Trust in the Lord

(Based on an actual event)

“Do you see her yet, Okorie?” Bernice asked.

Eight-year-old Okorie stood on his tiptoes and peered down the sandy Nigerian road. No motor could be heard over the rustling palm trees and the calls of the birds in the nearby rain forest. He strained his eyes to look as far down the road as he could, hoping to see a cloud of dust signaling the approach of their mother’s car.

“No, Bernice. Nothing yet,” Okorie said as he sat next to his little sister in the shade of the school walls. “I’m sure everything is all right. Maybe she is just busy with baby Ikechi.”

Bernice nodded. “Or maybe she went to the market. I hope she brings home lots of yams again. They’re my favorite.”

Okorie’s stomach growled at the thought of yams. He hoped Mum would hurry—it wasn’t like her to be this late picking them up. Everyone else had gone home long ago. The school compound was many kilometers from the nearest village of Owerri, and with nobody but his sister around, Okorie was starting to feel a little scared.

“Okorie! Look what I found!” Bernice held up a worn leather ball.

Okorie grinned broadly. Here was one way to help time pass! Eagerly he joined his sister in kicking the ball around the yard.

They were having so much fun they didn’t notice the approach of their car until their mother parked it across from the school yard. As she got out of the car, the two children ran to greet her.

“Okorie! Bernice! I am sorry you had to wait such a long time for me!” Mum said, hugging them close. “I was trying to do too many things in one day, and the time slipped away from me. Now we need to hurry! I’ve left baby Ikechi with Sister Anya’s daughter much longer than I planned. Ijeoma is only three years older than you, Okorie, and it is probably hard for her to watch a baby so long by herself.”

The two children jumped into the old car. “Look at all those yams!” Bernice squealed in delight as she peered into her mother’s woven shopping basket.

Mum smiled. “If we hurry, we can have dinner ready before your father comes home.” She turned the key to start the engine.


Their mother’s smile faded. She turned the key again. Once more there was only a click instead of the familiar roar of the engine. She tried without luck for several minutes to get the car to start—but they were stuck.

“What’s wrong with it, Mum?” Bernice asked. “Are we out of fuel?”

“No, no—I filled the tank only an hour ago.” There was concern in her voice. “But I did drive many kilometers today. Perhaps the engine has been working too hard and needs to rest a few minutes.”

“What should we do while we’re waiting?” Okorie asked.

“Well, I do have my Book of Mormon here. Should we read our scriptures now?” their mother asked.

The children agreed. Okorie liked listening to Mum’s voice as she read the scriptures. Sometimes the words confused him, but if he listened very carefully and tried to understand what the words meant, he always felt good inside. Mum said that this feeling was the Holy Ghost and that if he always tried to do what Jesus Christ would have him do, he could have that feeling all the time.

They started reading in Ether chapter 12 about several different prophets who were able to do wonderful things because of their faith in Jesus Christ. They read about Alma and Amulek, Nephi and Lehi, and Ammon and his brothers. Okorie remembered most of those names from his Primary class. One story—about the brother of Jared moving a whole mountain by faith—especially caught his attention.

“Mum, did the brother of Jared really make a mountain move?” Okorie asked.

“It was not the brother of Jared who moved the mountain. It was Heavenly Father, who was answering that prophet’s prayer. I am certain that the brother of Jared had a good reason to move that mountain. He knew he couldn’t do it himself, so he prayed to Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father knew that what the brother of Jared was asking was good and that he truly believed Heavenly Father would help him. So Heavenly Father answered his prayer.” Okorie thought about that as his mother finished reading.

“It’s been a really long time,” Bernice said. “Should we try to start the car again?”

They all held their breath while Mum turned the key. When the engine failed to start, she put her head in her hands.

“What are we going to do?” Bernice asked quietly.

Mum shook her head. “There is no one to help us for many kilometers, and it’s too far for you children to walk. It will take hours for me to walk there and return with help. Poor little Ijeoma—I have left her so long by herself with the baby!” Tears began to trickle down Mum’s cheeks.

Bernice and Okorie glanced at each other with wide eyes. What could they do?

“Mum,” Okorie said quietly, “I know what we can do.”

“What?” she asked.

“Let’s say a prayer! Heavenly Father will make the car start—just like He moved a mountain for the brother of Jared!”

“Prayers aren’t always answered right away, Okorie,” Mum sighed. “Someone will need to fix what is wrong with the engine before it will work again.”

“But if Heavenly Father can move a big mountain, don’t you think He can make our little car work?”

Mum looked at Okorie. She could see he was very serious.

“All right, my son, we will pray. Who would like to offer the prayer?”

While Okorie and Bernice talked, Okorie saw his mother bow her head and close her eyes, saying her own private prayer. When Mum opened her eyes, the two children told her they had decided they would each say a prayer.

Bernice went first. “Heavenly Father, we are stuck out here all alone because of our broken car. Please bless baby Ikechi to be safe until we get back. And please teach Ijeoma so she will know how to take care of her. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Now it was Okorie’s turn. “Heavenly Father,” he began, “please bless the car to start. We know Thou canst do it. Everybody else has gone home—there is no one else to help us. Please, Heavenly Father, help us start the car and get home safely so Mum can take care of us and the baby. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

“Amen,” Mum said. She got in the car, and with a flick of her wrist, she turned the key.

Rrrruuuummmm! The engine sprang to life as if nothing had ever been wrong with it. Bernice and Okorie bounced up and down with joy.

“Okorie! You did it! You did it!” Bernice exclaimed.

Okorie stopped his celebration long enough to shake his head solemnly and say, “No, I didn’t do it—Heavenly Father did.”

Mum hugged her children tightly. “Yes, Okorie, Heavenly Father did it. But I think it was your faith that really pulled us through. You never doubted. Both of you have made me a very happy mother.”

They said a prayer of gratitude and then drove home, singing all the way.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Scott Greer

[photo] Okorie and Bernice with their mother and Ikechi.