For The Cause of Zion
(Whole Transcript Below)
I would also like to greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and bear my testimony.
I’m from the Temple-Lot, and so I heard about the work in Brazil back in ….. quite a few years ago. And when I heard about it there was a vision that was brought back to my mind about when I was working with Joe in the Unity Committee - work among the restoration folks. And that was brought back to my mind. I asked ---- because we were not able to send anybody, and I’d asked that the contact information be given to me that I might go on my own accord - and take my brother with me. That opportunity was not given. They did not give me the information.
Joe came to me last April, and he had a letter from Brazil. And he read it to me, and that vision of Zion and the restoration came back flooding into my soul. When he got back (in the fall) he gave me a call. He told me about it and I tried to find out everything that I could.
And then I started New Years. Just after New Years, I went into a 40 day fast that lasted through Valentine’s day. And during that period of time there were a lot of things that took place. And it was a journey, trying to understand everything. I’d been given lots of signs and things of that nature but in the human mind I can sort them a lot of different ways.
And then I was asked to go down, and I went to the lord, and I asked the lord, “Why me? Why would you want me to go?” And the Lord showed me a dream that night 3 times, where I stood and bore witness to the truth when it would have been so much easier just to fold and let things fall where they may. I knew why he had selected me.
Well, during that period of time I had the courage to ask God to show me how he sees me, that I might prepare myself, that I could do His work. And he showed me an example in a dream. I thought I answered that situation pretty well. The Lord let me know, “If that is the sum total of the humility that you draw from, you’ll be unprofitable to me. You’ve got to dig down deeper in that well of humility. The fountain of all righteousness the fountain of all hope and love.” Yeah the lord showed me a number of things I did not like.
I did not want to go down there without being invited, because that’s one of our rules in the Temple-Lot church. You don’t go down, disturb some local without being invited first, and I hadn’t been invited. I talked to Tyler about that, I talked to my wife about it, and I prayed about it. And that morning, as I opened my eyes…(and I get up early)… as I opened my eyes, there was a vision of this man, his face beaming with great joy, waving me down. He didn’t say anything.
The Lord gave me 10 things that I should look for, because I didn’t know what questions to ask. I mean, I think I’m pretty well educated in things of that nature, but I didn’t know what were the appropriate things to ask. So I asked God what questions I should ask. And one of those is that it needed to be a confirmation of what I’d seen in that vision when I was working with the Unity Committee. In that dream, I saw the Lord’s heritage - all the individual groups, and factions, and fractions, spread out circumferentially around Mount Zion at the foothills. And it broke my heart, because I knew we needed to be at the summit. The destruction is coming, when we need to prepare, we need to have that place as safety, that covert from the storm. And I was walking up that mountain and there were others behind me or with me, and there was an angel of the lord that was leading us, and when we got up to where the building was, there was Joe with an angel. He was ready to go to work, he was facing us, he’d gone before us. And the angel of the Lord gave us an instrument to take down those walls. I looked at mine and down at the end a factor, and there was this bright brilliant light that came shining back towards me. It would permeate the soul of man. Then I understood that to be pure testimony. And so if this was of God, I would have to come back with pure testimony that it is His work.
There are a lot of other things that I prayed about, and I was shown that the book that was coming forth was a book of books. It was not just one book, It was a book of books just like the book of Mormon is a book of books. There were things like that, that the Lord showed me. I’m not going to go through all 10 of them, but there was going to be some real examining take place, and the fact that I brought some special tools --jeweler eye glasses, and lights, and …. you know – “I’m going to take a look at this thing.”
I didn’t go down there to see an angel. I went down there to assess the physical evidence that was there. And I needed to know, for instance, that Mauricio had the Interpreters. And so the first night we were there, he brings out the Interpreters. And I started going through that list of things that the lord had given me to verify, and one of those was, the Lord placed in my mind that Mauricio had to prove that he could use the Interpreters, and in so doing he needed to interpret the title page of the Book of Mormon. And when I brought that out, he got emotional, and he said, “I have done that.” And he gave us some information concerning that. And he said when he finished that, the plates separated. That part that he was to interpret released itself from the rest of that book. That was pretty powerful. So then I had to ask - in my dream I saw it was a book of books. And he showed us that, that it was a book of books. It had to be the record of the Nephites. I needed to see that, the record of the Nephites.
