The following modern stories from the lives of real people show how intimately the Lord knows us and watches over His children, even those who do not hold high position in the Church. Some of these examples are really quite remarkable. Others show that the Lord intervenes even in things some might not consider worthy of an earthly parent’s attention, let alone a Divine One’s. Yet, they truly show “that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen” (1 Nephi 1:20).
“São Paulo Has Seventeen Million People”
An associate of mine who served as a mission president in Brazil some years back shared a wonderful instance where the Lord directly influenced events so as to accomplish a tender purpose. He said that one of his new missionaries came to him from the north of Brazil. It had taken him three days on a bus to get to the missionary training center at São Paulo to begin his mission. After finishing at the MTC, this missionary went to the mission home where, as was customary, he began a day of orientation and training. That evening, the mission president assigned the new missionaries to go tracting so they could have a real “missionary experience” their first day in the mission.
This elder from the far north of Brazil went out with his assigned companion. Imagine his astonishment when the very first door he knocked on was opened by someone he knew. It was his older sister, who had run away from home four years previously. The family had not heard from her in all that time, and they had no idea where she was. It was a moment of sweet reunion. But it was more than that. The elder began teaching his sister the gospel and she became the first convert baptism of his mission.
The mission president concluded his account by saying, “It was the very first door he knocked on! And you have to remember, São Paulo has seventeen million people!”
The Power of Two Testimonies
A woman reports that while in Deseret Industries one day, she decided to buy a Book of Mormon and give it to a friend who was not a member. She found one nice used copy and put it into her cart. But a moment later, she saw another copy that looked to be in even better condition, so she exchanged the two. Upon returning home, she decided she would write her testimony in the book before giving it to her friend. Here is her account:
"Imagine my surprise when, as I opened the book, I saw a picture of my family taken 25 years before [back when President Benson had asked members to write their testimony with a picture in a Book of Mormon and give it to someone]. Beneath the picture was a testimony written by my father, who had recently passed away. Tears sprang to my eyes as I read his testimony and felt his presence. . . . When I found this copy of the Book of Mormon, my family lived several hundred miles away from where I was then living. After adding my testimony to my father’s testimony, I gave the Book of Mormon to my friend. I then thanked Heavenly Father for the blessing that the original Book of Mormon project had given to both my friend and me. My friend felt especially touched by my father’s testimony and the special “coincidence” that had occurred. She eventually gained her own testimony of the Book of Mormon and entered the waters of baptism. My testimony was strengthened . . . [by] that particular Book of Mormon finding its way back into my hands after 25 years."
What is interesting in this example is that this woman was not specifically seeking help from the Lord with some challenging problem. She was not struggling with a difficult question. It was what might be called a “free gift,” unsolicited and unexpected. Yet the Lord gave her a wonderful experience that not only touched the heart of her friend, but strengthened her testimony as well.
Get more profound insights into how God speaks with us in Hearing the Voice of the Lord: Principles and Patterns of Personal Revelation.
How can we navigate safely through our turbulent times? Personal revelation is one key! Elder Gerald N. Lund, million-selling author of The Work and the Glory, offers profound insights about how personal revelation “works.” Learn how we can increase our ability to receive and recognize personal revelation, what we can do to avoid being misled, and many other ideas relevant to this tremendously important spiritual gift.