An Amazing Plan for Salvation of Each Soul
Joshua Michael Dimm from Edmonton, Canada
Among many things happening in life, some are just simple incidents, whereas some are life-changing experiences. I can say meeting my wife was a once-in-a-life-time event, because I received Elohim through her.
She’s from Colombia, a country in South America. When she was in high school, her family immigrated to Canada. They arrived in Windsor first, but soon, they planned to move to Montreal in Québec. However, things didn’t go as they planned, and they ended up in Edmonton instead of Montreal. My wife, then a high school student, entered a school among many in Edmonton—my school.
We had a good relationship in school. During college, and even until I left Edmonton and came back, we remained as a couple, trusting each other and dreaming of a happy future. One day, however, she said she heard amazing words of the Bible and began to talk about something I’d never heard of—Passover and Heavenly Mother. I was raised in a pious Christian family, and I couldn’t accept any of that.
Even though I refused to hear in a roundabout way, she kept telling me the words of the Bible every day, once she began to attend the Church of God in earnest and it wasn’t only to me, but to her family, too, like her mom and her younger brother. It’s really hard to change someone’s religious belief, even if you love that person so much; her effort seemed meaningless to me. But her sincerity of wanting me to receive salvation changed my viewpoint. Listening to the words continually, I felt my hardened heart getting softened. Before knowing it, I was heading to Zion. Soon after, I bowed my head before Elohim and received the truth of the new covenant.
Studying the words more and more, I was convinced that everything was God’s plan to lead us to salvation; God even moved my wife’s family a long way from Colombia to Canada. But that was not everything prepared for our salvation. Rather, I should say, it was the beginning. God prepared a special way for us to have faith, love, and hope as worthy heaven’s people, and to participate in God’s divine nature. It was the blessed path of preaching the gospel.
After we got married under God’s grace, we made more efforts to preach. But I was somewhat clumsy, compared with my wife. I didn’t know what to do and how to do, as I’d never studied the Bible deeply, not to speak of teaching anyone. I just felt anxious about people who were not coming to salvation, without knowing the truth.
I was simply inviting people to come to our church. In the meantime, one of my friends said, “You can teach me the Bible before I follow you to your church.” I didn’t know what words I could tell him, but I studied the Bible at the library in advance and explained to him what I studied. After hearing me out, he said with tears in his eyes, “Life indeed has a meaning. God really exists!” Giving thanks to God, he became a child of God. He is Brother Matthew. Now he has grown to be a gospel worker, and is helping manage a branch church.
I could learn a lot while taking care of the souls granted by God. What I first needed in leading one person to life was compassion. It’s feeling pity for a soul and taking care of him. If you want to save a dying soul, you need to know well about him. I had to pay much attention to each person, like what kind of words he needed, what he was curious to know, whether he was hurt, and whether he heard a groundless rumor hindering the truth.
Brother Ian needed more prayers and attention. He was confused about the words he heard for the first time, and his family did not tolerate his new church. I felt so frustrated as I couldn’t meet him nor contact him. I was also upset as things didn’t go as I wanted. Through this, I keenly realized that gospel evangelists must have compassion, and also be ready and practice all the teachings of the Bible such as infinite love, sacrifice, patience, gentleness, kindness, and self-control.
In fact, these are the very virtues mothers practice when taking care of their children. When mothers raise their children, they don’t bring their children to their level, but bring themselves down to the children’s level. Mothers also take good care of them so that they won’t get hurt or ill, and provide everything their children need. Above all things, mothers love their children more than they love themselves, and no matter what happens, they never give up on their children.
I used to have a negative view of everything and lack patience. I easily got upset and burst with anger at even trivialities. Changing my inner nature was a must to me. I checked on myself frequently to be good-natured and try to fix my weaknesses.
While I was changing to be well-rounded, slowly but steadily, Brother Ian got to realize God’s will and stood firm in faith. His father and other family members, who used to disapprove of the truth, were also led to Zion.
Brother Ian’s family has now grown to be evangelists and is forcefully advancing on the kingdom of heaven. My mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and friends, too, are diligently preaching the gospel with hope for heaven. I’m filled with indescribable thanks to God whenever I think how much preparation God made to lead each and every one of us to salvation and to raise us to be gospel workers who will fulfill the prophecies of the Bible. Every time I get moved, seeing brothers and sisters working hard for the gospel, I make myself a promise again that I will quickly find all our lost heavenly family members to repay God’s grace even if it might be a small part.
I’m having a lot on my shoulders, now that I’m taking on a role of a fellow worker of the gospel. Once, a brother who was studying with me indicated me and said, “I’ll preach the gospel like him.” It sobered to realize that my action could be an example, whether it’s good or bad, because I had never thought of it deeply. The best way to lead brothers and sisters to the right way is to go the right way first. It’s because, even though the truth is good and absolute, if I, who delivers the truth, do not behave properly, they will find it hard to trust.
It’s not always easy to set a good example to others. Sometimes, I might fail to refrain myself from directly expressing how I feel or making hurtful remarks or showing immature behavior. I might feel lost, not knowing what to do, when facing unexpected ordeals and adversity. I might feel like giving up. But the more I’m in trouble, the more I’ll depend on Mother and try to fathom the great love of Mother who sheds Her tears and prays for our salvation. When all the teachings that Mother Herself has shown me penetrate my faith completely, I will participate in the divine nature and complete the holy mission of the gospel.
I believe that life and a series of happenings on the gospel path are given to heavenly children as a process to realize Mother and learn everything about Mother. Here’s my question for you. What kind of special process has God prepared for you so that you can receive Mother? How will your days when you come to resemble Mother more, be remembered in heaven later? I’m so looking forward to the day when we gather around together and have a friendly chat, in the arms of our loving Heavenly Mother.