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Instead of Special Fanfare

A lesson learned when, as a young missionary, I relied more on talent than on the Spirit.

With words of grandest wisdom,
and with eloquence and style,
I had shared the Savior’s message
With a “salesman” kind of smile.

I was Shakespeare on a mission,
But as time came rolling by,
I had found my efforts fruitless
And began to question why.

One night I got to wondering,
With companion fast asleep,
“Why am I a failure?”
And I soon began to weep.

I slipped from ‘neath the covers
And I knelt beside my bed;
I raised my eyes toward Heaven,
Then I simply bowed my head.

I said “Please change these stubborn people
To whom I preach the word,
Who close the door to better things
As if they never heard.”

The Lord returned no answer,
Silence filled my head.
I stared into the darkness,
Then climbed back into bed.

The morning came so quickly,
And we took it rather slow;
I prayed again for guidance
But the answer didn’t show.

We left a little early
To go and start our day;
We thought we’d tract the houses
That were lined along the bay.

We walked along a pathway
To a house beside the shore;
We knocked and stood there waiting,
Like every time before.

The door swung widely open,
And a sailor, looking spry,
Asked if he could help me,
As he looked me in the eye.

I was about to start my discourse,
With words of shining gold,
To a simple sea-dog sailor,
‘Bout forty-five years old.

But the grand and lofty language
I had used right from the start,
Was bound for some strange reason,
And the Spirit filled my heart.

And instead of special fanfare
So Beautifully composed,
I released a testimony
My deeper soul enclosed.

I said, “The Lord has called a prophet;
I really know it’s true;
He sent us forth to share it,
And directed us to you.”

A moment’s worth of silence,
The sailor stroked his chin;
His eyes still looking through me,
He motioned us on in.

The sailor’s wife and children
Were gathered to his side;
With pure and simple plainness
We taught and testified.

The story could go further,
But sufficient just to say
They felt that special spirit
And are active still today.

And I think back to that prayer I said
On that dark and restless night;
I think I found the error now,
The wording wasn’t right.

I’d said, “Please change these stubborn people,
To whom I preach the word,
Who close the door to better things
As if they’d never heard.”

But the Lord told Brother Joseph,
When the church was in it’s youth,
To teach things by the Spirit
Which was sent to teach the truth.

To rely on man’s abilities
Alone, we can’t afford;
For taught by any other way,
It isn’t of the Lord.

It’s not just in the listener’s ear
Where the problems always start;
Sometimes it’s in the teacher’s voice
And the spirit in the heart.

Picture of Wes Stephenson

Wes Stephenson

Author, motorcyclist, poet, and adventurer. Let's journey together.

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