When I was little it used to confuse me. My Primary teachers gave lessons on the Word of Wisdom, and I was taught at church and even in school that smoking was wrong. On the other hand, my dad smoked. I didn’t understand why he would do something he knew was wrong. I knew it made my mom sad, too. I also heard lots of lessons about temple blessings and being sealed together as a family in the temple. I knew that as long as my dad smoked, this could never happen for our family.
Now, don’t misunderstand. I really love my dad; he’s a good man. He’s a good father, and he went to church with us most of the time. But his attitude was negative, and he smoked. He just couldn’t seem to let the habit go.
It was easy not to think about it when I was at school or with my friends. But when the Word of Wisdom lessons were being taught, I felt sad. I baby-sat for couples who went to the temple. And all the time I wondered if it would ever happen for us.
As I was sitting in church one day, I heard someone quote a scripture that said if you have a righteous desire and it is God’s will, then he’ll grant that righteous desire to you. I rushed home after church and looked up the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants.
“And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good … and this is my Spirit.
“Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
“And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.
“And then, behold, according to your desires, yea, even according to your faith shall it be done unto you” (D&C 11:12–14, 17). That scripture gave me great hope.
A few years passed, and nothing changed. Still I prayed and hoped that our family could someday be sealed together. Then one fall day my dad got sick—really sick. He caught the flu and a cold together, and it put him in bed for a week. He got so sick that every time he tried to light a cigarette, his lungs seemed to swell shut and he couldn’t breathe. It got so bad that it really scared him. He threw away his cigarettes and promised himself he’d never smoke again. And he didn’t.
After the smoking stopped, we noticed that his attitude began to change. He wasn’t as negative anymore. And he smelled tons better! Several months later I asked him why he quit, and he said he just thought it was time he got his act together.
And then one day last spring we did it! My mom and dad and I went to the temple to be sealed together forever. It was incredible. We were all dressed in white, and I knelt at the altar with my parents and looked in the mirrors that reflected an eternal family—my eternal family.
Things have really changed for our family. It took an awfully long time, it seems to me, but they did change. Just like the scripture said—the righteous desires of the heart, and faith, accompanied by God’s will, can move mountains—even smoking mountains.