The Spirit Guided Me to Her
January 1986

“The Spirit Guided Me to Her,” Ensign, Jan. 1986, 29–30

The Spirit Guided Me to Her

I have a special feeling in my heart for missionary work. When I was living in New Jersey, I quickly learned to look for everyday situations in which I could tactfully and politely interject gospel principles, ideas, and information about the Church. I also started carrying two pamphlets with me: Mormonism, by Hugh B. Brown, and—because we lived in an area that was heavily populated with Jewish people—Why I Joined the Mormon Church, by Jewish converts. More than once I felt the Spirit’s influence in answer to my prayers for guidance in introducing the gospel to people who would be receptive.

One such experience occurred just before Christmas that year.

Sara and Peter, close friends with whom I had grown up, lived an hour’s drive north of us. Peter was also our family’s dentist. I had ordered a subscription of the Ensign for Sara and Peter, and Peter put the copies in his waiting room. When my husband and I went to the dedication of the Washington Temple, Sara and Peter tended our children. We left a copy of the August 1974 temple issue of the Ensign with them. Peter put this copy, too, in his waiting room.

A few weeks later Sara and Peter invited us to a party at their home. We had been invited to parties at their home twice before, but each time our children had suddenly become sick, and we had not been able to go.

That night, as we were preparing to leave, the children got sick again. My husband, always socially proper, said that this time one of us had to go. I was reluctant to drive by myself on a winter night, but I also didn’t want him to have to go alone. I silently prayed and felt prompted that I should be the one to go. As I got ready, I put the two Church pamphlets in my purse.

After twenty minutes of driving, I felt the Spirit of the Lord encompass me. I knew that someone at the party would approach me and ask me how I knew that God lives. I was impressed to prepare myself to give that person an answer.

At the party, a young woman sought me out and asked, “Are you Sara’s friend who is a Mormon?”

I smiled and said, “Yes.” The young woman sat down opposite me. She told me that she had enjoyed the temple issue of the Ensign that she had found in Peter’s waiting room and how impressed she was by the Washington Temple, which she had seen on a recent trip to that area. I listened. She soon stopped talking. There were many guests, and it was quite noisy. We sat for what seemed like a long time, just watching the fire. Then she leaned toward me and asked softly, “How do you know God lives?”

I paused for a moment, then said, “Because I’ve spoken with him, and he’s answered me.”

She sat pensively for a minute and then nodded slowly and approvingly, and said, “Yes.” She told me that her family were Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn, and that even though she loved her religion, she felt unfulfilled and was searching for more. I told her about the gospel. I also told her about some of my Jewish friends who were members of the Church—as was my husband. Just as she was about to leave, I remembered the pamphlets I had brought with me. I gave them to her. A month later, I gave Sara a book to give to her—a book written by an Orthodox Jewish convert.

I don’t know where that woman is now. I don’t know if she joined the Church. But I do know that the Spirit guided me to her. It is enough that I received an answer to my prayer for help in introducing the gospel to another of our Heavenly Father’s children.

  • Lee Shellenberger Stern, an interior designer, serves as single adult leader in her Provo, Utah, ward.