It sometimes happens that the happiness we seek in many ways and in many places is to be found where we least expect it. So it was with me. I had happiness within my grasp all the time, but for years I did not recognize it.
I was 24 years old in 1981 when I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My husband was baptized with me. At the time, our daughter, Juliana, was two years old. Our branch in Tucuruvi, Brazil, was so small that we met in a home on Avenida Nova Cantareira. For some reason, after attending meetings for less than a year, we left the Church.
By the time we moved to Guarulhos in 1983, we had no desire to return to the Church and had lost complete contact with Church members. This was a time of great difficulty for us. One day while I was sweeping the house, my husband and I decided to throw all of our old Church books in the garbage. Among the books was a copy of the Book of Mormon.
In all the time I had owned the book, I had never opened it. I considered the book of no value. But as I went to place it in the trash, Juliana, who was four years old at the time caught sight of the figure of the angel Moroni on the cover and said, “No, Mama, don’t throw that book away!” I thought of throwing it away anyway, but I looked at my husband and he looked at me. We decided to honor our daughter’s request.
And so the book remained in our home.
In 1987 I gave birth to our third child and experienced some difficult health problems. I began seeking the truth, trying to find some answers to why I was so unhappy. In despair, I began to believe there was no salvation for me.
One day in 1989, the Lord prompted me to pick up the Book of Mormon. I started to read it—and found I could hardly stop. Each day I waited eagerly for the dawn so I could continue reading. The Spirit was so strong within me that I cried. I finally understood how much I had lost by leaving the path of the Lord I had once been on.
I resolved to find the Church. Searching our telephone book, I found the Church’s name and called the number listed. We started attending meetings again and have remained active ever since. My husband and I have now been to the temple, and we are sealed as a family for eternity.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that if we study it constantly, we will find the strength to overcome any obstacle. I thank Heavenly Father both for my blessings and for my trials—and for prompting our daughter to keep us from throwing the Book of Mormon away. I know that had I thrown the book away, with it I would have thrown away my happiness.