“A Foundation of Faith in the Wilderness,” Ensign, July 2006, 34
The years 1998 and 1999 were a period of somber events in the Congo. I fled my village because of war and spent more than seven months traveling in the wilderness with a group from my village. We had no way to return home.
Every evening our group prayed and sang together, and each person took a turn suggesting a hymn. When it was my turn, I suggested “How Firm a Foundation” (Hymns, no. 85). Even though no one else knew this hymn, I felt that it answered our concerns exactly.
I sang “How Firm a Foundation” many times in those seven months. It comforted me in my moments of isolation and suffering when life was so difficult with sickness and famine in the wilderness. I sang it alone, but the words and music penetrated the ears and hearts of the others: “In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health, / In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth, / At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—/ As thy days may demand, … so thy succor shall be.” Because of these words, others told me they wanted to learn more about the Church.
One of the men in our group was the leader of a church in our country. After we returned to our village, this brother told me he wanted to find out more about the gospel. I responded to him, following the example set by Alma in Mosiah 18 (see Mosiah 18:8–10). In the end he joined the Church.
The hymn “How Firm a Foundation” touched my soul and brought me great joy and comfort while I was in the wilderness, and it brings me joy today knowing that it helped a good brother to join the Church.
Thierry Alexis Toko, Republic of Congo