“I Saw Your Mother’s Face,” Liahona, July 2014, 40
One Sunday in the summer of 2002, I woke up thinking of my mother, who had recently passed away. I was visiting my old home ward in Pacific Palisades, California, USA, where my mom had worshipped for almost 50 years.
I knelt in prayer to tell the Lord how much I missed her and to ask for a spiritual experience that day.
That afternoon I planned to attend the rededication broadcast of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple at the stake building in Santa Monica, California. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to be admitted to the session. I returned to my car and headed back onto the freeway.
As I drove, I heard a voice say, “Randi, go check on Mary!” Mary is a dear friend of our family and a devout member of another faith. She and her daughter Natasha lived next door to my Aunt Ruby for more than 25 years. Because they had no family nearby, they became part of ours. After my aunt passed away in 1984, my mother often dropped by to visit Mary, always bringing a small gift or something she had baked.
At first I ignored the prompting. I couldn’t just drop in unannounced, and I didn’t have my cell phone to call her. Suddenly the voice came again, louder this time: “Randi, go check on Mary!” This time I heeded the counsel, although I barely had enough time to make my exit off the freeway.
When I arrived at Mary’s, she greeted me but looked ill. I could tell she had been crying. I asked her what was wrong. She responded that she had been quite sick and in pain from a neck injury. Also, she was extremely low on food. She said she had been too ill to walk to the pharmacy or the market.
When I asked her why she hadn’t called someone in our family, she said, “I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to send someone to help me.”
I told her that Heavenly Father had heard her prayers and sent me. We hugged, and then she told me something I’ll never forget. She said, “When you arrived on my doorstep, I saw your mother’s face, not yours.”
I immediately felt my mother’s sweet spirit near me, and I felt prompted to serve just as my mother would serve. Her life, after all, was filled with serving others.
I hope that I never forget the importance of heeding the voice of the Spirit and the example my mother set for me of serving others.