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Sister Kaitlyn Beard "Now therefore stand
Washington Vancouver Mission and see this great thing,
2223 Northwest 99th St which the Lord will do
Vancouver WA 98665 before your eyes."
1 Samuel 12:16

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The First Witnesses

I've been thinking a lot about spiritual witnesses lately. In the bible we read about Mary who was called to be the mother of Jesus. She was visited by an angel and told of her mission. Joseph is also visited by an angel in a dream to strengthen him in his doubts. But the thing that has become miraculous to me is the fact that Mary and Joseph only received 1 witness. Throughout the entire time of pregnancy they only had that first witness of an angel to get them through. God didn't provide them with repeated witnesses but with one. Their faith and ability to persevere had to be relying on that first witness.

Then I think of Joseph Smith. At 14 years of age he was praying asking which church to join and in a miraculous vision Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him that none of the churches were true and to join none of them. For three years he received no further visitation. He testified strongly of his vision and relied on the single witness he had received during that time.

I have begun to recognize that it is God's design to give us one witness. We are responsible to rely upon and stand true to that witness until it is time for another.

When I was awaiting my mission call I prayed fervently for Heavenly Father to allow me to speak a language. I would go anywhere! I just wanted to speak a language. When I got my mission call to Vancouver Washington English speaking, I was certainly disappointed. However, a little after opening it I received a very powerful witness for the purpose of that location. As I have been awaiting my departure date for these 4 months I have had to consistently turn to that moment and look for strength in that witness.

I believe that God loves to call us to great purposes, whether those purposes are called great by a small group of people or by a large one. Each of us as children of God has characteristics that are like him, just like any child has characteristics of a father. God knows us so well, and he knows our abilities and our potential. He will call us to purposes that are within our potential. Relying on those first witnesses are important as we strive to follow him and become more like him and eventually reach our potential as sons and daughters of God.

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