This interview with Brother Gary Dymock, conducted by Gale Boyd, was recorded in Orem, UT on February 9th, 2017.
While missionaries continue to spark good in the world on a daily basis, it is sometimes difficult to see just how far that ripple effect may go. Brother Gary Dymock’s mission, now completed some sixty years ago, has undoubtedly changed lives.
By the time Bro. Dymock graduated high school in the early 1950’s, the American government had already drafted thousands of young men to fight in the Korean War. One night, while working out in the desert in Tooele, Utah, Bro. Dymock was awakened by his father, who notified him that the bishop had come to visit, urging the young man to come to his office. Naturally intimidated, Dymock was shocked when his bishop conveyed that he and the Stake president had both been recipients of a similar, resounding impression—that the Lord wished for Bro. Dymock to serve a mission.
He expressed both his surprise and hesitation to accept this calling at first, stating: “I had no idea at all, no thought[s] about that. That was the last thing in my mind. I was going to college. I was in love with a young lady, and life was wonderful.”
At the request of his bishop, Bro. Dymock met with his Stake president, a respected member of the community named Alex Dunn. Upon expressing his concerns about leaving due to his mother’s illness, President Dunn once again gave a firm and unwavering answer: “You need to go on a mission, […] and I promise you that if you go on a mission, your mother will be okay. She will be alive when you get home. She will get better every day you’re gone.”
Unable to refuse the blessings promised to him for his service, Bro. Dymock agreed to serve. His bishop then informed the young man that he had felt another impression, just as irrefutable as the last, that Bro. Dymock should obtain his patriarchal blessing. In it was an explicit prediction: “You will be given the opportunity to travel among the world and touch the lives of many people. You will teach the people of the world.”
At the time, the Church could only send two missionaries per stake out on proselytizing missions. He and his companion arrived in Brisbane, Australia, after eighteen days aboard a passenger ship. Away from the conveniences of the United States, they found themselves quickly grappling to adjust to their new (and extremely humid) environment.
As soon as they arrived, the two young men became the recipients of some exciting news. The mission president had just obtained permission to begin looking for a lot upon which to build a new chapel for the people of Brisbane. Tasked with finding a spot upon which they could build, the two young men continued their work.
One day, after receiving a distinct impression not to go on his usual route, the young Elder Dymock found himself in an area among the beautiful foothills of Brisbane, with a flowing river just underneath. He describes the spirit that penetrated him that day as an “electric shock,” as he turned the corner to find “the most beautiful building lot [he’d] ever seen.” In a frenzy, he called his mission president with an ecstatic proclamation: “We need to buy this lot for the chapel!”
His mission president agreed. In a fateful coincidence, President McKay was to visit Australia in a matter of weeks—”the longest two weeks of [Bro. Dymock’s] life.” When he finally arrived, the prophet was indeed escorted by the two young missionaries and their mission president to the area they believed should be the site of a newly built chapel. After ten or so minutes of walking around the property and gazing over the countryside, President McKay turned to them to inquire if there were any other missionaries serving in an area across the river called Chirnside. He insisted that there should be missionaries sent to that area, as if it were a most urgent matter.
After spending a little more time in the area, President McKay finally set to leave, but not before leaving the young Elder Dymock with a hug and sincere words: “May the Lord bless you.”
Two weeks later, President McKay called Bro. Dymock’s mission president, confirming that the site the young elder found would indeed be the site of the new chapel. Changes were made; on the request of the prophet, Bro. Dymock and many of the other missionaries serving in the area were immediately transferred to Chirnside. No other area, he recalls, had as much success. In just two to three months, their numbers had increased to fifty-five, enough to create the Chirnside branch. Membership in Chirnside grew so exponentially that the area received its own ward, stake, and later became its own mission.
Even more incredible, the building lot that had left its spiritual impression so strongly upon Bro. Dymock did indeed become the site of a chapel.
Now, it is the site of the Brisbane Temple.
In fulfillment of his patriarchal blessing’s great promise to “teach the world,” Bro. Dymock has indeed aided the proliferation of the great work of the Gospel. He and his wife would later travel to New York City on a senior couple mission, as well as serve as temple workers in the capital of the Philippines. His story makes this often repeated sentiment from the scriptures so very true, that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”
In between writing short stories she’ll never finish and marathoning Marvel movies, Megan Finley is often found missing the loves of her life, her two cats Leia and Loki. Her passion for “geek culture” extends into her passion for academics, as she is an optimistic MA student with plans to be the next Professor X (with hair). Her life’s dream is a simple one—to drink a hot chocolate in every Disney park in the world.