Stop for an Answer


This was one mission preparation I couldn’t put off any longer.

Several months before my mission I felt I needed to know for myself. I had read the Book of Mormon on my own and with my family, but I didn’t feel I had a testimony. Now, in the middle of mission preparation, I felt I needed to make sure I had a testimony—something I should have done long ago.

As part of this preparation I was taking a temple preparation class. One evening in that class I was thinking to myself, “How can I go to the temple and prepare for a mission if I don’t have a testimony?”

I left the class confused and wanting to know the truth. It was dark. I didn’t know what to do or where to go, so I sat in my car in the parking lot. I could only imagine what Joseph Smith must have gone through in his search for truth.

As I sat in my car, I felt the urge to pray. I prayed with all the faith and energy I had. I felt that I really talked to God. But when I finished I didn’t feel anything different. I felt discouraged.

As I left the stake center’s parking lot, I decided to take the long way home. This was a route I would usually take if I wanted to think or get away from traffic. As I was driving and thinking, I came to a four-way stop. At that stop sign the Spirit came over me and bore witness to me that everything I was doing was true. I began to cry. The Spirit had influenced me so strongly that I had to pull over to the side of the road. There I thanked my Heavenly Father for that special witness.

I don’t know why the answer to my prayers came at that time. I was just thankful it came. I am now a full-time missionary in the Illinois Chicago North Mission. It hasn’t been easy. But whenever I have doubts, I am reminded of my experience at the stop sign and the counsel the Lord gave to Oliver Cowdery:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

“Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?” (D&C 6:22–23).

All the doubts and fears I have had on my mission have been erased by that special witness at the four-way stop when the Spirit spoke peace to my mind and heart.

[illustration] Illustrated by Bryan Lee Shaw