The Answer


(Based on a true story)
Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers (D&C 112:10).

Suzy gripped my arm and dragged me into an empty classroom.

“Debbie, I think I’m going to die.”

“Now look, Suzy,” I said, loosening her fingers from my arm, “I don’t think you can die from giving a talk.”

“But my heart is pounding and I feel sick,” she said. “Maybe I’m going to have a heart attack.”

“Calm down and tell me what I can do to help,” I suggested. Suzy is my best friend. She and I and the other 12-year-olds who were advancing to Young Women had been asked to give talks at a program. It was starting in only a few minutes.

“Maybe you could help me run away,” Suzy said hopefully.

“Suzy, you’re the bishop’s daughter. Everyone expects you to be there. I think they would notice if you were gone.”

“There must be something I can do,” Suzy said as she paced between the door and wall.

“What exactly is the problem?” I asked.

“I didn’t prepare my talk the way I usually do and I don’t have any notes.” She stopped and turned to face me. “My dad said I’m old enough to give a talk from my heart. Now I’m terrified and I won’t remember anything.”

“Can’t you talk to him again?” I asked.

“It’s too late. He said whatever I said would be fine. But I’m afraid I’m going to make a fool of myself. I think the only solution is to run away.”

“Wait a minute,” I said. I knew there must be a better solution to Suzy’s problem. Suddenly a thought came to me. “Come on,” I said, pulling Suzy with me. We went down the hall away from the Primary room toward the chapel. “Let’s go in here and say a prayer,” I said softly. “Then things will be all right.” I opened the heavy door and we peeked inside. The room was empty and a little light shone from somewhere up front.

Suzy and I tiptoed into the chapel and dropped to our knees. I told her I would pray. I asked Heavenly Father to bless Suzy to be able to give her talk, and to bless her with the Spirit so she would be calm and know that He loved her. I don’t remember what else I said. What I do remember is the warm feeling that surrounded me as we knelt in the chapel. I knew without a doubt that Heavenly Father loved Suzy and would help her, and I knew that Heavenly Father loved me too.

After a few moments we got up from our knees and headed to the Primary room to give our talks. Suzy did fine without notes. I will never forget the feeling of complete love that surrounded me as we knelt in the darkened chapel to ask Heavenly Father for help.

[illustration] Illustration by Mark Robison