FAILURE TO PRINT!

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I love my calling in the church! I am blessed to teach the Gospel Principles Sunday School class to new members and inquisitive friends! I believe it to be the second best calling in the church! (The first being that of missionary, with the privilege of bringing them to the class in the first place!)

Today I taught about the restoration of the gospel. I loved studying about it this week and memorizing Joseph Smith’s account of the first vision (my goal in my last post)!

I decided to place pictures of everything that has been restored (Priesthood, Temples, Church Organization, etc… 16 in all) on the board, with black coverings over them – to be revealed when they were mentioned in the lesson. I went to lds.org and found just the right images. I wanted them printed nicely (which our small printer was incapable of) so I sent them to our local copy shop.

This is where the story gets good.

When I went in to the shop to pick up the pictures, only about 4 of them came out well. The rest were terribly pixelated and unusable. I went home to try other pictures in their stead. I sent over a new batch.

When I went in to the shop the second time, the staff of about 4 young women regretfully told me that, again, most of them did not come out. They had discussed possible solutions, but to no avail. They sadly, but sweetly, sent me away with only one usable picture.

I went home and tried to find more images to submit. I found adequate substitutes and sent them in – again – hoping!

This time when I approached the copy shop they saw me coming and looked at me with disappointed eyes and simply shook their heads. They had tried everything they knew, but none of the pictures were usable. They suggested I go home and, perhaps, try to resize them.

I did.

I resubmitted them.

You’ll never guess the outcome.

They were worse than before.

The girls in the office felt terrible.

After showing me the hopeless images, they kindly invited me to come behind the counter and try sending the images straight from their computer to the printer. I gratefully accepted the offer and sat down at their computer.

This is where the story gets even better.

We tried printing the first image.

It printed beautifully!

It was a picture of a baby holding onto her father’s finger. The close-up, black and white image was very beautiful and extremely touching to look at. It drew a gasp from every woman in the room. The picture symbolized eternal families.

The next picture also printed perfectly.

It was an image of 3 men whose hands were laid on another brother’s head. It, too, was very beautiful. I wondered what kind of response it would illicit. It didn’t take long for me to find out.

They all gathered around the picture to look at the quality, but they couldn’t help but wonder about the content. One young woman could not refrain from asking about it. “Isn’t that the laying on of hands?” she asked. I told her, “Yes! Are you familiar with that concept?” (I ‘suddenly’ remembered my quest to always answer a question with a follow-up question.) She proceeded to tell me that she was raised Catholic, but no longer attended. I saw that as an invitation for an invitation!

I told her that these images were all obtained for free at lds.org and they were all going to be used in a lesson I would be teaching the next day at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – the Mormon Church. (I remembered to use the full name of the church as we’ve been instructed. Whew!”) I told her it was the church right across the street and invited her to come and hear my lesson the next morning.

She smiled. They looked at each other. No words were spoken……then the printer expelled another image. They gathered around to see it. It was another beautiful picture – of the temple.

Though few words were spoken, the feeling in the room had changed. We were the only ones in the shop so they were free to view each image as it printed. Almost every picture, though impossible to print and view before, now came out beautiful and perfect.

They soon saw images of the scriptures, families, baptism, the sacrament, a baby blessing, the Father and the Son as personages, Joseph Smith, the premortal existence, and Jesus Christ.

I was grateful they knew to what church those images belonged.

I hope a seed was planted.

I hope they felt the stirrings of the Spirit.

I hope they have a desire to see and learn more.

I hope the images I send over next week – fail to print.

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2 thoughts on “FAILURE TO PRINT!

  1. Anonymous

    This account made me cry… Thank you for sharing and more importantly being such a great example of everyday missionaries.. Keep those pictures printing!! ;-)

  2. Scott Bartlett

    Great story April. Yes, we all need to learn to answer a question with a follow-up question – that’s how we engage people. Thanks for your wonderful example and YES, I do agree teaching Gospel Doctrine is one of the best callings there is!

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