Selah Stake Conference

2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (1)Tonight we attended the Selah Stake Conference evening session.  Elder Robert Call of the Seventy is our visiting authority this weekend.  In the 1970s he was a missionary in southern Germany and he told the story below, which happened while he was there.

Do We Really Know What We Have?

As written by Scott Anderson in his journal.

We had an unexpected moment in the mission field. We knocked on a door and a lady said something to us we had never heard, “Come in”. Now remember, I was a German missionary. This never happened to us, not even the members would say that to us. At this point suddenly this dear lady invited us in. My companion said, “Do you know who we are?” “You want to talk religion, don’t you?” she said. “Yes we do” explained my companion.  

“Oh, come in. I’ve watching you walk around the neighbourhood. I’m so excited to have you here. Please come into my study.” We went in and seated ourselves and she sat down behind the desk.

 She looked at us with a smile, then pointed to three PhD’s hanging over her head. one in theology, the study of religion, one in Philosophy, the study of ideas, and one in European History specializing in Christianity. She then kind of rubbed her hands together and said, “Do you see this row of books here?” We looked at a well arranged row of books. She then said, “I wrote them all. I’m the Theology professor at the University of Munich. I’ve been doing this for 41 years. I love to talk about religion. What would you like to discuss?” My inspired companion said, ” we’d like to talk about the Book of Mormon.” She said,

 “I don’t know anything about the Book of Mormon.” He said, “I know”. Twenty minutes later we walked out of the room. We had handed her a Book of Mormon and this trade off that we had been on was over. I didn’t see this lady for another 8 1/2 weeks.

It was a small room filled with people, {when I saw her again}, as she was standing in the front dressed in white. This Theology professor at the University of Munich was well known throughout Southern Germany. She stood up in front of this small congregation of people and said, “Before I’m baptized I’d like to tell you of my feelings. In Amos 8:11 it says, there will be a famine in the work of God. I’ve been in that famine for 76 years. Why do you think I have three PhD’s? I’ve been hungering for the truth and have been unable to find it. Then 8 1/2 weeks ago, two boys walked into my home. I want you to know these boys are very nice and wonderful young men, but they didn’t convert me. They couldn’t; they don’t know enough.” And then she smiled and said, “but since the day they walked in my door I have read the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, all of Talmage’s great writings, Evidence and Reconciliations by John A. Widtsoe and 22 other volumes of Church Doctrine.” She then said something which I think is a challenge for everyone of us here. She said, ‘I don’t think you members know what you have.”

 Then in her quiet, powerful way, she said, “After those years of studying philosophy, I picked up the D & C and read a few little verses that answered some of the greatest questions of Aristotle and Socrates! When I read those verses, I wept for 4 hours.” Then she said again, “I don’t think you members know what you have. Don’t you understand the world is in a famine? Don’t you know we are starving for what you have? I am like a starving person being led to a feast. And over these 8 1/2 weeks I have been able to feast in a way I have never known possible.”

 Her powerful message and her challenging question was then ended with her favourite scripture, “For you don’t see the truth can make you free.”

 She said, “these missionaries don’t just carry membership in the church in their hands, they carry within their hands the power to make the atonement of Jesus Christ full force in my life. Today I’m going into the water and I’m going to make a covenant with Christ for the first time with proper authority. I’ve wanted to do this all my life.” None of us will forget the day she was baptized. When she got finished being baptized, she got back out and before she received the Holy Ghost , she stood and said, “Now I would like to talk about the Holy Ghost for awhile.” She then gave a wonderful talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 *  *  *  *

 President Lewis and I usually get to speak at Stake Conferences.  I felt impressed to share some thoughts I’ve had during the last 2 weeks as we’ve met with all of our missionaries throughout this mission.

The Lord is hastening his work.  It’s His work and he is orchestrating and preparing us to help him do it.  In the Book of Mormon in Jacob 5:71-72 it talks about missionary work in the last days:

 71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.

 72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.

He, the Lord of the vineyard is here, in this vineyard, laboring with our missionaries.  I had all of them stand up so everyone could see them.  There were dozens.  In the last 2 weeks I’ve filled 25 pages of notes from these incredible missionaries about what they are learning and about how they got here.  Miracles surround each of their lives.  They have had course changes, difficult challenges, things to overcome to be able to serve here with us.  Some have full family support.  Some don’t.

I believe that these particular missionaries were hand picked to be here in this Yakima Mission now.  They are absolutely incredible.  They are hastening His work.  He is with them.  I have full confidence in them.  I trust them.  I love them.

I told everyone that if they want to increase the joy in their lives or in the lives of their friends, they should talk to these missionaries, invite them into their homes, go with them as they work.  If they do, they will see the Lord’s hand in what they are doing.  I believe that with all my heart and I love these missionaries with all my heart.

Here are a few who were there tonight:2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (4)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (9)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (6)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (7)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (12)  2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (13)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (18)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (19)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (14)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (15)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (16)2015-11-21 Selah Stake Conf Sat pm (20)

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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4 Responses to Selah Stake Conference

  1. Kimm Harman says:

    Sister Lewis,
    Thank you for sharing this. My son Elder Harman is coming your way Dec 01. I have been doing really well until the last few days. I think because it’s getting closer to him leaving the safe walls of the MTC. He is loving the MTC and is excited to get to Yakima. I needed this today. I needed a gentle reminder of why we give our sons for two years. I also feel great comfort knowing he is under President Lewis and your care.

    So thank you, thank you, for all that you do. It is so appreciated. We feel so blessed.

    With love,
    Kimm Harman



      Hi Kimm
      Thank you for checking in. We are so excited to receive Elder Harmon. I hope I’ll have a chance to introduce him at the Harmon Center some day. It’s just down the hill from the mission home. I know it may not feel like it from your end, but it’s honestly unbelievable how fast the time passes. It will help to stay connected to the blog and our FB page, so you can enjoy the delight of missionary work here in the Yakima Mission from there at home. Be a part of his mission. I’ll share as much as I am able. It will help to be able to cheer him on rather than just sending him off. We will take good care of him. We pray for parents too, every day. This is a family affair. We send our love to you and yours this Thanksgiving week.


  2. Valerie Michalek says:

    Thank you so very much for this post, your blog, facebook and the other thoughtful things you do for all the parents. You are an inspired woman! It seems to me, that whenever I have a concern about my daughter or how the mission is going, that you answer it in a post. For example, my daughter always says how much she loves her mission and how happy she is. For some reason there is that little bit of doubt that creeps in and I wonder if she is truly as happy as she says she is. Then I saw this post and saw my daughter’s big smile and saw her laughing in the pictures and it just filled my heart with total joy! I can see how happy she is and that doubt has left my mind. I love that they all seem to have this amazing glow of pure joy – so inspiring! Thank you for bringing so much joy into my life and for being my daughter’s mission mom. You are an amazing gift to our family!


    • Yes, she’s absolutely happy! I can feel it. There is a bright glow around this group of sisters. I suspect they will be life-long friends. They are so well-loved by the ward members here. They are in a joyful place, loving the work. Every single time I hug a sister (whenever I see one), I think of you moms and pray they feel your love through me. I’m just standing in for awhile. I love them so much and feel your love too. I hope they always feel that from both of us. Thanks for your prayers and support. We are all in this together!


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