“’Inconveniently True’” Liahona, March 2020
The New York Pennsylvania Historic Sites Mission offers unique opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. We proselyte, teach, and baptize as other missionaries do, but we also have the wonderful assignment to teach about the sacred events that happened in these places.
We serve at the Smith family farm, the Book of Mormon publication site, the Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center, and the Peter and Mary Whitmer farm. We take guests around these sacred sites and help them become more familiar with the history and events surrounding the Restoration.
One day my companion and I gave a tour of the Smith family farm to a young family from Ireland. They were recent converts of only two years.
As we stood in the reconstructed log home where Joseph Smith and his family lived in the spring of 1820, my companion and I recounted the important events in Joseph’s childhood that led him to enter a grove of trees to pray to know which church he should join. We shared with them Joseph’s experience when Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and answered his prayer. We then asked them how they had felt when they first learned of Joseph Smith and his First Vision.
I expected them to express the same feelings most people share—that they felt a burning in their heart or that they knew that it must be true because the Spirit they felt was just so powerful. Instead, they said they felt it was “inconveniently true.” That made us pause for a minute. We asked them to explain what they had meant.
They told us that things had been good for them before they heard the gospel, and the idea of changing their comfortable lifestyle seemed like an inconvenience to them. But when they received a spiritual witness that it was true, they knew they had to make a lifestyle change.
Their interesting and sincere testimony impressed us. Because they really had a testimony of Joseph Smith and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, they were willing to make inconvenient changes in their lives and join the Church. They did so because they knew those changes would be the best thing for their family!
I absolutely loved my mission. I have no doubt that the sites I served in are all sacred. Everything we say happened here really did happen. It is a miracle.