What of the
Sharing the Gospel
From the New Zealand Auckland Mission
Joanne and I have had the privilege of know Herschel and Shirley Pedersen for many years. We love them and have learned much of value from them. The Pedersens were blessed with much success when they served in New Zealand where Herschel was mission president from 1987-90. I have never met any couple that have more genuinely warm and lovely smiles.
With a gentle boldness born of love, Herschel Pedersen has been an instrument in the hands of the Lord in helping rescue many less active members of the Church. As a young missionary, mission president, mission representative of the Twelve, and as a senior missionary with his wife, he has had similar success in sharing the gospel.
Letter to Elder Glen Rudd - Part 10
This experience happened to Sister Betty Paerata: “There was a name in my family line I had been searching for, for over twelve years and was unsuccessful in my attempt to find and identify. On a particular night not so long ago it was my night to go to the temple, but strangely enough I felt impressed not to go. When I got home I thought to myself, well now what are you going to do, and then I decided to work on genealogy. I went to the genealogy library below the Visitors Center. As I walked in the door I was greeted by a sister I know. She said, I was praying that you would come here tonite. I laughed and said, so you are the reason I am not going to the temple. She said she needed help with a certain roll of microfilm. As I helped her with that roll, I recognized that every other name we went over was from my family line, that I had been searching 12 years to find.
Elder Brown relates this experience: My companion and I taught a Fathers (Presentation) to this inactive in Henderson and we explained with the scriptures the mission of Elijah. The spirit was there strong, to testify of the truthfulness and of the importance of how the heart’s are turned from fathers to children and then from the children to the fathers.
He said he would take the pedigree charts and work on them as fast as he could. We left with a blessing on him and the family. That night when the inactive went to sleep, he had a dream of an old lady who came to him crying and asking for help. At that instant he woke up and pondered about that dream. He then got up, went to this room and was looking in these boxes of photos. He didn’t know why, or what he was looking for. As he was searching he came across the photo of an old lady, he recognized her as the one he had seen in his dream. He went and asked his parents who she was and found out that it was his great-grandmother. He then explained to his parents his dream, the lesson the missionaries had taught him and the importance of the work for the dead. The family has since taken the name to the temple, the inactive was activated and the prophecy in Malachi was fulfilled.
One lady named Sis. Thomas had been away from the church for seven years. She is seventy-plus years old. Before her husband died she was very active in the church, although he wasn’t a member. He had been taught a little by the missionaries but didn’t join because of some bad examples in the church. He died and she later went inactive. Sometime in the last few months, she had two dreams, in which her husband told her to go to the temple and do his work. In one dream he was upset because she hadn’t been to the temple sooner.
When we started to seek out the less active, we knocked at the door of a couple around 55 years of age. He was a lifetime member and sad received the office of teacher in his youth. She was a convert of over 2 years. Thru the years they have attended church once in a while but never consistently.
Presenting them with genealogy papers and informing them that we were here in answer to the prayers of their ancestors who were on their knees praying that their descendants would become active and prepare their genealogy and also to bring back into activity their descendants.
They were surprised, a little in awe, still they invited us in and said it was time. We started to teach them the gospel, most of which they had forgotten. (We) got them out to church each week. Then (we) started to prepare them for the temple.
We held discussions with them twice a week and asked them if they would prepare themselves spiritually for the temple. He said yes, but she said no. She had had dreams in which her mother appeared to her. She couldn’t understand the dream and thought that her mother was unhappy with her for being a Mormon. We are still working with her and trying to help her understand her dream.
We are working with an active elder and his inactive wife. This sister does not attend church and does not like to be lectured to. So we had ourselves assigned as their home teachers, and began to teach them the gospel.
One Sunday afternoon, we were discussing genealogy and the Spirit of Elijah. The spirit became very strong in the home and then the brother started to weep. He said, “Now I know. I have been praying about why my wife would not become active and go to the temple, and it is her parents. We need to have their temple work done, then her spirit can relax and she can understand the gospel. After the tears and emotions had passed, we asked the sister to read the Book of Mormon and put it to the test. She agreed. We are still hoping and praying for their success.