“Waiting on the Promise,” Ensign, July 2020
Three months before turning 21 years old, I was baptized along with my sister, my mother, and my eight-year-old nephew. Over the years, we have held tight to the gospel despite our many challenges.
When my husband and I got married, we were determined to stay active in the Church. As children came, my husband and I strived to be good parents and to teach the gospel in our home.
One day I attended a conference with our one-year-old daughter. In the conference, an Area Seventy talked about the responsibility of parents to teach the gospel to their children. He then made a promise that left a huge impression on me. He said: “If, after everything you can do to teach the gospel, one of your children leaves the Church, they will still be blessed because of the memory of the things they experienced at home.”
The words of that Area Seventy filled me with hope because I had nieces and nephews who had left the Church. Years later my daughter, the same one-year-old I held in my arms during that conference, left the Church when she turned 17. She had met someone who was not rooted in the gospel, and they got married. She never went to church after that.
This was painful for me. I asked myself over and over what we did wrong. Her father and I always tried to keep the commandments and serve in the Church. We love our children and want the best for them. After many tears and questions, we finally concluded that children grow, exercise their agency, and don’t always believe the things they’re taught at home.
Unfortunately, my daughter’s marriage fell apart, and she still doesn’t want to come back to the Church. All I can do is remember the promise that she will remember and be blessed because of the things she was taught at home.
I continue to pray for my daughter. I love her with all my heart, and it hurts me to see her distanced from the Church. But I know that, despite my imperfections, the things I taught her are right and true. I know that Heavenly Father is just and loving and that He listens to our prayers. Without any doubt in my heart, I know that if I do my part, He will answer them in the moment He sees right.