The Twice-Rescued Lamb

“The Twice-Rescued Lamb,” Ensign, Mar. 1988, 54

The Twice-Rescued Lamb

We can never say we were not given an opportunity to receive the gospel. My mother had her first brief contact with the Church when she attended Primary as a little girl in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. It was there she learned her alphabet … and perhaps, deep down, gospel truths that would surface later in life.

Years later, during the 1950s, my parents investigated several churches. At the right time, LDS missionaries called. I remember my father being baptized when I was about five years old.

We met in a house that was used as a chapel. My father, an artist, painted the signs outside. My mother wouldn’t join, though, despite the fact that she believed gospel principles.

We later moved away from Nottinghamshire to the wilds of Shropshire, where the nearest branch was miles away. We had no car, and my father lapsed into inactivity. Still, we regarded ourselves as Latter-day Saints, and my brother and I stood out at the religious school we had to attend.

I was fifteen when the elder who had baptized my father revisited us. He saw to it that missionaries came to our home and taught us again, and this time my mother, brother, and I were all baptized—on 6 April 1967 at Newcastle-under-Lyme chapel, nearly fifty miles away. One of the hymns we sang that night will always stay with me—“I Stand All Amazed”—because I certainly do stand amazed at how the Lord has helped us.

My father soon became the first English president of the Wellington Branch in the Central British Mission. I served in many callings and was on the stake YWMIA board while I was still a teenager.

At college, however, I was the only Latter-day Saint, and I gradually slipped into inactivity again. I married a nonmember.

But thanks to a sensitive bishop who visited us in Sheffield and assigned some caring home teachers, my husband, Peter, was eventually baptized. A year later, after a move to Gloucestershire, we had our patriarchal blessings together and went to the temple to be sealed. It was a joy to have our first baby born in the covenant.

Since then, Peter has served as a bishop and I have served once more with the young women of our stake. I have come to know that only through being in the gospel and living all the commandments can we have true joy.

  • Helen Celeste Howlett, a teacher, is Relief Society music director in the Telford Ward, Newcastle-under-Lyme England Stake.