“My Grandfather’s Dream,” Liahona, Oct. 2022.
When he appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, Moroni quoted key scriptures and teachings from Malachi and Isaiah. Interestingly, he also quoted from the second chapter of Joel the following prophecy:
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28; see also Joseph Smith—History 1:41).
Dreams are one way the Lord reveals truth to His children. They can be part of a divine process He uses to deepen spiritual understanding.
In Job we read:
“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
“In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
“Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction” (Job 33:14–16).
In such a dream, my grandfather’s ears were opened and instruction was given, or sealed, that would change our family for eternity.
Brígido Becerra grew up in Puebla, Mexico. Sadly, he grew up without a father, and at the age of 11, Brígido’s mother died in his arms. He was left alone to live his life as best as he could. At the time, there were no social programs or opportunities to assist an orphan boy like Brígido. Without any guidance or someone to care for him, Brígido became addicted to alcohol. That addiction negatively affected almost every aspect of his life.
At one point his addiction become so severe, he felt he was going to lose his wife and children. In desperation, he decided to pray. He had not been raised with any religion and so offered a prayer in his own way. He pleaded for help to overcome his addiction and sincerely sought to find an escape from his problems.
Sometime after he uttered that sincere prayer, sister missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited his home. They had met his wife, Julia, and had told the children about Primary at the local ward. They now sought Brígido’s permission for the children to attend.
The sisters began to teach Brígido and his family about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Back then, missionaries taught using flannel boards to show pictures while they were teaching. During this lesson they showed a picture of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Brígido immediately recognized the man in the picture. He told the sister missionaries he knew this man. They were puzzled by what Brígido said. He was from Mexico and Joseph Smith had lived and died in the United States many years before Brígido was even born. There was no way Brígido knew Joseph Smith.
My grandfather then shared his dream with the missionaries. He told them he dreamed that he was working on his small ranch cutting alfalfa with his machete and gathering other food to feed his chickens and pigs. As he was busy working, a large serpent attacked him. My grandfather fought the serpent as best he could, but it wrapped itself around him, opened its mouth, and was about to swallow him whole.
At that very moment of peril, a man dressed in white, and with a sword in hand, cut off the head of the serpent. As it fell dead at Brígido’s feet, he looked up to see who had saved his life. He did not recognize the man but noted he was dressed in white. Then he explained that the man in the picture the sisters were sharing was the man in his dream. Brígido had immediately recognized that this was the man in his dream, the man who saved him. Now he knew the man’s name was Joseph Smith.
This dream was a vivid learning experience for my grandfather. He felt it was a direct answer to his prayers and pleadings. He said he felt that the serpent was a representation of his addiction to alcohol. And he understood, through the powerful teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, that he would be able to overcome his addiction. He knew he would find relief and receive the full blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Shortly after sharing this experience with the sister missionaries, my grandfather Brígido Becerra was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved the gospel of Christ. He had a special love for the Book of Mormon and all the prophets, especially Joseph Smith.
My grandfather’s dream led him to the true gospel of Christ and not only saved him from a life of addiction and sorrow but also blessed generations of faithful members of the Church. When my grandfather passed away at the age of 98, he left approximately 120 descendants—children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Each one has been affected by his dream and by his legacy of testimony and faithfulness to the Church and to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Like Daniel in the Old Testament, my grandfather understood that “there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets” (Daniel 2:28).
Some may ask why some of us occasionally have dreams that have a spiritual purpose. In general conference, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared an experience having to do with dreams. He spoke of an inspired priesthood leader who was prompted to learn the names of all the youth in his stake. Shortly after the leader had learned all their names, the Lord revealed truth through a dream.
“One night the priesthood leader had a dream about one of the young men whom he knew only from a picture,” Elder Bednar said. “In the dream he saw the young man dressed in a white shirt and wearing a missionary name tag. With a companion seated at his side, the young man was teaching a family. The young man held the Book of Mormon in his hand, and he looked as if he were testifying of the truthfulness of the book. The priesthood leader then awoke from his dream.
“At an ensuing priesthood gathering, the leader approached the young man he had seen in his dream and asked to talk with him for a few minutes. After a brief introduction, the leader called the young man by name and said: ‘I am not a dreamer. I have never had a dream about a single member of this stake, except for you. I am going to tell you about my dream, and then I would like you to help me understand what it means.’
“The priesthood leader recounted the dream and asked the young man about its meaning. Choking with emotion, the young man simply replied, ‘It means God knows who I am.’”1
Perhaps that is why my grandfather received his witness in a dream. It was an assurance that God knew who he was and the legacy he could leave behind. His dream was a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it would have a powerful impact upon many of his posterity for eternity.
The Lord does reveal His secrets to us. The medium through which we receive personal revelation varies because we are all different and because He is a one-to-one God. Be it a vision, a thought, a voice in our minds, a feeling, or a dream, truly He speaks to you and to me.