My deadline to complete the cover story for this issue was quickly approaching. I’d interviewed renowned tenor Nathan Pacheco as well as several of his friends and family members. I loved my conversations with them, and I was eager to write the story—and yet all I could do was stare at a blank white page as the words “talk to Nicole” rang on repeat in my mind.
In my research, I’d noticed that cellist Nicole Pinnell played in several of Nathan’s music videos, and it crossed my mind that she might be a good source for the story. But writers must make choices, so I had pursued other contacts. However, the thought never left me: “Talk to Nicole.” So finally, as my deadline drew dangerously near, I found Nicole on Facebook, and soon enough we were on a phone call. Just minutes into our conversation, it was abundantly clear to me why I was supposed to talk to Nicole.
She told me that working with Nathan and listening to his music had played a key role in her decision to be rebaptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after spending 20 years away from her faith. I had chills as she described her experience. I also sensed that God had been patiently nudging me in her direction all along because her story so beautifully captures how Nathan’s music can bring the Spirit in a life-changing way (“A Voice of Light”).
I don’t think my experience with Nicole is unique: all over the world, God is nudging people to help them find what they need to succeed—and I see evidence of that throughout the stories in this issue. I was touched as Ashli Carnicelli shared what she’s learned about respecting agency from being in an mixed-faith marriage. And I loved reading how the Spirit gently prodded Ashli to remember that her temple endowment connects her to the Lord’s power—a truth that helped her continue teaching her children the gospel even when it seemed too hard to do so (“Walking Each Other Home”).
Sometimes we need answers to our questions—and God nudges us in the right direction through those who came before us. In an article by the late Church historian Kate Holbrook, she explores this question: What does it mean that we are the only true church? I found it fascinating that she discovered an answer while studying the Relief Society’s history of storing wheat (“A Harvest of Truth”). Kate’s experience leaves me thinking that answers are in more ready supply than we sometimes think.
I hope as you read this issue, you find renewed confidence that God is not only nudging you along the covenant path, but that He is doing so because He deeply desires to bring you, and all of His children, home.
On the journey with you,