Friend to Friend

    “Friend to Friend,” Liahona, Mar. 2001, 4

    Friend to Friend

    Elder Duane B. Gerrard

    One Sunday morning when I was only five years old, I was playing with a neighbor’s cat. Eventually the cat got tired of playing with me and ran into a nearby cornfield. I wasn’t tired of playing with the cat, however, so I followed him into the field.

    The corn was very high, and when I couldn’t find the animal, I decided to go home. It didn’t take long to discover I didn’t know where I was, and I had no idea where home was. I was lost in the large cornfield.

    As I wandered around, the corn seemed to get taller and taller until it reached the sky. I was disoriented and felt more and more frightened. I began to run, yelling for help, but the wind drowned out my cries. I got very hot and sweaty, and the corn plants scratched my skin. I didn’t know what to do.

    As I was rushing through the cornfield, I remembered a lesson my Primary teacher had taught only a few weeks earlier. “If you’re ever frightened,” she had said, “or if you’re ever lost, get down on your knees and pray.”

    Then I remembered my parents telling me the same thing as we knelt in daily family prayer. “Heavenly Father cares about you,” my mother and father had taught me. “He will always hear your prayers. He will take care of you.”

    As soon as I remembered the words my parents and my Primary teacher had spoken, I dropped down on my knees. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I know I shared my thoughts and fears with the Lord.

    After my prayer, I felt very peaceful. My parents and my Primary teacher had told me Heavenly Father would hear my prayers, so I knew help was on the way. I was tired from running around so much, so I decided to rest until someone came. I promptly lay down and fell asleep.

    It wasn’t long before my mother realized I was no longer in our yard. She had seen me playing with the cat, so she guessed I had followed it somewhere. She began searching for me. A block from our home, she saw the cat near a large irrigation canal and feared the worst. She thought I had fallen in and drowned.

    She ran home and sent my older sister to the nearby Church building, where my father and other priesthood holders were gathered for a meeting. Mother then fell to her knees and immediately began praying to Heavenly Father, asking Him to protect me. She promised that if I was found safe, she would do all she could to make sure I was raised in righteousness.

    After pouring her heart out to the Lord, Mother stood up. As she did, she thought of the neighboring cornfield. She ran outside to begin searching there. Some of the men from the meetinghouse met her, and she told them she thought I might be lost somewhere inside the field of corn.

    Some men searched along the irrigation canal while others began searching through the tall stalks of corn. One of them, Bud Phillips, found me quietly sleeping. He picked me up and carried me to Mother, who was weeping. I remember wondering why everyone was making such a fuss. After all, I had prayed and I knew everything would be fine.

    My prayers and my mother’s were answered, and she always did all she could to see that I was raised in righteousness.

    Prayer has always been a great source of comfort for me. Once, I lost our family dog, a beautiful Irish setter that belonged to my brother. I prayed for help and was able to locate the beloved pet. Another time, my mother was ill. I was very close to my mother, and it frightened me that she didn’t feel well. I made that a matter of strenuous prayer, and Mother soon felt better.

    Always know that when you are lost or alone or frightened, you can fall on your knees, and Heavenly Father will be there for you. He will send help. He loves you very much. Turn to Him.

    I testify that prayer truly is communication with our Heavenly Father. He hears our prayers. He knows our fears and our hopes. He knows what we want and need. I promise you He will answer your prayers. Sometimes His answers come immediately; other times they come more slowly. Sometimes we might even feel He didn’t answer our prayers at all. But I promise you He does answer all prayers. Have faith in Him. Trust Him. In time, you will see and understand the answers to your prayers.

    Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh