Missionary moments: 'Convincing them of my word'

In a devotional address at BYU on October 20, 1981, Elder LeGrand Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve shared some missionary experiences with students: "Now referring to the statement about 'convincing them of my word which shall have already gone forth among them' (2 Nephi 3:11), I want to tell you of a little experience I had when I was in Holland.

"I had an invitation from some businessmen to attend one of their Bible classes. They met every week in one of the homes. We met that week in the home of a prominent furniture dealer. There were about 20 men there, and the only woman was the daughter of the man of the house.

"They gave me an hour and a half to discuss universal salvation, which includes our doctrine of preaching the gospel in the eternal worlds to the spirits that were disobedient here upon the earth and the doctrine of baptism of the living for the dead.

"So after I had discussed that matter, I just gave them chapter and verse and let them read it in their own copies of the Bible. I figured that they would believe it more if they read it in their Bible; otherwise, they would think that I had a different Bible. When I was through, I laid my Bible on the table and folded my arms and waited for a comment.

"The first comment came from the daughter of the man of the house. She said, 'Father, I just can't understand it. I have never attended one of these Bible classes in my life when you haven't had the last word to say on everything, and tonight you haven't said a word.'

"He shook his head and said, 'My daughter, there isn't anything to say. This man has been teaching us things we have never heard of, and he's been teaching them to us out of our own Bible.' That's what the Lord meant when he said that the prophet of this dispensation would not only bring forth his words, but would convince people of his words that had already gone forth among them."

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