A Double Portion of the Spirit

A Double Portion of the Spirit

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

A Double Portion of the Spirit

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me . . .

John 15:26

As a Spanish-speaking missionary in the Texas Houston Mission, one of my areas was in a part-English, part-Spanish ward. Occasionally, I had the opportunity (and challenge) to translate during church meetings. I discovered that, although difficult, it was very rewarding. Once I translated during a testimony meeting and was amazed at how the Spirit worked through me to convey the truthfulness of the speakers’ testimonies. It was in this area that we missionaries learned with certainty the truth that the Spirit is the same in every language.

One of the members in the area, whom I will call Sister Johnson, accompanied us one day as we went to visit an investigator, whom I will call Maria. Maria was a sweet mother who loved our message, but who had never been able to attend church because her husband would not allow it. We were not sure how successful the visit with Sister Johnson would be, since she did not know Spanish and Maria did not know English, but we introduced them to each other and then asked Maria if she had any questions for Sister Johnson.

Maria paused for a moment, as though worried about the language barrier, but then suddenly started asking questions while we translated. What transpired next was incredible. The questions she asked were ones she had asked us before—and Sister Johnson didn’t say much that we had not already told Maria—but because we had never been married and Sister Johnson had already raised a family, the answers had much more significance coming from her.

When Sister Johnson bore her testimony of how even one person living the gospel in a family can bless the entire household, the Spirit bore powerful witness of the truthfulness of her words. Then as we translated, our voices bearing her testimony anew, the Spirit bore witness just as powerfully a second time, without ever having departed—thereby doubling in strength. I found myself believing Sister Johnson more than I believed my own testimony, because she had lived that which she testified. With the strength of the Spirit of truth borne of experience, there was no room for doubt.

Sister Johnson and Maria thoroughly enjoyed meeting each other and became quite good friends, despite their language differences. Even when they could not understand each other’s words, they could both understand their sentiments and could feel the Spirit when they spoke. Sister Johnson’s testimony helped Maria immensely. Ever since that day, instead of being frustrated at her husband’s close-mindedness, she developed a strong and sure faith that her devotion to the teachings of the restored gospel would bless her family—and a bright hope that someday her husband would let her attend the church she loved. That one visit with Sister Johnson helped Maria more than we ever could have done alone as young sister missionaries. The language “barrier” became a blessing in this case: It required every testimony to be borne twice, naturally invoking a double portion of the Spirit.

SummerDale Beckstrand

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