In April 1975, President Boyd K. Packer issued a powerful invitation to less active members of the church and in particular to those who had never received the Melchizedek Priesthood. His words however also resonated with me as a convert to the Church. He spoke of compensatory power from the Lord that allows us to quickly overcome time that we have spent away from the divine truth’s of the Gospel. His message was therefore one of encouragement and a reminder that it is never too late to come back.
“If you will return to the environment where spiritual truths are spoken, there will flood back into your minds the things that you thought were lost. Things smothered under many years of disuse and inactivity will emerge. Your ability to understand them will be quickened.
That word quickened is much used in the scriptures, you know.
If you will make your pilgrimage back among the Saints, soon you will be understanding once again the language of inspiration. And more quickly than you know, it will seem that you have never been away. Oh, how important it is for you to realize that if you will return, it can be made as though you have never been away.”
Elder Packer told the story of a 74 year old who had just joined the Church and was filled with regrets:
“Then, almost in tears, he poured out his regret. ‘Why did I not find it until now? My life is over. My children are all raised and gone, and it is just too late for me to learn the gospel.’
What a joy it was to explain to him one of the great miracles that occurs over and over again is the transformation of those who join the Church. (Or I might say of those who rejoin the Church.) They are in the world and they are of the world, and then the missionaries find them. Though they are in the world thereafter, they are not of the world. Very quickly in their thinking and in their feelings and in their actions, it is as though they had been members of the Church all of their lives.
This is one of the great miracles of this work. The Lord has a way of compensating and blessing. He is not confined to the tedious processes of communication and He is not limited to Japanese or English.
There is a sacred process by which pure intelligence may be conveyed into our minds and we can come to know instantly things that otherwise would take a long period of time to acquire. He can speak inspiration into our minds, especially when we are humble and seeking.”
For me these words resonate with my experiences. When I first joined, I felt filled with power and light as I quickly comprehended the truth of the Gospel. And I saw the same transformation in those I taught as a missionary. I take great comfort in that promise when I think about my father learning about the Gospel in the spirit world and contemplate how he must have been changed by his experiences.
God knows that we all have great potential to be transformed through the spirit and the power of the Gospel. It is Satan that wants us to doubt and be filled with apprehension