Wearing Two Names

Wearing Two Names
A year after I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I had a desire to serve a full-time mission. During my interview with the bishop to fill out my application, he asked me, “Do you have any problems with anyone that you have not yet resolved?” I answered no, because I told myself that I didn’t, ignoring the bad feelings between my father and me. I declared myself worthy and ready to serve.

The days that followed were extremely painful. The idea that I would have to reconcile with my father bitterly invaded my soul. My father never worried about his children. We had all reached the point where we no longer spoke to him.

One evening I went to visit him. He lived 360 km away. The first hour of our conversation was a time of words that truly hurt. In spite of our angry words, my intention to reconcile was strong. With the help of the Spirit of God, we managed, after five hours, to end with positive feelings. After many tears were shed, my father and I were able to embrace, happy to finally understand the core of the problem that had kept us so angry at each other for so long.

At the end, my father took a container of warm water and, while speaking, slowly poured out its contents, as we do in Africa to represent a reconciliation. He then gave me his blessing after reviewing all that had happened in the past.

I am so grateful to Heavenly Father, who inspired me to seek such a meeting that gave way to mutual repentance. As a missionary in the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission I was happy to wear a badge on which was inscribed two names: Lagoua, my father’s name, and Jesus Christ, my Saviour’s name.
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We needed to forgive each other so that we could receive forgiveness for our own sins. 3 Nephi 13:14-15:  'For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.'

I was able to meet with the bishop and tell him with a mind at rest that my father and I had been reconciled.