“Alone in the Dark,” Ensign, Mar. 2004, 58–59
Sometimes it takes a challenging experience to help us realize that if we put our trust in the Lord, He will support us in our trials (see Alma 36:3).
This principle was reinforced in my heart some years ago when our little family stayed for seven months in the North African country of Tunisia, where my husband, Keith, did research for his doctoral degree. As students on a tight budget, we had no phone and no television. Our home was a tiny fifth-floor apartment in El Menzah, a suburb of the capital city of Tunis, and our daily routine was simple: Keith studied at the national library while I stayed home with our baby boy, David.
As far as our Church involvement went, we were the Church in Tunis. Each Sunday, Keith administered the sacrament and we read the scriptures. We sang our favorite hymns and listened to conference tapes. Then we finished with a lesson from Keith’s priesthood manual.
Although we met some wonderful people and made some good friends, there were still times when I felt alone and even fearful. One of those times was when I returned home from grocery shopping to find that we had no electricity. A thin blue envelope had been shoved under the door, and inside the envelope was a letter written in French and Arabic. When Keith got home he translated the letter. To our dismay, we discovered that the previous tenants had failed to pay their electricity bill and that we were now responsible for it. We wouldn’t have lights until the bill was paid.
We used candles over the weekend, and on Monday morning we rode the bus to the electric company. After we paid the bill, we were assured that within two days the lights would be turned on.
But would two days be soon enough? Suddenly I realized that Keith’s night class was on Tuesday. He had to attend to keep his scholarship, which meant that little David and I would be alone in the apartment. Solitude was difficult even under normal conditions. What if David and I ended up being all alone in the darkness with only a few candles? Even thinking about it frightened me.
Monday passed, and we still had no electricity. On Tuesday afternoon, Keith returned from studying to find that the people from the electric company still had not come. We discussed our options, and finally Keith said, “I feel we should pray.”
With humble hearts we asked for help. After we finished, Keith hugged me and said, “Everything’s going to be all right. The lights will be turned on by tonight.”
I still felt skeptical, but I depended on his faith. By 4:45 that afternoon, however, doubts filled my mind. After a silent prayer, I again felt a peaceful assurance. Then at 4:55 the people from the electric company arrived to turn on the lights.
Experiences like this increased my faith and helped me know that I was not alone. During the months of our stay in Tunisia, I depended on the power of prayer often. I am grateful to Heavenly Father for His watchful care and love, and I am also grateful for the faith-building experience our family had in Tunisia—an experience that is still a source of strength to us today.