The Long, Worthwhile Wait


The Church wasn’t just miles away. It looked years away, too.

Limerick, Republic of Ireland—

Do you ever get really impatient with your parents? I suppose everyone does at some time in their life. But my friend Sharron Coyle and I learned that being patient and following the commandments is really the only way to go.

Our parents were responsible for our first encounter with the missionaries—they invited them into our homes. Although our parents weren’t interested in their messages, Sharron and I were, and we took the discussions from the sisters. We were so impressed and knew they had the happiness and peace we’d been looking for.

We’d been brought up Roman Catholic, but neither of our families were practicing, so we didn’t foresee any great difficulty in our joining the Church.

We were wrong. When we asked our parents for permission to be baptised, they refused, point blank, to even consider the thought.

For a while we fought with them continuously, but then we realized that fighting wasn’t going to get us anywhere. We stopped fighting and just went on living the gospel, hopefully changing our parents’ minds by example.

The church was about seven miles from our homes, and since we didn’t drive and Sharron didn’t have a bicycle, we walked to and from church for meetings and activities. Hail, rain, or snow, we walked. Our parents thought we were mad, but we didn’t give up.

Soon we noticed subtle changes in our parents. They were friendlier towards the missionaries, and the negative talk about the Church stopped. We believed that the missionaries and the members, with their persistence, good deeds, and polite attitudes of respect, were beginning to help turn our parents around.

Then one day, much to my surprise, just before the results from my final exams were due out, my mom said I could be baptised! It was several months before my 18th birthday. Not long after, Sharron’s mom gave her permission too.

Both of us now more fully understand 1 Nephi 3:7 [1 Ne. 3:7]. We believe that the Lord truly provided a way for us to do his will. We know that we developed strength from our trials, and we’re grateful for the support our parents ended up showing us. It just took time, following the commandments, and the patient support of the missionaries and members.

And now my little sister Sinead wants to join. Here we go again!

[illustration] Illustrated by Beth Whittaker