For Christmas, I received a book that I have wanted for some time: Yearning for the Living God by F. Enzio Busche. A native of Germany, Elder Busche served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy from 1977 until 2000. I’d like to share a story from his book that deeply touched me. (See pages 181–185.)
In 1980, Elder Busche assisted Elder LeGrand Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in dividing a stake and creating a new one. A man who was called as a new stake president had been a bishop, and a new bishop had been called in his place.
In selecting counselors, the new bishop could not stop thinking about a man who had been inactive in the Church for years. He did not know how he could justify calling the man, but he could not get him off his mind.
The inactive man had actually attended the stake conference the day the new bishop was called. He had been touched by the talks, and felt a strong prompting to repent. He committed to turn his life around if he received a small miracle from the Lord.
He prayed that if the closing song was changed to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (another song was on the program), he would repent and change his life. Unknown to him, Elder Richards, who was legendary for being in tune with the Spirit, had earlier requested that closing hymn be changed to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The man went home astonished and deeply humbled.
The next day, the less active man went on a business trip. On his way home, he stopped in a forested area where he knelt and prayed for forgiveness with all of his heart.
Later that evening, the man sat at his desk, weeping as he wrote out his tithing check for the entire year. A knock came to the door. It was the ward executive secretary. The new bishop, unable to shake his prompting to call the less active man as his counselor, had sent his executive secretary to check on him.
The man was called to serve in the bishopric, served faithfully, and was a great strength to the ward.
The Lord knows who you are, and every call from Him is a call to repentance. May we all be as humble and as willing as this man was when we receive a call from the Lord.