Restoration and Church History
“The Lord … Was Shaping My Heart”
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“The Lord … Was Shaping My Heart”

Sónia Domingos first encountered the Church in 1999 while living in Setúbal. She was impressed by four young Latter-day Saint women who frequented her workplace to sing to the elderly. They even organized a party for her son, André’s, first birthday when she was busy with work. Though she eventually lost contact with these people, she started dating António Silva, a Latter-day Saint, in 2001 and married him three years later. Sónia noticed the commitment of António’s children to their faith—especially that of his oldest son, Tiago, as he helped her understand the Word of Wisdom and what she could and could not serve to them.

Life continued as normal for Sónia and António until late one night in August 2009 when they received a phone call informing them that António’s children had been involved in a serious car accident. “We ran to the hospital, desperate for more news,” Sónia recalled, “but the wait left us with clasped hands and broken hearts.” Tiago had not survived. “The pain, the suffering, the disillusionment lodged in our bodies, helpless to the reality,” she recalled. “The world had collapsed over our heads. … How was it possible for this to happen to a faithful and worthy young man in the Church?”

Although Tiago was gone, Sónia and her family continued to feel his influence. Sónia and António both began attending church with their children. Two months later, Sónia’s son, André, was baptized. When a year had passed since the accident, Sónia noticed a change in herself. “The Lord, through Tiago, was shaping my heart,” she said. “Each day it became softer and more receptive to the word of the Lord.”

Sónia decided to join the Church after she saw Tiago in a dream and he told her the Church was true and to be baptized. “I knew that this was the right choice, because this was the right way to be an eternal family, to have peace and much tranquility,” explained Sónia.

In October 2010, Sónia was baptized by Gerson Santos, a friend of Tiago. “I felt very good after the baptism, a lightness, a satisfaction, something good and inexplicable,” she said. “Following my baptism, my husband was steadfast in the gospel.”

Sónia was able to attend the Madrid Spain Temple in 2011 to receive her endowment. “The family grew and preparation for the sealing was a constant goal,” Sónia recalled, “but the adversary put challenges in the way.” In particular, securing the right paperwork proved difficult. Even on the day they had scheduled for their sealing, Sónia and António found themselves waiting in the temple for calls between Church leaders in different time zones to ensure they could go ahead with the ordinance. At last, permission came. “I will never forget this day,” Sónia said, “the feelings and the confirmation that when we do our part, Heavenly Father moves mountains to bless us.”

Silvia Family

The Silva family at the Madrid Spain Temple following their sealing in 2016

In 2017 André left home to serve a mission in England. At the same time, Sónia and António were called to serve the young single adults in their stake. “It is a fantastic call,” Sónia said. “I am so grateful for the way that the Lord provided for me to fight off feelings of how much I miss my son.