Sister Williams and I have been teaching one of our friends Ferras and his wife for quite some time. Ferras is a truth seeker! He converted to Christianity several years ago after moving to Canada from his home country. He found peace in Christ and joined a local Christian church. As time went on, he began to have a feeling that there was something more than what his church was offering. He had questions that were not being answered, and he went out hunting for answers.
The week leading up to October 2020 General Conference, we had frequent talks with Ferras and his wife about the guidance and revelation that we receive through hearing the words of prophets. Weeks before, we had talked about President Russell M. Nelson and testified that he was the Prophet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for everyone in the world. After watching a video we showed him of President Nelson speaking, Ferras continued to have questions. He could not yet believe that President Nelson really was a prophet for him.
Bring Personal Questions to General Conference
A few days before conference, we again met with Ferras and his wife and promised them that as they put the effort in and brought questions to general conference, they would have their questions answered. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promises everyone: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8; 3 Nephi 14:7-8).
On Saturday night we called Ferras and asked how he liked the first two sessions of conference. He openly acknowledged that he had expected more information and was a little disappointed. We encouraged him to come watch the Sunday sessions with us in the Ottawa Riverside meetinghouse. He agreed and sat with us in the chapel on Sunday morning. Throughout that entire session he was writing down detailed notes.
The Prophet Answered My Question
After the session was over Sister Williams and I asked him how he enjoyed it. After a few minutes of silence, Ferras buried his head in his hands, unable to speak. He started to cry. For a while, we simply sat quietly in the chapel: feeling the Spirit all together.
After more time passed, we went outside where Ferras pulled out a wrinkled, beaten up sticky note from his wallet. The note had one question written on it, along with some scriptures from the Bible. His question asked how come—if God loved His children all equally—He had a chosen people of Israel? Ferras told us that he had carried around this question with him every day for over six years. He talked and asked many different pastors, never receiving an answer that he accepted. Then, Ferras expressed that President Nelson, in his talk, had answered his question of six years in just 15 minutes.
Below are a few of the key highlights from President Nelson’s talk “Let God Prevail” (Ensign, Nov. 2020):
“For the more than 36 years I’ve been an Apostle, the doctrine of the gathering of Israel has captured my attention. …So imagine my delight when I was led recently to a new insight. With the help of two Hebrew scholars, I learned that one of the Hebraic meanings of the word Israel is ‘let God prevail.’ Thus the very name of Israel refers to a person who is willing to let God prevail in his or her life. That concept stirs my soul!”
“As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints … we have been charged to assist the Lord with this pivotal work. …Anytime we do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—to make and keep their covenants with God, we are helping to gather Israel.”
“We often pray that we and the missionaries will be led to those who are prepared to receive the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I wonder, to whom will we be led when we plead to find those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives?”
“Brothers and sisters, please listen carefully to what I am about to say. God does not love one race more than another. His doctrine on this matter is clear. He invites all to come unto Him, ‘black and white, bond and free, male and female’ (2 Nephi 26:33).”
“As you study your scriptures during the next six months, I encourage you to make a list of all that the Lord has promised He will do for covenant Israel. I think you will be astounded! Ponder these promises. Talk about them with your family and friends. Then live and watch for these promises to be fulfilled in your own life.”
We are happy to say that Ferras now feels peace and comfort when President Nelson is speaking. He knows that President Nelson is Heavenly Father’s chosen Prophet.