I Prayed You Would Call
September 1988

“I Prayed You Would Call,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 28–29

“I Prayed You Would Call”

I was converted to the Church while attending the University of Texas at Arlington, and was baptized during the 1970 summer break.

The following semester I struck up a casual conversation with a girl named Stephanie who sat in front of me in an embryology class. We discussed an article that had recently appeared in the local paper about the possible existence of a pre-Columbian Jewish culture in ancient America. When I told her that this theory was supported by the Book of Mormon, her curiosity was aroused.

After class, Stephanie and I made our way to the lunchroom to discuss Mormonism. Although she admitted being biased against traditional institutions like religion and marriage, we became good friends and often met to exchange philosophies.

When the semester ended, I transferred to Brigham Young University. Before departing I gave several friends, including Stephanie, copies of the Book of Mormon with a personal message inside.

I corresponded with Stephanie for a time, but we soon lost track of each other. I returned home to Texas for the summer and decided to serve a mission before completing my schooling.

One night that summer, a forceful feeling came over me, and I had a distinct impression that I should call Stephanie and talk to her about the gospel.

I tried to rationalize the impression away. “You don’t just call someone out of the blue to talk about the Church,” I reasoned to myself. “Besides, Stephanie would have graduated by now, and I have no idea where to reach her.”

The feeling persisted. Soon I could think of nothing else. Finally I located a home phone number she had given me, and nervously placed a call.

Stephanie was home. When I identified myself I was greeted with stunned silence. Then we started to talk.

I spoke about the gospel at some length, and I marveled at her receptiveness. Before we ended our conversation I invited her to attend stake conference, where Elder LeGrand Richards was scheduled to speak.

She readily agreed, and met me a few days later at the conference. She was visibly shaken and very quiet.

After the meeting, I introduced her to the missionaries. I departed for my own mission soon afterward.

Stephanie and I continued to correspond, but it wasn’t until after her baptism that she told me of the events that had awakened her interest in the Church. Her letter of explanation read, in part:

“After graduating from four years of college and breaking up a romance of five and a half years, I came home. I had no car and no job prospects. I was desperate—I had never felt so alone in all my life. I decided to pray. It was like some built-in instinct for survival.

“I prayed that you—Marcus—would call and tell me something about the Church. I never, never, never expected that prayer to be answered.

“You can’t imagine how shocked I was when the phone rang less than twenty-four hours later. Sure enough, it was you—‘that Mormon guy from my embryo class.’ I started poring over the Book of Mormon and saying a lot more prayers. From then on everything in my whole life began to straighten out. I got a job, then a car, and then I was baptized into the Church. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to thank you enough.”

I read the letter several times through my tears. Stephanie later married in the Salt Lake Temple. She is now a mother and homemaker and has served in several Church positions, including that of Relief Society president.

  • Marcus N. Hamilton, a food research technologist, teaches Sunday School in the Iona (Idaho) Seventh Ward.

Illustrated by Richard D. Hull