Brother and Sister May asked that each of us write a little something of our life's experiences for their book that would share with others what we have done to try to build a "CELESTIAL MARRIAGE" in our lives. As we sat and talked about it, Janice and I felt that one of the things that has done more to help us move toward trying to have a "CELESTIAL MARRIAGE" than anything else over the years, is the missionary work and reactivation work that we have done together. We have brought many non-members and less active members into our home and helped the missionaries teach them, and in doing that, we have helped to instilled a little testimony in them each time. And each time that same little testimony is re-instilled in us. We have learned over and over that you get the most by giving. They only got to have it one time. But we got to have that feeling of fire fill our hearts and our home again and again each time we taught someone new. And as we have done this teaching together, it has brought us and our children closer together as a family. It has given us a feeling of great self worth as we have seen these many, many families join with us in sharing the wonderful joys of the gospel. They have become like brothers and sisters to us. And most importantly, as we have taught the principles of "CELESTIAL MARRIAGE" to them, it has reinforced it in our own lives and in the lives of our children.
Ammon, in the Book of Mormon, promised us that we could convert literally 1000's to the gospel if we would follow his instructions. We did not understand how that could be at first. But now, years later, after having helped the missionaries convert scores of people, we have seen a literal fulfillment of that promise in our family. We have helped the missionaries convert families, who have then sent their children on missions. The children have then converted other families that have sent their children on missions... It is like we have started this gigantic chain reaction of conversions. It has gone from 10's to 100's to who knows how many over a life time. And it all started with the little discussions we have had in our home with them. We can tell you that it has brought great joy to us as we have received letters back from many of those people thanking us for converting the person who converted them. We saw a far reaching example of that when our son Nathan was in the MTC. The very first night, when his companion realized who Nathan Vail's parents were, he told him that he was a member of the church and going on a mission because his dad was converted to the church 20 years ago by Nathans own dad. So we actually sent two missionaries to Hungary not one. And now there are more than 30 people in Hungary alone who are members of the church because of those two missionaries. Now those Hungarians and the two missionaries will send their children on missions. On and on it goes.
We can tell you that this missionary work has brought a feeling like fire into our marriage and our home like nothing else we have ever done. Janice and I have tried to make it a habit to visit someone together as a couple every week. We have done it our whole marriage. Even when we had little kids. Sometimes we had to take them with us. But most of the time we were able to find friends who would help us watch them when they knew we were visiting less active people, or we just invited them to come to our house so we could put the kids to bed. Funny thing, hardly anyone ever visits us, even to this day (unless we invite them and we do, someone every week). We have found that conversion comes much easier after friendships are established in most cases. And we can tell you that when we have knocked on the door with a cake in our hands, we have ever once been thrown out of a home. And we have visited many homes over the years where others have been thrown out. But we fasted and prayed together before we went (and it helps to have a wife who is a wonderful cook). They let us into their homes and their hearts. They became our friends, and as we helped to convert them to the gospel, we RE-CONVERTED ourselves and grew closer together in our marriage by doing this rewarding work together as a team. We would commend weekly visiting,as a couple, to anyone who wants to build a stronger relationship in their marriage. WE GUARENTEE IT WILL BLESS YOUR MARRIAGE AND YOUR LIVES.
We would like to share with you four of our favorite scriptures
that are sort of the foundation of where we think this feeling
of fire that we feel in our marriage and in our home has come
from. It has been a great cementing factor in our love for each
other and our children. Bell Spaford, a former General Relief
Society President once said, "When you cast your bread upon
the water, it always comes back cake". So here are some reasons
that we do missionary work and reactivation work, in an effort
to try to help ourselves and our friends to build a "CELESTIAL
|v1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among
the children of men.
|v2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your
heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the
last day |v3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
|v4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth
in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that
he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
|v5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him
for the work.
|v6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness,
godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
|v7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.
(D&C: Section 4:1-7)
|v21 Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my
word, and then shall your
tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my
word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.
(D&C: Section 11:21)
|v22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth
forth good works, and
prayeth continually without ceasing--unto such it is given to know the mysteries of
God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been
revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of
souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.
President Kimball said in a talk, "Ammon did not say 10's, he did not say 100's, he said
1000's". We take President Kimball and Ammon at their word.
|v14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD?
We also want to take this opportunity to thank Brother & Sister May in print for the wonderful
job they have done in teaching the class. Who could say that our marriages are not better now by
having attended their class. We ask the Lord's blessings to be upon them, their own family and
their marriage for all the good they have done to try to help others to have a "CELESTIAL
MARRIAGE". Their example as well as their words have not gone un-noticed.
Cordell & Janice Vail
Federal Way 11th Deaf Branch