Many years ago in my native home of Mexico, my uncle became very ill, and it was clear that he would soon pass away. Relatives gathered at his bedside, crying and mourning his passing. I was only a child at the time, but I felt very sad about my uncle.
Then, without warning, my uncle rallied a bit and told everyone to stop crying. He tried to explain something to us—something he seemed to be experiencing. I watched, both puzzled and curious. He appeared calm, even happy as he struggled to tell us that there were people beckoning him . . . but they were across a river.
As my uncle talked, the room quieted.
Then, he said he saw an iron rod and told us he was going to grasp it. When he took hold of the rod, he explained that there was a beautiful white tree ahead of him. He wanted to go toward it.
We listened, spellbound. We had never before heard of anyone describing such scenes, especially on their deathbed. And we had certainly never heard of rivers, iron rods, and trees. It was very strange to all of us.
My uncle passed away soon after, but his unusual words left a deep impression upon me. Years passed, and I married and raised a family. The day came that I traveled to the United States to see if I could better our economic situation. I went to work as a painter in Salt Lake City, Utah. My boss, also from Mexico, was a member of the Church.
My circumstances were such that I needed a place to stay. My boss suggested that his parents might be able to rent me a room. I moved in with Brother and Sister Bellazetín.
This couple began telling me about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon. I began to read, and almost immediately, I read the story of Lehi and his dream. I couldn’t believe it! It reflected almost exactly what my dying uncle had been trying to describe.
Intrigued, I went to church on Sunday. In class, I stood and introduced myself. I said I hoped there was someone who might tell me more about the Church because I was thinking about joining. I didn’t notice the big grin on the faces of two young men sitting in the Gospel Principles class with me.
But that very afternoon they came to the house, and I began taking the missionary discussions. Within a short time, they invited me to be baptized. I accepted everything they were saying—I deeply felt a witness that it was true. Yet, I was feeling suddenly rushed. Was this the right thing to do? My wife was still in Mexico. Should I wait until I returned so I could talk to her? I needed more time to think about it.
That Friday night, when the elders stopped in, I told them I wasn’t ready to be baptized on Sunday. Later on, I went to bed, praying to know the truth and what I should do.
I fell asleep and had a dream. In the dream, I saw a temple with many people standing outside, welcoming me. They were dressed in white and looked happy. And standing among all those people was Brother Bellazetín, his face aglow.
I awoke and knew I’d received my answer. That Sunday I was baptized. My uncle, who had passed away many years earlier, had led me to the truth! I knew the Lord was watching over our family and had opened this door for us.
Lead image from Getty Images.
The tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance (1 Nephi 1:20). This engaging volume is a collection of true stories shared by Latter-day Saints who have experienced the Lord’s tender mercies in the midst of trying circumstances. The vignettes vary from accounts of heartfelt supplications answered to sweet whisperings of knowledge and comfort to kind understandings that bring hope and peace. Woven into each are profound lessons that demonstrate how, under the direction of the Father and the Son and through the power of the Holy Ghost, we can be protected, inspired, converted, healed, and taught. Together, these chapters beautifully confirm the glorious truth that there are, indeed, angels round about us.