How the Missionary Age Change Was an Answer to This Mother's Desperate Prayer

I love this moment a mother describes her "gut-wrenching" prayer for her son. "That night as I prayed I poured my soul into that prayer. It was one of those mother prayers, you know the kind where you lay it all out there, ready to bargain anything in the world for your child’s happiness."

How does God show tender mercies in your life? What is a tender mercy you ask? I believe it’s a simple reminder of God’s love for me by way of an answered prayer, a moment of gratitude or what some may consider to be a stroke of luck. But instead of luck, it’s a blessing—a tender mercy in my life. For me, if I’m really looking, those tender mercies pop up nearly every day, but there are days when they are extra special and extra big, especially when they are tender in more than one life.

My tender mercy from four years ago is one that I think of almost daily.

It was the perfect fall day the first weekend of October 2012. I was hurrying to load the soccer chairs into the back of my van after a full morning of soccer games to get home to watch LDS General Conference which traditionally airs the first weekend of October and April semi-annually. It was a few minutes after 10 and the first session of the day starts at 10, so I was working quickly. My husband was loading our 5-year-old and baby daughter in the car when my cell phone rang. I quickly looked to see who it was and saw it was my 17-year-old son Tyler. “Why would he be calling me right as conference starts?” I thought to myself. Sensing a possible emergency, I answered.

“Mom!” came the excited voice on the other line. “Mom, you’re never going to guess what President Monson just announced!” he said, his voice rising. “Oh dear, here comes the joke,” I thought to myself. Tyler is always the prankster. “He just announced the mission age for boys will be 18 and the age for girls will be 19,” he said, his voice both filling with emotion and a kind of elated excitement.

I stopped. I dropped the chair into the back of the van and leaned up against the van, feeling a bit faint. “What? You’re kidding me, right?”

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Rachel J. Trotter

Rachel J. Trotter is a writer at evalogue.life, where we tell personal and family stories that inspire and help you tell yours. She has been writing in a variety of different capacities for 20 years including newspaper reporter, writer, editor, and blogger. She is currently the senior editor and writer at evalogue.life. She loves telling people’s stories. She lives in Ogden, Utah, and is busy raising six children. She loves working on family history alongside her husband, Mat.

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