Last night, at dinner, my husband told me that he heard one of the talk show host’s pose a question to his listeners. The question was, if you could have lunch with 3 people who would they be and what would you ask them? This led to an interesting conversation between him and me. He mentioned that a lot of people said they wanted to meet Jesus. We talked about that for a few minutes, and I asked him who he would like to meet. He said he would like to have lunch with his grandfather. That was an answer I wasn’t expecting, but that I completely concurred with. As the conversation continued, I mused in my mind who I would like to meet. Jesus is a logical choice, but whom else? Who else has made an impact on my life that I wanted to choose? I was finding that decision difficult. First on the list were Jesus, Abraham and Joseph Smith. My husband said he went through his mind of some people in the Bible. Isaiah he said. John the Revelator was another. Then a rush of other ideas came to my mind. My thoughts were led to others I have thought of in past who I would like to meet:
Ruth, for her devoted faithfulness and service to God and her people.
Captain Moroni for his steadfastness in upholding the cause of liberty.
King Lamoni because he was willing to give up everything to know Christ;
Alma, the elder, for his courage in standing up for the truth at the risk of his life;
Alma, the younger, for his missionary zeal fueled by his desire that all men change their hearts towards God.
King Benjamin, for his complete obedience in teaching the people of Christ and committing them to covenant.
Nephi, for his unwavering faith and devotion to the cause of righteousness.
Mormon, for the wisdom and insights putting the gold plates together must have given him;
Moroni, for the loneliness he must have felt as he lived in that cave by himself.
The Brother of Jared, for his profound faith.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, because everything about him, made me want to live better….
How can I leave out Paul and his indomitable spirit?
Timothy testifying against all odds.
Stephen, Abinadi, Noah, Moses, James and Peter… Sigh…I can only have 3…but the list could go on and on…
Truth is, I have met all those who are on my list. But not in the traditional way. I have met them through my studies of the scriptures and the words of the Prophets. Yes, it would be nice to meet these great sons and daughters of God in reality; however their exemplary lives are very evident throughout the pages of Holy Writ; ready and waiting for me to discover and learn more about their lives through prayer and personal revelation about how I might change my life towards something more in line with what Heavenly Father wants for me.
Well, as the discussion with my husband progressed, I found another thought or question formulating out of the original one. Considering all these wonderful people and the traits that I admired so much in them, I then decided that I would like to have one wish to go along with my meeting them. It is something like this:
I wish that it could be easier for me to overcome the tendency to sin. I wish the ability to be more righteous came more naturally to me; that the “natural” tendencies for human-ness were more easily overcome, such as my willfulness, my tendency to take the “easy” road, and my propensity for self-doubt. I wish that my efforts to do more good, and be more righteous would be consistent enough so as to “push out” (or burn off) the weaknesses and flaws (or dross) in my character, and leave these new and “mighty” changes as a solid foundation on which to build. Then, when all that is done, I would want my capacity to sustain these new changes to be made stronger and more durable against the tides of temptation and sin.
But alas, there is only one way to do this: In order to change, I must humbly submit to the refiner’s fire, (see Mosiah 2:19), which means to submit to the heat of whatever will be the most useful for me so that I may be made more useful and strong in the cause of the Kingdom of God. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the audacity of my wish, I know I do not sin in wishing for this, because I know it is a righteous desire, just as Abraham’s desire was: to be a greater follower of righteousness. (See Alma 29:3; 2 Nephi 4:17-35 and Abraham 1:2). Therefore, knowing I cannot escape the process of refining, I will alter my wish and request the strength to withstand the heat and the pressure of the refiner’s fire…that my faith may be bolstered by the power of God and my diligence fortified by the examples of those I choose to meet through my studies.