I’ve been sitting on a couple of very personal topics. Because of my guilt and shame, I’ve cowardly been silent. In light of recent events, I feel more strongly than ever to speak, but don’t yet have the courage to do so. However, as those topics have come more and more to the forefront of my mind, other things come with them.
One of those topics is that of childlike hope.
When I was young, Russia was still part of the USSR. The Berlin Wall still cut Berlin in half, and the idea that we would ever be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the poor countries bound by the Soviet Union was laughable… except that the prophet promised that we would be able to. In fact, he promised that we’d be able to share the gospel in all the world, as commanded by our savior.
Though I was young, I remember the Berlin Wall falling. I remember watching it on the news for what seemed like months, though it was probably just days (that says more about my parents than I ever thought it did…. now that I think about it….).
I remember siting in my school class when the Soviet Union collapsed. This occupied every public and many private discussions for a lot of time. It was both exciting to have the TV in class, and strange to be watching the news…. but It was a defining time in American history.
And only years later, when it was time for my cousins and I to go on our missions to teach the Gospel, I went to Detroit, and my cousin went to Russia.
I didn’t think much of that then. I’d had a couple of years (okay, 12…13?) to acclimatize to the idea of Russia not being the Soviet Union, not imprisoning Americans just for being there (though, if I understand correctly, that still happens…. I’d have to ask my cousin… I think it happened to him….); and more importantly, the Russian government legally allows for the teaching of Christian doctrines… something that wasn’t allowed under the USSR.
What’s your point, besides the reminiscing that comes with those approaching middle age, you might ask? (If you are asking that, you can just shut your mouth! I’m not that old… or… well…. 50 is the new 40, right? So I’ve still got some time….) Ezra was just baptized this month. And he’s now excitedly talking about his desire to share Christ’s Good News with others: he wants to learn a dozen languages (he’s got apps for Spanish and Hebrew right now…) and he wants to go to China to teach the Gospel. I’ve explained that missionaries are really only allowed in Hong Kong, in fact, I have friends who have served there, but that’s not good enough for my son.
No, even though he understands that missionaries aren’t allowed in China, Ezra has the hope that HE will be able to go there. And if not him, definitely people his age. I was younger than him when the Wall fell, and I still find myself doubting the Lord’s ability to open China… where is my faith?
I don’t know everything. I don’t know how China will be open to missionaries for teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the prophets have promised that it will, and like my son, I trust the Prophets.
Isn’t the pure faith of Children just amazing? I hope that I can grow up to be the spiritual giant my son is teaching me to be. And I hope that the borders are opened up for missionaries sooner rather than later, so he can be just as un-wondrous about he or his friends going there as I was about mine going to Russia.