St. Mark’s, a January Sunday

On a hill overlooking Seattle, each Sunday night at 9 o’clock, scores of people file into St. Mark’s Cathedral. Many look downward. I imagine they come from all parts of the city; I can see they come from all walks of life. It is often raining outside, but it seems that something more than shelter brings them in from the cold, wet outdoors. (Even on sunny summer nights the pews fill easily.) The stone floors from one end of the hall to the other become overflow seating and bedding; the enormous columns overflow backrests. For 30 minutes a chorus of men will perform the Compline, the Sabbath day’s ending prayer service.

There is a picture we use in The Church of Jesus Christ depicting the Savior healing at the pool of Bethesda. Here again, people from varying circumstances surround stone columns and walkways. The Brightest among them lifts a drape to reveal the humblest, whom he heals.

We sing a song in the restored Church:

Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He’ll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.

Come unto Jesus; He’ll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you’ve gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day.

Come unto Jesus; He’ll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?

Come unto Jesus from ev’ry nation,
From ev’ry land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, “Come to me” (hymn #117).

There is something that stimulates your spirit, being able to attend church, to hear the fulness of the gospel, to worship with saints, to sing this hymn, and later in the same day, to attend another service where you see “the high and lowly in station” to whom the Savior calls, “Come to me.” And while we dress up in our Sunday best and strive to worship Him as best we can in our sacrament meetings, to realize that He loves all His children, that He invites all to come to Him, and that He sends His Spirit to touch the hearts of many who are pleading for Him, be whatever faith they may.

My testimony grew tonight of the love the Savior has for all His brothers and sisters. They are my brothers and sisters also. He loves me no better than He does any of them. And I feel overwhelmed by His love. He recognizes their efforts, their trying to reach out to Him, and He sends His Spirit. His “pleasing word … healeth the wounded soul” (Jacob 2:8). There is truth to find anywhere we are willing to look for it.

By 10 p.m. the service has ended, and people file back into the streets to face their individual lives. I don’t know where they all go — they disappear into the night — but many look upward at each other and smile as they leave.

I think of this line: “His love will find you and gently lead you from darkest night into day.”