Can I Get a Book of Mormon?

Joni Hilton, California, USA

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    Illustration by Allen Garns

    As I entered the airport on my way home from a visit with old friends, I felt discouraged that I hadn’t shared the gospel on this trip. I always carry a Book of Mormon in my purse to remind me to pray for someone I can give it to, but too often it stays in my purse. This trip was yet another miss.

    I took a deep breath and prayed a silent apology. I felt like a terrible member missionary.

    As I shuffled through the security line, I felt prompted to speak to the woman ahead of me. We chatted about our destinations and then separated to different lines. As I headed toward my gate, however, I saw the same woman. “Oh, hi again,” she said. “Good to see you!”

    I asked her when her flight was leaving. “Oh, not for hours—I’m early.”

    “Well, come and sit with me!” I said.

    I still had 45 minutes before my flight boarded, so we sat at my gate and talked about our work. I mentioned some of the writing I do for Latter-day Saints, and suddenly she lit up.

    “You’re a Mormon?” she asked. “I’ve been wanting to know more about Mormons. How can I get a copy of the Book of Mormon?”

    “Well,” I said, opening my purse, “I have one right here.”

    “Oh, my,” she said. “I think maybe we were supposed to meet today.”

    Gratitude flooded my heart. When she asked what makes Latter-day Saints different from other religions, I felt guided in what to say.

    I told her I’d have the missionaries contact her, and then boarding was announced. I opened my purse to get my boarding pass but couldn’t find it. I unloaded my purse. There, on the bottom with the pass, was a general conference issue of the Ensign! I gave it to her and thanked the Lord that I had to search for my boarding pass. She mentioned that she usually brings reading material with her but felt she shouldn’t this time.

    “Maybe it’s so I can read this,” she said. With my boarding pass in hand, I gave her a hug and said good-bye.

    Now we talk each week, and she tells me about her visits with the sister missionaries. It has been a year, and I hope to someday see her baptized. I don’t know if that will happen, but I still marvel at the workings of Heavenly Father to help our paths cross. I thank Him for hearing my prayer and granting me the simple opportunity to share a Book of Mormon.

    I unloaded my purse, and there on the bottom with my boarding pass was an issue of the Ensign.

    Illustration by Allen Garns