Author’s note: This series shares stories about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Each story is framed in the context of a Christlike attribute. This article is adapted and expanded from part 7 of a presentation given at the FairMormon 2018 Conference.
As I think about the faithful Congolese Saints, I realize that what I love the most is that they take the Gospel seriously. For them, the Gospel is not simply a part of life, it istheir life, their hope, and their joy.
Not long before the end of our mission, I met with a Congolese church leader who is a great example of devotion and diligence. He had scheduled another meeting later that morning. He called the Congolese brother who was in charge of this meeting to confirm the time. But the brother told my friend that he had just returned to Kinshasa by plane and for that reason had had to cancel the meeting.
After my friend hung up, he gave the situation some more thought. He realized that it couldn’t be true that this brother had justreturned to Kinshasa because there were no flights that morning. He must have come back the night before. Because this brother had returned the night before there was no reason he couldn’t have been available for the meeting that morning. My friend called him again and took him to task for having canceled the meeting.
I felt compassion for the brother who had been corrected. But I also felt the power of the sincerity and earnestness with which my friend had spoken. D&C 121:43 speaks of “reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost.” According to Elder H. Burke Peterson, this “means reproving with clarity, with loving firmness, with serious intent. It does not mean reproving with sarcasm, or with bitterness, or with clenched teeth and raised voice. One who reproves as the Lord has directed deals in principles, not personalities.” Among other things, my friend had said in a spirit of love and inspiration, with directness and without guile: “You like to sleep too much. You cannot sleep when the work of the Lord awaits you.”
The video version of the entire FairMormon presentation is available on the FairMormon YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJl9FvLKmjw
The article relating to this story can be found at the Interpreter Foundation website: “Cease to Sleep Longer Than Is Needful” — Stories of the Saints in the DR Congo, Part 7
If you would like to watch the other presentations from the 2018 FairMormon Conference, you can still purchase video streaming.