Missionaries have the opportunity to practice with their teachers every single day to learn how to help people come closer to Christ. For the last few months, missionaries have drawn things out for me, used scriptures, and have given a powerful witness of the things they know. Nothing really unconventional has happened... until last week. I could have never guessed how a package of Red Vines could have changed my life.
Last week, two Elders entered the room with a package of candy. I smirked to myself then thought something like, "Well bribery has never happened before." We began with a prayer then one of them ripped the package opened and offered one to me. I took it and bit into it wondering how this was going to play a part of the lesson. As I did, the other Elder got down and started doing push-ups. He came up from the ground a little winded. I felt a little alarmed to say the least! What was going on? These thoughts ran through my mind as they said to follow them into the hall.
We walked out the door and encountered a sister. The one Elder offered her a treat and she declined. Much to my surprise, the other Elder went down to the floor again and started doing push-ups. He arose from the floor winded once more and this time a little red in the face. As he finished, once more the Elder offered me a Red Vine. Not wanting the poor Elder to go down one more time, I refused, only to see him quietly kneel down and start doing it all again. I felt frustrated that nothing I did helped the Elder.
We walked back into the room and I pondered about the things that just transpired. We sat and they explained to me about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They told me that regardless of if we want it or not, he suffered, bled and died for us all. Christ has already paid the price and now it's our part to take it or not. A warm feeling entered my heart as I heard them relate the activity to what Christ did and who he is.
The day after, I reflected on the character of the Lord as I reviewed the incident. What a selfless act to be done! He did not perform the Atonement to get praise or honor. Here was an example of the Savior of the world, who gave everything to a people who often don't recognize what they have been given. What an example of selflessness and charity and pure love. Why those characteristics? Because it was an act given regardless of how it would be accepted to every person who has and will walk on this earth.
2 Nephi 2:9 says, "Wherefore, he is the first fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved." (emphasis added)
We sometimes might not want a Red Vine or think that it's for us, but it is. It's always available because we are children of God. So think next time someone asks, "Do you want a Red Vine?"