“Teresa’s Dream,” Friend, June 2001, 44
Based on a true story
And this is my gospel—repentance and baptism by water (D&C 39:6).
Teresa Perez had had the same dream for three nights in a row. In her dream, she saw a small room filled with white clothing hanging from a line.
Could the dream have something to do with the lessons she and her family had been taking from the Mormon missionaries?
Elder Nichols and Elder Benjamin had started teaching her family three weeks ago and challenging them to read the Book of Mormon and to pray.
She and her parents had started reading the Book of Mormon and praying together. Teresa knew that her parents were struggling with the decision to accept the gospel that the American missionaries taught and to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In their small town outside of Madrid, Spain, nearly everyone belonged to the same church. Some family members and friends had made unkind remarks about the “Mormons” and ridiculed Teresa’s family for even listening to the missionaries.
Teresa didn’t understand everything that the missionaries taught, but she liked the warm feeling she had as she listened to them. They spoke of Jesus Christ and of His love for all children. Teresa liked that. In her old church, she rarely heard about Jesus’ love.
She saw love for the Savior and His gospel in the elders’ eyes. She heard it in their voices when they spoke of Him.
When the missionaries arrived that day, Teresa told them of her dream.
“Can you describe the clothes?” Elder Nichols asked.
“There were lots of white clothes hanging from a line. Pants. Shirts. Dresses. Some were little and some bigger.”
Elder Nichols looked at Teresa’s papa. “Can you meet us at the church tomorrow evening?”
Papa nodded. “We will be there.”
The lesson continued, but Teresa barely heard what the young elders said. Her dream and Elder Nichols’s request filled her mind.
That night, the dream came once more. The beautiful white clothes were so white that they shined.
Teresa and her parents made the hour-long trip by bus to the chapel. Elders Nichols and Benjamin met them at the door and led them down a hallway to a small room.
“Is this what you saw in your dream?” Elder Nichols asked.
Teresa looked at the white clothes of all different sizes hanging from a large rack. There were dresses, pants, shirts, just as in her dream! “Yes. It is just as I saw in my dream.”
“These are baptismal clothes.” Elder Nichols explained, “When a person gets baptized, he or she wears all white. It’s a symbol of purity.”
A frown crossed her papa’s face. “We have been baptized. When we were babies. For Teresa, that was only ten years ago.”
“We understand,” Elder Benjamin said. He pointed to the scriptures he always carried. “We learn from the prophets that those who take upon themselves the name of Christ must be baptized by the proper authority.”
Teresa remembered that from the discussions. “The priesthood.”
Elder Benjamin nodded. Then he bore his testimony. Elder Nichols followed. Tears filled his eyes as he spoke of his love for Jesus Christ and of his gratitude for the priesthood which he held and which included the proper authority to baptize people.
Teresa heard the truth in the testimonies. Even more, she felt it. She turned to her father and mother. “It is good, what we hear. I feel it.” She placed a hand on her heart. “I feel it here.”
Elder Nichols smiled. “The word gospel means the good news.”
Teresa’s papa wiped tears from his eyes. “Good news. You have brought us very good news.”
“Always we search for something,” her mama said. “Now we have found it.”
“When can we be baptized?” Teresa asked.
Elder Nichols’ smile widened. “How does Saturday sound?”