I never prayed so much as when one of my sons reached the age of 17. He started having some doubts about the gospel, and at times he was rebellious and didn’t want to listen. My husband and I always tried to insist that he attend church, but many times he refused. We held our family home evenings, read the scriptures, and prayed as a family, but he often chose not to participate. I can’t remember how many times I knelt down to ask our Heavenly Father to touch his heart and help him continue along the right path.
Over the next two years, he had many ups and downs. Church leaders supported me and they spoke with him, but nothing seemed to be of use. Eventually he left home.
All that time I never stopped praying for him. At times my husband, tired of it, said to me, “Leave him. He has his moral agency.” But my reply was always the same: “No. I will not lose hope.”
After a time, our son came to our home. He asked my forgiveness and told me, “Mama, I want to come home.” My husband and I were wary, but after discussing it, we yielded. After he returned home, we saw his firm determination to change. He became active in the Church and participated in activities. He was later called to serve as a Primary teacher, an experience that was quite special for him.
One day I hung up a poster from the Liahona that said, “Don’t let worries or doubts keep you from serving a full-time mission.”1 It hung in his bedroom for a couple of months, when suddenly one day he said to me, “Mama, I want to go on a mission at the end of the year.” It was marvelous. My husband and I cried and cried, and of course we supported him as he prepared to go to the temple and serve a mission. I continued praying all the time, now thanking Heavenly Father for having touched the heart of my son.
After some time on his mission, in one of his letters he said to me, “Mama, I have a great testimony of prayer, thanks to you. I know that you were praying the whole time for me, and now I am on a mission because the Lord touched my heart, not because I am all that good. Thanks, Mama. Share with the sisters this principle that changed my life.”
Now my son has served a faithful mission and participated in a marvelous work. I am very thankful to Heavenly Father for listening to my prayers all these years and for touching the heart of my son, which caused him to return to the right path.