A few weeks ago, Walker Posey concluded his service in the Canada Toronto East Mission and joined his parents serving in the Texas Fort Worth Mission. His father, Pres. Stephen D. Posey, presides over the mission.
Several days ago, the newly returned missionary was in a doctor's office and began discussing the Church with a man working there. The man agreed to attend the annual Missionary Satellite Open House Feb. 22.He did so and is now receiving the missionary discussions.
Such is not uncommon each year during the Church's missionary open house, telecast to LDS meetinghouse throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. This year, Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve hosted the video presentation, which offered a powerful message about the Book of Mormon - with dramatic scenes from its pages. In addition, the presentation included people speaking of how the Book of Mormon has changed their lives.
In the video, Elder Eyring said: "The Book of Mormon is an inspired translation of the record which Moroni hid in the earth. It is a companion to the Bible in teaching the plan of our Heavenly Father. The message of both of these books of scripture is to invite all to come unto Christ and partake of the plan which our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. They are books which are written for us, today.
"As children of God we're capable of great things," Elder Eyring explained. "But regardless of our talents and abilities, sometimes we fall short."
One poignant story from the presentation is a young man struggling with serious mistakes and leaving home. Elder Eyring referred to the account of Enos in the Book of Mormon as "a young man who also had made mistakes."
The apostle then quoted Enos' prayer in Enos 1:1-6, including, " . . . my guilt was swept away."
A repentant young man in the video then says: "I remember feeling my quilt being swept away by my Heavenly Father who completely understood me. And feeling that I shouldn't try to hide from Him any more. And feeling that I wanted His help. The Book of Mormon gave me a lot of hope and it helped me get back on track to move forward with my life."
Later in the presentation, Elder Eyring explained: "Life isn't always fair. Bad things happen to good people. But knowing that this life is only a tiny moment in the eternal perspective of our Father's plan allows us to live by faith.
"The Book of Mormon clearly teaches that God is aware of each of us," Elder Eyring continued. "He loves us individually. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He wants us to come home again to His presence. That is His greatest priority."
Later, he quoted Moro. 10:4-5, and admonished readers to read and pray about the truth of the Book of Mormon. "We realize that these are serious claims. We invite you to test them. We invite you to read the Book of Mormon. Ponder and meditate upon the things written in it. Ponder about the great Plan of Happiness as taught so plainly in it. Then pray with a sincere desire to know for yourself. If you'll do this, our Heavenly Father will answer your prayer with an unmistakable feeling, and you will know."
Speaking of the presentation, Fort Worth mission Pres. Posey said that being among nearly 400 people - both LDS and non-LDS - attending the combined open house of the Colleyville and Hurst Texas stakes was "a wonderful, wonderful experience. The Spirit was very strong. Our missionaries are reporting that they are receiving some referrals from it. I've never seen a time when the membership mingled and made non-members feel welcome as they did at this. Everyone, including recent converts and non-members, really appreciated Elder Eyring's presentation."
In fact, during the video, the man whom Pres. Posey's son had met at the doctor's office leaned over to the mission president and said, "All I can say is `Wow.' "
"Wow" is probably a good way to describe the evening. Pres. Posey said that his missionaries supplied copies of the Book of Mormon, copies of the First Presidency Proclamation on the Family and pictures of the Savior as complimentary gifts for visitors at the displays set up in the stake center. All were gone by evening's end.
The mission president added that from 10 to 12 investigators are planning to be baptized within the next two weeks.
Pres. Randy J. Vest of the Colleyville stake said he spent the evening talking with two investigators. "Both were very impressed with Elder Eyring's comments and message and were touched. I would not be surprised if those two individuals were baptized in the next two weeks."
Pres. Vest added that members as well as investigators benefit from the yearly open house. He said his sister-in-law was originally not going to attend the event but decided to come along. "On the way home, she said, `This is just a great way to start off the week. I'm glad I spent the extra time."