…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Cometh This Blessedness

By Rex Goode


Written in 1995

I have been truly blessed this week to have the opportunity to teach Seminary. Our Seminary teacher moved away suddenly leaving us without an instructor. I was asked to substitute for two weeks while the bishopric found someone permanent.

Last night at youth meetings, one of the mothers told my wife that her son has been really excited to have me teaching Seminary, that he felt I was the best Seminary teacher he’d ever had. Well, I’m only the second Seminary teacher he’s ever had, so I’m not sure how to take it.

I have also been blessed for the last few months to teach the older youth in Sunday School from the Gospel Doctrine manual. Next year we begin studying the Book of Mormon, which has played a prominent part in my healing from my past sins.

The other night, I got a call from a counselor in the Elders Quorum Presidency, who asked me to teach the lesson this week, which is on gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I accepted, even though it makes for six lessons for which to prepare in one week, mostly because I love to bear my testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Every time I think of my testimony, I remember a night twenty-four years ago when I was home alone at the age of fifteen. Because of a wonderful seminary teacher, I had read the Book of Mormon all the way through. I was not active in the Church and the only meeting I would attend was seminary. We had moved away from that teacher and I wasn’t even attending seminary any more, but I was still reading the Book of Mormon.

That night, I kneeled down in my bedroom and began to pray, asking the Lord to tell me if the Book of Mormon was true, and asking for help in overcoming the life I had been leading. There was so much wrong with my life, same-sex encounters being only a part of it. After I began to pray, I began to tremble which became an uncontrollable shaking. I fell over to my side and was overpowered by a wonderful feeling. It seemed like it was joy that my mortal body was not able to receive, a spiritual awakening that I was not worthy of.

In reading a friend’s story of a similar experience, I noted that she mentioned her amazement that she would receive a spiritual message like the one that prompted her, considering herself unworthy.

This idea of worthiness to have the Lord reveal his will to us has been on my mind. The witness I received of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon came at a time when I was least worthy. How could such a thing be? I had always been taught that receptivity to the Spirit was a function of worthiness and righteousness, yet here was one as unworthy as I being shown in unmistakable ways that the Book of Mormon was true and that the Lord required me to make a major life-change.

I was not worthy, but then neither was Alma the Younger nor was Paul the Apostle. In their unworthiness, God revealed his will and himself to them.

Paul, speaking of Abraham’s covenant and blessing, said:

Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. ” (Romans 4:9–10)

Paul goes on to explain that Abraham received the covenant of circumcision in a sign of his faith, not as a result of worthiness, but as a reward for believing God. In further describing Abraham, Paul said he was one “Who against hope believed in hope…”

In my life at that age, I had very little reason to hope for a life-changing experience. I felt as lost a soul as ever there was, yet I believed in God with all my heart. I believed the Book of Mormon was true and I believed I was condemned because of it.

I feel that the Lord answered my prayer, not because I was worthy, but because I hoped against hope that he would answer me and I showed that hope by kneeling down and praying when I felt unworthy to pray.

For those of us who struggle with same-sex attraction, hope is sometimes the only spiritual currency we have, a mere penny compared to the riches of pure faith and righteousness we see all around us at Church. Yet, when it is all that we have it is as good as ingots of pure gold to him who accepted the widow’s farthing.

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:41–44)

Let us all cast in our little farthings of hope into the Lord’s treasury and wait with faith and expectation for his rich blessings.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6–8)

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