Marie Osmond decided to spend her 59th birthday in concert with her brothers in Honolulu, Hawaii. She called up the Public Affairs representatives for Hawaii and said she’d also love to host a free interfaith concert the night before her public performance.
Christian denominations from all around O’ahu participated in songs celebrating Jesus Christ’s impact in our lives. Someone from each group shared a testimony of Jesus Christ in the beautiful Hawaiian way of “talk story.”
My mom and I scored some tickets to the event and went early to find parking as close as possible to the historic Kawaiaha’o Church in the center of Honolulu. The church is beautiful, commissioned by a Hawaiian king in the 1800s.
After bouncing seats, we settled near a window. Without air conditioning, the room was already warm. The couple in front of us watched us bounce seats and wanted to know why we moved.
We chatted for 5-10 minutes when THE moment came. Do you know the moment? That missionary opportunity moment? The moment when the conversation is churning and coming closer and closer to the moment you can identify yourself as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not?
I can usually feel when it’s about to happen. I’m amazed at how frequently the moment really comes in everyday conversation. But I fully expected the moment last night at an interfaith concert in a Christian church.
The woman asked, “Do you live in town and go to this church?”
“No,” I responded. “We live in Ewa Beach and …”
Immediately, the man interjected his comments into the conversation.
AAK! Did I miss my opportunity for the moment? I work from home and generally don’t see many people during the course of my day or week who aren’t members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I didn’t want to miss such an easy opportunity to at least say the words.
The conversation spiraled on.
I saw my chance. “Have you ever been in this church before?”
“I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and attend in Ewa and I haven’t been in this church either.”
Instantly, mom and I felt the freeze and shift. The woman immediately turned around in her seat. She never spoke to us again. The man shifted a bit. But I quickly asked where they went to church. He said they were Christians and attended Grace Bible Church. Then he turned around, too.
Mom and I smiled at each other, acknowledged the importance of seizing the moment and also accepting their reaction. The freeze didn’t bother us. We began our favorite word game that we play every chance we get.
When the woman went to the ladies room before the concert, the man turned around again and chatted for a while.
I began President Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon and mark references to Jesus Christ by December 31st. I’ve also been writing down the verses that particularly jump out at me. A few of those verses came to mind as I decided what to do with the moment.
Verses that Flashed to Mind as I Considered the Moment
From my study journal:
1 Nephi 13:37 — And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.
1 Nephi 20:6 — Thou hast seen and heard all this; and will ye not declare them?
2 Nephi 6:18 — And all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
2 Nephi 8:7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written my law, fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
2 Nephi 8:16-17 — And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion: Behold, thou art my people. Awake, awake, stand up.
I wrote these verses down as different reasons that inspire missionary work “bravery.” But because they were recently in my mind and heart this week, the Holy Ghost brought them to mind as I considered how determined I wanted to be about stating my identity as a member of the Church.
President Russell M. Nelson’s Book of Mormon Challenge Promise
And, as you prayerfully study, I promise that the heavens will open for you. The Lord will bless you with increased inspiration and revelation.
As you read, I would encourage you to mark each verse that speaks of or refers to the Savior. Then, be intentional about talking of Christ, rejoicing in Christ, and preaching of Christ with your families and friends. You and they will be drawn closer to the Savior through this process. And changes, even miracles, will begin to happen.
In that experience, I realized I already saw a fulfillment of President Nelson’s challenge! Not only had the Holy Ghost inspired my mind with applicable scriptures in my personal journey, but as I was intentional about talking of Christ, opportunities and confidence came to do that with strangers.
I also realized that the moment had broadened. I’d seized the moment to follow the prophet’s counsel and guidance. That helped me recognize the moment to identify myself. That gave me cause to pause and reflect on the moment I’d had with the Lord in the Book of Mormon. That experience caused me to realize that I should see every moment as the moment—the moment to live intentionally, with eyes wide open to revelation and opportunities that will and do come.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.