For The Cause of Zion
(Whole Transcript Below)
My name is Gary Metzger.
And I too want to thank the Lord for His goodness, His kindness, His mercy, and the love that you all have for the truth, and your desire to share in this worship together. And I too would like to share that I went to Brazil without any decisions. I had many doubts; the condition of the plates, the interpretation of Second Nephi, photos, every kind of a question that all you have in your minds, that you thought - I had the same questions.
But in my heart ... I’d already been working in Brazil for over 10 years. I’ve made four or five trips to Brazil. I was already in contact with the people; I was already in contact with the people at the very same time as these things began to develop. There were a number of people that were interested in the gospel, and I began making more contacts with them. So at the same time, I felt duty bound to investigate. And I was working on my Portuguese to be able to speak in the language of the people. And I wasn’t sure about even going to hear the presentation that was made October 29. But there was an elder that called me on Tuesday (Elder Davi, before that time, and said that he dreamed about me, and that the Lord had spoken to him, and he told me I should be there. I went to that presentation both morning and night. It was that night after the very first evening. And if you’ve listened to the presentation … I also made a question to Bob and Joseph at that night. After the presentation, Brother Joseph came to me that night and said, “Would you be willing to go to Brazil?” And at that moment I had to give him at least some sort of answer, so I said, “Yes, I would consider that.” And I didn’t hear from him for 6 weeks, and during those 6 weeks I was wondering, and up and down, and all those questions.
But I want to share with you now the things that I found while I was there - the testimony - the Spirit of God that came to me. The first event that I’d like to share about was Sunday morning. We arrived on Saturday afternoon. So on Sunday morning, on the 4th of March, we were in worship together and one of the ladies, it’s actually Mauricio’s cousin -her name is Cassiani Victoria - and she had an experience with the Holy Spirit. She saw a light in the sanctuary, and her heart was on fire, and she felt the peace of the Lord and wept quite profusely and extended her arms up in praise. And after that service, I saw she was at the table, and I believe she shared with Mauricio and brother Bob, is that correct?- about the desire to make a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, that she felt called to Him. I heard about that, and I shared with Cassiani and her husband Nelson for about 45 minutes later that same day. And I heard that she had that experience.
So the next day on Monday, I wanted to follow up on that with her. So I took Mauricio’s Book of Mormon in Portuguese, and I began to open it up and to share from the Book of Mormon with her. And I want to testify that his Book of Mormon is very well marked, very underlined. He has studied that book. He loves the lord Jesus Christ, and he loves His work. And during that time of sharing with Cassiani, I was going through Mosiah 9 and Second Nephi 13 about the covenant of baptism. And all of a sudden she looks at me and she says, “I feel like there’s something happening, something moving within me, like I’m pregnant.” And I said, “Are you?” ... I didn’t know. And she said, “No, no, I’m not pregnant.” And I can see this look of confusion in her mind about what’s going on with her body, so I instantly went into prayer and I started praying. About 15 seconds or so into the prayer, I started thinking, “Where’s she feeling that?” And then it entered into my mind, she’s not in pain. She’s being born again. She’s receiving the Spirit of God. And I looked up from my prayer and I asked her, “Are you feeling the fire of the Holy Spirit of God?,” and she says, “Yes,” and she says, “it’s all over me.” She held out her arm, “Feel.” So it was very real for her - the experience that she was having with the Spirit of God and her desire to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
Earlier on Sunday morning (going back to Sunday -- that above was a Monday conversation). But on Sunday, at the end of service, a brother named Valdeci, was in charge of our morning worship, and afterwards he turned to our brother Joseph F. Smith and said, “Do you have words to bring?” And Joseph was seated behind me, and he stood up, and he put his hand on my left shoulder and said, “Interpret for me into Portuguese.” And he began to speak to an individual, whose name is Wagner, in the congregation - that he had received of the Lord - that he had a call to the office of elder. And as I was translating into Portuguese, the power of the Holy Spirit came over me in such quantity that I was weeping before he was finished. Because I could feel that the word of the Lord was being delivered. And then another of our members, stood up and bore testimony of that. I won’t mention his name; I’ll let him do that if he wishes. But he confirmed that, and it was a testimony to me that the Lord is working with these men. That was one of three witnesses that had the angel appear to him and show him the plates. These are the individuals we’re talking about in Brazil. I can testify that those men are disciples of Jesus Christ - that the Lord is calling them into the work.
