He Knows Me By Name

sack of flour

TheDiscipleMD

Many years ago Boyd K. Packer repeated this story in a General Conference address:

“Let me quote from the diary of Joseph Millett, a little-known missionary of an earlier time. Called on a mission to Canada, he went alone and on foot. In Canada, during the wintertime, he said:

“I felt my weakness. A poor, ill-clothed, ignorant boy in my teens, thousands of miles from home among strangers. “The promise in my blessing and the encouraging words of President Young to me…kept me up. “Many times I would turn into the woods … in some desolate place with a heart full, wet eyes, to call on my master for strength or aid.“I believed the Gospel of Christ…”

Years later, Joseph Millett, with his large family,was suffering through very, very difficult times. He wrote in his journal:

“One of my children came in and said that Brother Newton Hall’s folks was out of bread, had none that day. “I divided our flour in a sack to send up to Brother Hall. Just then Brother Hall came. “Says I, ‘Brother Hall, are you out of flour?’ “‘Brother Millett, we have none.’ “‘Well, Brother Hall, there is some in that sack. I have divided and was going to send it to you. Your children told mine that you was out.’

“Brother Hall began to cry. He said he had tried others, but could not get any. He went to the cedars and prayed to the Lord, and the Lord told him to go to Joseph Millett. “‘Well Brother Hall, you needn’t bring this back. If the Lord sent you for it you don’t owe me for it.’”

That night Joseph Millett recorded a remarkable sentence in his journal:

“You can’t tell me how good it made me feel to know that the Lord knew there was such a person as Joseph Millett” (Diary of Joseph Millett, holograph, Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City).

Elder Packer concluded the story by saying: “The Lord knew Joseph Millett. And he knows all those men and women like him, and they are many. Theirs are the lives that are most worth recording. (“A Tribute to the Rank and File of the Church,” Ensign, May 1980, 62).

This story reminded me of a personal experience I had many years ago.  While serving in a priesthood leadership calling, a thought came to my mind, out of the blue, to ask a brother to participate in a church activity by giving him a small but important assignment.  I acted upon my impression and later that week called and asked him if he could fulfill the assignment. He agreed that he could.

Later,  he asked if he could speak to me. We retired to a secluded room where he told me that he had been contemplating suicide due to his extreme medical problems, but when he was asked to help out he concluded that he was needed and that the Lord had not forgotten him. We embraced and we both left the room uplifted knowing that the Lord does indeed know each of us by name.

The Lord works the same today as in the past. He works through and by each of us as we work in the kingdom.  May we keep our minds, hearts, and ears open to His inspiration.

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