Quiet Time

Just recently I heard two different speakers relate how answers to prayer had come to them in the middle of the night. Maybe that’s the only time we hold still long enough for the Lord to get through to us. In our hectic, stress-filled lives we really need a peaceful time to communicate with our Father in Heaven through prayer and study and genuine listening. Ps. 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Marjorie Norman Westra, Salt Lake City, Utah

Help for a Student

For several years I wrestled with the decision to change my career and become a school counselor. In making the decision, I had to evaluate my life, time, and commitments. Not only was I busy in my full-time career as a teacher, I also had a husband to care for, had many callings in the Church, and worked on various community projects.

I remember thinking of some good advice my bishop gave me during my college days. He said if I would attend to my church callings and never study on Sundays, I would find the time to study during the other six days and the Lord would help me graduate. I had followed his advice as an undergraduate and decided to follow it again.

As the time came for me to take my comprehensive examination, I became worried about passing it. I spent a good deal of time praying, asking the Lord to help me remember all I had studied over the years. A few days before the test, I was praying and a very distinct voice said to me, “Be calm, you will pass your exam.” From that moment I felt completely calm and at peace. I passed the exam, and have been practicing as a school counselor for the past four years. Dianne Letsch, Springdale, Arkansas

Pheasants from Heaven

When my husband was a seventy we often had the missionaries and their investigators in our home, sometimes for dinner. We enjoyed their company and the Spirit.

One Friday, however, I miscalculated our budget, leaving me with only a small vegetable dish as the main course for dinner. I’m sure the missionaries would not have been offended, but I worried that the investigator they were bringing might feel we didn’t think much of him. I realized my Heavenly Father had an interest in the evening, so I asked him to help me. I trusted him, but did not know how anything could change.

A few hours before dinner, my visiting teachers came to visit me. I had always enjoyed their company, but this visit turned out to be even more rewarding. As they were leaving, the older sister said, “Let me give you something. My husband is a bit of a hunter, and sometimes we just get more than the two of us can eat. Would you like to have a couple of pheasants? They’re all dressed.”

“Thank you, Father,” I thought to myself. “You truly do provide.” We had a wonderful dinner. Sherry Downing, Sewell, New Jersey

Feeding Time, Reading Time

Over a period of several years, I had gotten into the habit of daily scripture reading and study, even though I had a small baby to care for. Feeding time became my reading time. My study seemed to dissolve my daily frustrations and increase my patience and understanding.

With the birth of another child, feeding time remained reading time, but the scriptures were shared more and more often with “The Little Engine That Could.” Slowly, my reading time diminished until I was no longer reading or studying. As this study time vanished, so did my patience.

It wasn’t until I read Mollie H. Sorensen’s article on being a good, loving mother in the April 1977 Ensign that I realized I couldn’t do without my daily scripture reading. It was hard to start again, but my own self-esteem needed a boost.

After a month of daily studying, my patience returned. The calming influence of the scriptures enabled me to view myself and my family as we should be viewed—as children of our Heavenly Father. Janice K. Aubrey, Salt Lake City, Utah

Pluck the Fruit Thereof

One day two of the children had been bickering for hours. All my attempts to resolve the situation had failed. Finally I offered a prayer, and an idea came to me. I called the girls to sit down with me at the table. I opened the Pearl of Great Price, reminding my daughters, “Remember that place in the Book of Moses that we read together where the Lord is weeping and Enoch is trying to find out why. Remember how Enoch was so amazed that Heavenly Father, who was all-powerful, could cry. Do you remember what the Lord finally said?” I read, “they are the workmanship of my own hands, … but, behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood” (Moses 7:32–33). The Spirit moved me so that my quiet tears were added to the reading. I looked up at my girls and added, “It’s not just me who desires that you don’t fight; it’s the Lord.” The time for contention was over.

For years—more often with no dramatic or apparent positive results—we’ve read the scriptures with our children. Alma tells us that “because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, … by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof” (Alma 32:42). Of course, even scriptural help doesn’t solve forever any given problem. But occasionally the planting bears fruit, and the fruit is sweet. Dianne Dibb Forbis, Rexburg, Idaho

No Room for Doubt

At a most difficult time in my life I began to feel I could not continue living. The horrible thought kept preying upon me that I must end my life. I even went so far as to imagine different ways in which I might accomplish this. I asked a dear friend of mine, “Would the Lord, knowing how much I love him, permit me to take my own life?” Her answer: “Yes, he would, because you have your free agency.”

In my extremity, I finally realized that I must have the help of the priesthood. Accordingly, I called our bishop, and he came with his two counselors to give me a priesthood blessing. They had no sooner lifted their hands from my head than I felt the terrible feelings inside me being removed. It was as though something heavy and most distressing had been gently but firmly taken from me and destroyed. Those feelings have never returned. Yes, a loving Father in Heaven does hear and answer our prayers. I know this, for he has left me no room for doubt. Name withheld by request