There was a simple little thing that I didn’t even know why the lord made me write it down, but I was supposed to see where the rings were fused or joined together and how that was done. Turned out that joint was behind the sealed portion that had released itself, and for me to be able to examine it, Mauricio went and he took the pins out, and we turned the pages. And everybody was there, this most somber time. Mauricio and Joni and others who were there - they were just as engaged in looking and examining those pages as we were.
They had a beautiful luster about them, as we were turning the pages, and when I saw that last page come up and the cover of the sealed portion …. when I saw that plate, it gave me the hope of Zion. It was as if I could see Christ himself come down out of heaven and rest on that page where there was a little figure of a shepherd on the edge. I know it wasn’t Him, but I know it was His presence, because I’ve been in the presence of Jesus Christ before. And it was the promise that he was making that if we do our part, He will come. The promise of the restoration was made and renewed in my heart. And I have loved Zion, and I have yearned for Zion all my life, but there never was a greater fulfillment than Christ’s promise. As he descended with his power giving that promise that was given to the early saints in the days of Joseph Smith.
And I know that these things are true. I held the plates. We all held the plates. And as I’m holding them they took pictures of me. I had a somber look on my face, because I’m feeling it, and you know they asked me how much the plates weighed and stuff like that, and they were heavy! But as I was contemplating that, the weight to those plates went away, and the knowledge came from God that these are the very plates that Joseph Smith brought the Book of Mormon forth from. That knowledge. And in the picture you see me just break out with the big joyful smile. That is good news. It’s not anything you’ll ever get from an inspection device. It’s what you get from the Lord God. The Lord God is in it.
That Sunday morning when Joe stood up and Gary interpreted, I heard Joe speak with the power and authority of God. The freedom of speech he’s never had before. The certainty of his words have never reverberated in my body greater. I know that the Lord God was using him in that moment. And I stood and I bore testimony of it. I could not be silent on that point.
When I bore the testimony of that vision of Zion -- before that I told of Joni -- it turned out it was Joni who was in my vision. He greeted us at the airport. This made my heart leap that here is the person I saw in that dream greeting us at the airport and waving at us; the very same individual that I’d never laid eyes on before. He was there. It gave me great joy to see that. Well, in our meet and greet meeting, I bore testimony to that, and I bore testimony of the vision that I had, and both Joni when I was speaking, and also Mauricio were very emotional when I was talking about that. As soon as I was done, they hastened towards me, and Joni said, “I heard every word you said. I didn’t need the interpreter.” And Mauricio bore the same testimony. That they heard what I said, they didn’t need the interpreter. And you might think well that’s odd, but I didn’t think anything of it, because you know, somebody comes up, you know? They’re happy and things of that nature, and I didn’t think much of it then.
Later I pigeon holed brother Mauricio, because I wanted to know about the sword. Because that first image of the sword was not an Israelite sword. It was not the sword of Laban. And I couldn’t get Gary or Nelson or anybody over there to help me, but as I was trying to explain that - that I really wanted to talk to him about something. He said, “I understand what you said.” And when he said that in Portuguese I heard what he said in English. We had a long discussion about that sword and how it was cleaned up and all the things associated with that sword. And it was under the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues. That happened 3 times while we were there -- where the gift of tongues was given, so that this barrier between English and Portuguese went away.
I want you to know that I was thinking about that on Sunday morning and musing about it, and Gary heard me. I said something like, “well maybe the only thing that I’ve said or done through this whole period was what was carried by the Holy Spirit in tongues, and those other things I said were really not that important. You know what Gary told me? And the spirit of God settled right down on me when he did. He said, “God wants you to know this is His work. God wants you to know that.”
And I bear my testimony before man and God. This is His work. And I ask for you to seek repentance and to seek a testimony, for the Lord has a work to do. Zion will be a reality.
That is my joy.