to serve a mission for the Church. The young man went to his father and mother to tell them that he wanted to go on a mission. The father asked, "Well, what is a mission?" The young man told him that the Church wanted every young man to go on a missions to preach the Gospel and bring others to Christ. The father asked, "Well, what do you receive for going on this mission?" The young man replied, "We don't get any money out of this. In fact, we have to give up all we have and pay for our own missions." The father started to laugh a little bit, and said, "Well, where do you get to go?" The young man said, "We don't get to choose. The President of the Church prays about where we should go, and then tells us where the Lord needs us to go." By this moment, the father was so surprised and laughed as he said, "So, you are so stupid enough to give up your money, your time, your girlfriend, your job, and your family to go on a mission where you have to pay with everything you have to go and you don't get to choose where you get to go?" The young man said he wanted to go. The father then said, "Well, son, we have raised you to make your own decisions, whether we agree with them or not, so you can go. But know this, you will not receive a penny from us. And also, don't come home."
The young man still decided to go on his mission. Before he left, he received a blessing from the bishop of his ward that included these words: "As long as you serve during your mission full-heartedly, with every ounce that you have, every single day, your mission will be the influence on your family for them to join the Church." This young man believed in this blessing with his entire heart, and went out into the mission field, not knowing when or how his parents would come to realize what he already knew about the Gospel.
My teacher explained that after hearing this story, it made complete sense as to why this young missionary was so willing to serve, every single day. He had a light about him, and believed in the power of God. He knew that God would bless his life some time in the future, if not immediately. He sent a letter every single week to his parents, expressing how much love he felt for them and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His letters went unanswered for the entirety of his mission.
As his mission came to an end, the young man contacted his bishop from his home ward and explained the circumstances of how he could not return home and that he didn't have any money or any job to come home to. The bishop told him that he would gladly take this missionary into his home until he got on his feet. The bishop told him that he would meet him at the airport to pick him up when he returned home.
The young missionary finally went home and got off the plane to go meet the bishop. But the bishop was no where to be found. He went and found a seat in the airport and told himself that the bishop just must be running late and that he would be there. He didn't have a single cent to make any calls or get anything to eat, so he just waited for a while.
Finally, as the young missionary was growing worried, he saw two people walking towards him out of the corner of his eye. It was his father and mother. He felt his heart sink; he felt miserable. He was so appalled that after all of the letters and prayers and everything that had happened, his parents had shown up to the airport just to tell him how much they despised him, and that he really was not welcome home.
The father reached this young missionary, opened his arms, and immediately embraced his son in a warm hug and said, "Son, I am so proud of the mission that you have served. Welcome home. About six months ago, your mother and I started taking the missionary discussions; we were so inspired from your letters. We have decided that we want to be baptized, and we were wondering if on the way home, we could stop by the church and have you baptize us. The bishop is already over there, filling up the font, and there are others from the ward there waiting to celebrate with us." The young missionary said, with tears in his eyes, "Yeah, I think I can do that."
What an amazing story! It brings tears to my eyes because I know that this young man had so much faith in the Lord, and that He would provide and bless his family. I truly know that as we follow God's counsel and do everything that he asks of us, even submitting our will to His, we will be eternally blessed and happier than we could every imagine. It may be tough sometimes to do the things that He asks us to do, but I know that if we desire to please God more than men, we will have the greatest pleasures in life.