“Waiting with Faith,” Liahona, August 2015, 62–63
Waiting with Faith
The author lives in Ceará, Brazil.
I waited for years but never gave up hope that my parents would join the Church.
I was introduced to the Church by my aunt and uncle, who live near my home. I was only seven years old at the time, and I loved going to church to be with the other children. My parents were not members, but they did not mind that I went to church every Sunday with my aunt and uncle. My parents said that it was much better for me to be involved with a church that taught of Jesus Christ than to be out in the streets getting into trouble.
The missionaries came often to our home to teach us. My parents loved the discussions, but they did not want to embrace the gospel. They said that they were not ready because entering the waters of baptism is a serious commitment. The missionaries continued to come to our home, but they always left disappointed with the answers my parents gave. I knew, however, that one day they would be baptized.
When I turned eight, I was ready to make the baptismal covenant. My mom asked me if that was what I really wanted. She told me that once I was baptized, I could not change my mind and that baptism would change my entire life. I said that being baptized was something I had dreamed about since I first started going to Primary.
After I was baptized and confirmed, I continued to go to church, but my parents rarely came to our Primary activities. It was painful for me to see all the other children with their parents. But I hoped that one day they would be baptized and we would be sealed in the temple, and my greatest dream would become a reality.
When I was a teenager, the missionaries continued to teach my parents, but they still did not want to be baptized. However, they would occasionally come to church, which gave me a little hope. I still dreamed that my parents would join the Church, but I began to think that it would never come to pass in this life.
Then one beautiful Sunday morning when I was 17, my mother again went to church with me. On our way home she told me something that I can still hear in my thoughts and in my heart. She said that she had decided to be baptized. I was shocked! After waiting for so long, I wondered if this was real. In May 2010, my mother entered the waters of baptism. It was such a happy day.
After the baptism I looked at my father and said, “You’re the only one left now.” He responded that it would not be soon because he didn’t feel the desire to be baptized. I was again sad—part of my dream had come true, but the rest seemed far away. Although it was hard, I was certain that things would change. To my great happiness, my prayers were again answered two months later when my father entered the waters of baptism. It was the greatest joy of my life. I felt as though the heavens were singing.
After my parents joined the Church, I realized that another part of my dream had come true but that we needed to be sealed for eternity in the house of the Lord. My parents told me they didn’t feel ready, that they didn’t have enough money for the long trip to the Recife Brazil Temple, and that they didn’t have anyone to watch our home while we were gone. I was sad, but I kept praying for that blessing, knowing that the Lord would answer my prayers.
In time my mother began to feel a strong desire to go to the temple, even though my father continued to put it off. After many conversations with the bishop, they both decided to go. I felt so much joy I could barely contain it!
In September 2011, my mother, my father, and I went to the temple for the first time in our lives. I was sealed to my parents the next day, and I can truly say that, after 11 years of waiting, it was the best day of my life.
I am very grateful to Heavenly Father for everything He has given to me, especially for answering my prayers and fulfilling my greatest dream: the dream of seeing my whole family in the house of the Lord.