Through a Father’s Blessing
Siera G., Utah, USA
Illustration by Brian Call
The summer I turned 12, just before I entered the seventh grade, I encountered the first doubts I’d had about the gospel. My parents seemed to know the Church was true, and so did the many Church leaders I’d had throughout my life. But I realized I couldn’t remember ever feeling the “warm, fuzzy feeling” that everyone talked about.
So for three months, I prayed hard every night to feel it too. I prayed for any sign that Heavenly Father was listening to me and ready for me to know. Still, no answer came.
I didn’t tell my parents, siblings, or friends about my inner turmoil. I was scared to think I was the only one without an answer, that I was the only one who didn’t know for sure that the gospel is true.
After those three months, at the end of summer vacation, it was time for our family’s annual father’s blessings. These were our “back-to-school blessings,” as we called them, so the things spoken for each of my siblings generally fit with that theme. My dad blessed my siblings with success in their schooling and academic goals.
When it was my turn, my dad laid his hands on my head. Just after he started the blessing, he spoke nine words without hesitation, in the surest voice I’d ever heard him use, which shocked me: “I testify to you that this gospel is true.” My dad didn’t even mention my academic life. Instead, he simply bore his testimony for the entire blessing.
My eyes welled with tears that confused the rest of my family—none of them, including my father, knew about the questions I’d been struggling with. However, as I learned then, my Heavenly Father did.
Since that day, I can testify that no matter how or when, whether it’s through a feeling or the words of another, Heavenly Father will answer every prayer.
Tuning It Out
Alyssa K., Idaho, USA
I am a Beehive. Last month, I got my first CD of Church music. I listened to it a lot and downloaded it onto my MP3 player. One day when I got on the bus, there was no place to sit except in the back, right in the middle of the teenagers who say bad things. They were talking so loudly and using such horrible language that I couldn’t block them out. I had a feeling to get out my MP3 player and listen to my church CD. Once I did, the sounds and words around me immediately melted away, and I felt like I was in another place. I concentrated on the lyrics and felt happy. I’m sharing this story so that everyone can know that if you are in situations similar to this, you can listen to music that brings the Spirit, and you’ll feel better.
But I’m Not 16
Madeline C., North Carolina, USA
At a recent school dance, I found out that a young man in my class liked me. After I talked to him about it, he asked me to “date” him. I told him no and said that my parents wouldn’t let me. I didn’t mention anything about the Church.
Later in the week, he e-mailed me and again asked me to “date” him. He told me that lots of kids at our school had strict parents who wouldn’t let them date. He then told me that even though they weren’t allowed to have boyfriends or girlfriends, they made the decision to do so anyway.
I explained that I was a Latter-day Saint and would not date until I was 16 and would not steady date. I felt bad because he was very nice, and I really did like him. However, I felt good about my choice and knew I had made the right decision.
I know that waiting until you are 16 to date is very important, and I’m glad that with the gospel, making hard choices is easier.