“Small Decisions, Eternal Blessings,” Liahona, June 2006, 45
I first heard the gospel as a child when my parents welcomed the missionaries to our home in Antofagasta, Chile. I grew up in the Church, but I did little to gain a personal testimony. Consequently, I eventually fell from activity and found myself facing life’s challenges without the divine power of the gospel to help me. My faithful mother, however, continued to love me and remained a quiet example of righteousness.
Although I married a Church member, neither of us felt the urgency or necessity of living the standards we had been taught in our youth. But as time went by, life in our home changed radically for the worse.
Because of the difficult problems we were facing, my wife decided to start attending church with our daughter. I had no desire to go with them, yet they returned home each week and shared what they had learned. Some time later I began to receive visits from home teachers, two faithful brethren who somehow envisioned my divine potential even though I couldn’t.
Slowly, a change began to take place in my heart, but I refused to acknowledge it at first. Every Sunday my wife would iron my clothes with the hope that I would attend church with her. I was too stubborn to put on the clothes, but I started going to sacrament meeting in jeans and a T-shirt. As less-active members often do, I sat on the bench nearest the door so I could be the last one in and the first one out without having anyone speak to me.
After several months I realized I was not being a good example to my children or blessing my family with the priesthood as I should. I made the decision to never again miss a day of church. I had watched the application of gospel principles brighten my life, and I realized that this simple decision should have been made long ago.
How eager the Lord was to bless my family and me! My wife and I and our children were soon sealed to each other in the Santiago Chile Temple.
I am grateful for a mother who diligently taught me the principles of the gospel, for a wife who encouraged me through her love and example to live them, for faithful home teachers, and for a Father in Heaven who patiently waited for me to live the gospel so He could bless me more than I thought possible.