Though it was several years ago, I can still recall the panic I felt that day as I searched my house for the misplaced envelope containing six hundred dollars. Frantically, I dumped drawers and searched the desk where I usually put important papers.
As the mother of three young children and the wife of a school teacher, I knew how much we needed that money. I knew how far off our next monthly payday was.
I prayed, and so did our whole family. All our family prayers centered around pleas for help in locating that envelope, yet we received no answer. I wondered how I could have been so irresponsible. We needed that money in order to pay bills and buy food. Time passed, and each day frustration and fear took a greater hold on my spirit and my faith. The lost money occupied all my thoughts.
A few weeks later on Sunday, I remembered that a visiting teaching message meeting would take place before Relief Society. I decided I would be better off at church than at home worrying about the money, and I managed to get all three children into the nursery and slip into my seat just as the teacher began her lesson. She was reading the parable of the lost piece of silver from the Bible. (See Luke 15:8–10.)
Suddenly it was no longer just a parable, but an instant replay of the past three weeks at our house, where nothing had been left unturned and where I had spent long hours trying to reconstruct my actions.
Then the Spirit whispered that while the Savior sought after the lost soul, I had been seeking the piece of silver. I realized that if I used the same energy to find the sisters I was assigned to visit that I had spent trying to find our six hundred dollars, I could truly magnify my visiting teaching calling.
Tears ran down my cheeks as the lesson hit home, and I knew something good would still come of the experience. The panic and the self-recrimination were gone, and I knew through the peaceful reassurance of the Spirit that somehow all would be well.
For the first time in weeks I felt really happy again. The children sensed a difference. When we got home, we all knelt together and four-year-old Spencer prayed once more that we would find our money.
Then we got up, and with no conscious thought, went to our seldom-used front entry closet. There on the top shelf was a book with the envelope of money sticking out of it. Prayers had been answered, a lesson taught, and the money recovered.
Today, our two older children bear testimony to the younger ones that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers, and I understand in a much more personal way that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.