The Music Of Still Being Brethren In The Spoken Word

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TheDiscipleMD

” And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying… behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla…Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently…And they had been teaching the word of God… yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God…” (Alma 17: 1-2, 4)

I felt like Alma several years ago when I visited with one of my favorite companion from my mission days, Lloyd Newell. I met and had dinner with his wife and four children. He has a lovely family! It had been over 30 years since he and I returned home from our full-time missions.  The missionary stories were flying, some true, some were embellished, still others I’m sure, were a figment of our imaginations. He brought out pictures of the mission. One he showed me was a professional photograph of he and I when we served together in the mission office. Such memories! It was a thing of great joy knowing that after several decades we both still held firm testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a reunion of two missionaries that had labored together those many years ago on the streets of Argentina. We talked, we laughed, and we spoke of our heartfelt feelings for the gospel till 2am. He spoke of his experiences working with the brethren through his calling with “Music and the Spoken Word”, which he has been doing for over twenty years. Most don’t know that it is a calling. I spoke of my service in ecclesiastical callings and the joy found therein. We both expressed concern for our families and the state of the world. We both agreed that the gospel is the answer to the problems that plague our society.

Upon leaving we walked together to my car and we told each other to keep in touch. As we walked I was struck by the passage of time. It seemed like yesterday that both he and I were traveling across Argentina together. We were both young and inexperienced, and also excited for the future. I think he would join me in saying that we have found that true happiness is found in obedience to the principles of the restored gospel. By abiding by its precepts family life is enhanced, marriage is improved, and your perspective on this life is enriched. A true fountain of blessings! I am not unique in the experience I had in meeting up with my old missionary companion. I am sure such glorious reunions go on all the time. There is something quite special about reunions that occur when those who had labored hard and long under the hot sun meet for a quite moment of repose. I know I felt that way when Lloyd and I met together that night. I am also confident that such reunions occur on the other side of the veil. The most glorious hopefully will be the moment when one can hear from the lips of the Savior, “Well done they good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

As I drove away and watched him disappear in my rearview mirror, I reflected upon how our lives had gone different directions, but down the same path. “Therefore they separated themselves one from another, and went forth among them, every man alone, according to the word and power of God which was given unto him.” (Alma 17:17) We had separated ourselves, but it was glorious for us to share after all these years,  the music of still being brethren in the spoken word!

 

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