Getting to know Mauricio a little bit more - he had an experience earlier in his life - a spiritual experience, when he was shown the Kirtland temple. And he heard the people sing. What song do you suppose he heard? “The Spirit of God.” Thank you very much. Now you have to understand that Portuguese is his native tongue and English is … almost not there. And as we were sharing together, we sang that hymn. And I watched him very carefully, and he was singing that song from memory in English. He knows the words of “The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning,” because he’d heard it years ago, and it had so penetrated his soul that he had written and drawn a picture of the Kirtland temple many, many, many, times he told us. It was so impressed upon his heart, his mind, and I know to sing a song by memory from other languages is not easy unless you really know the words. He had had that experience.
I also want to testify that before we saw the plates on Sunday as brother David mentioned, we went into a season of prayer. We all prayed - all 8 of us poured out our hearts to the Lord. And then we entered into a season of song. And we sang campfire songs, because I testified to the brethren before I left, that I wasn’t going to go into that experience until I knew that I had invited the spirit of God, and that we had worshiped His holy name, and that we’d offered ourselves to him in sacrifice and praise. So we entered that time of worship, and we sang, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.” I just want you to understand that - that moved our brother Mauricio - and greatly. And we here are going to sing it a little bit later, because there, he asked us to sing it again. And again. And we sang it 4 times that day as people came in. Because of the words of the song, which are very simply the gospel of Jesus Christ, it was very dear to him.
So my experience with the testimony of the plates … I will simply state that as we had read in our group witness, I beheld them, I saw them, and exactly as brother David - when that plate that covers the remaining part of the sealed portion which I estimate is a stack of about 3 inches tall - it’s a … that’s a God given plate. And, I also received my witness of that by the Spirit of God.
I had many questions, and one of the times I was there on Sunday evening - one of the brethren from the United States texted me and said, “What about the Peter, James and John, is that the names of the 3 individuals that he saw on the mountain in 2008?” And I want you to understand that there were 8 of us and all 8 of us slept in the 3 bedrooms that these people lived in. So they all slept in the living room together. And Mauricio’s cousin’s husband had supplied many things for us for their retreat. And he actually slept in a tent on the outside on the patio, so the family was altogether.
So, after I received the text about midnight, I just walked into the living room and I said, “Mauricio, you remember the experience you had on Monte Agudo in 2008/2009? We have some confusion in our mind about who were those individuals?” And he just said, “Well okay.” as he reviewed the experience, he started talking to his family, trying to remember together when it was, and the names - if they remembered the names. As a family they were talking about that, and it was a very natural conversation, and you have to understand that Mauricio’s apartment that he’s been in has a great security. We understand the difficulties, if someone professes to have those kinds of things.
So they have a huge iron gate that blocks the entrance. Now we were talking about that, and Mauricio said that one Sunday evening as 8 or 10 of them were worshiping together, there was a knock on the door, at the inside of their apartment. He opened the door, and he thought it was Peter, and so he said, “Hi Peter.” And the man said, “No, my name’s not Peter,” and he gave his name, and he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I have a blessing to this home.” And he proceeded with the other 2 individuals to teach about the importance of the Lord’s day and of keeping it holy, and that you could not live in Zion unless you were doing that, and they’d come back months later - the same 3 - and taught the importance of the sacrament of the Lord Jesus Christ, of worshiping at His table together.
And then the 9 year old says, “But Daddy don’t you remember how strange it was, because they were able to knock on the door of our apartment, but they couldn’t have gotten through the iron gate.” She recognized that the Lord had done something for these individuals to enter into their home that evening. So time and time again, we witnessed and we understood that the hand the Lord was there with these individuals, working with them.
One more thing I’d like to share. And that is a part of my and brother Tyler’s testimony. But since he is going after me, I’ll share my part first. That we stayed up the first night we were there, Saturday night, till about quarter to one. And of course that’s not wisdom. But we did that, because we were so desirous of asking questions and talking. What I’m trying to say though was the next day as Tyler shared with myself and with Mauricio of how he felt the next morning, because our brother Sam Gould gets up early in the morning. So Tyler didn’t sleep very much that night. And what I want to share is - Tyler confessed that because of that, he didn’t experience what he desired to experience. And he was sharing with me about that, and I felt an overwhelming presence of the Lord, that He desired Tyler to have an additional experience, which I will let him share about.
I just want to confirm to you that the Spirit of the Lord was with us, it moved us, it taught us, it testified that some of the things that we see and that we saw, are of our Lord Jesus Christ and His work.
AUTHORITY LOST…but TO BE RESTORED
By Elder Gary Metzger
Please Click on the PPT file down below to see the full power point.