“Raise Worthy Sons,” Liahona, February 2016, 41
Years ago, when I was a single mother, overwhelmed with the care and support of my four children, a generous gift from my mother and brother allowed me to return to college. During my drive to school, I would think about my hopes and dreams for my children. I was a convert to the Church. My fondest desire was that they would have the opportunity to teach the gospel to others and bring them the happiness I felt.
One morning, as I was driving down to school, I thought about my two oldest sons, who were 22 months apart. If they served, the oldest would finish his mission just as his brother started his. I agonized over this and wondered how I would ever be able to help them pay for their missions. I wasn’t sure I could find funds to send the first, let alone the second.
This turmoil continued for four days, while I prayed for an answer. On the fifth day the answer came: “Raise worthy sons. Money is easy to find; worthy sons are not.”
Peace flooded my heart. The answer was so far from my monetary concerns that I was startled. My job was to raise worthy children. I could hold family home evening, attend church, get my children to seminary, and help my sons with Young Men activities. I could make prayer, fasting, and scripture reading part of our family life. I knew that if I did my part, my children might have an opportunity to serve missions.
In addition to our routine, we had an incredible home teacher who loved our family. He and his wife came faithfully each month. He taught my children lessons, gave them blessings, and attended their sports events. Friends took my sons to stake priesthood meetings and overnight campouts. There were stake members who gave them opportunities to work and earn money, neighbors who were like an extra set of parents, and school teachers who taught them discipline and consistency through academics, music, and sports.
When my oldest son turned 19, the funds were there for his mission. As it turned out, the funds were there for all four children to serve. They served in Mexico and Brazil and in South Carolina and Virginia, USA. The youngest two even served at the same time!
That experience has often made me think of the Lord’s words in Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8).
Prayers are answered when we follow the counsel we receive, and blessings often follow. I know the service my children gave to the Lord changed their lives and the lives of those they taught. Their service has blessed our home and will continue to do so for generations.