Liahona
An Unsent Answered Letter
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“An Unsent Answered Letter,” Liahona, September 2020

An Unsent Answered Letter

I noticed the letter in my scripture bag and opened it. I am so glad I did not mail it!

Scripture bag

Illustration by David Green

My wonderful parents welcomed four sons and me, their only daughter, into their home in close succession. We have always been close to each other’s hearts even more than we are in age. We have supported each other and had many precious memories of time spent together. We have always been such good friends!

That is why I felt so broken when one of my brothers ended his life. I worried my heart would not be able to survive the pain—pain is not really the right word. There is no word strong enough to convey the awful experience of losing a loved one to suicide. It turns your world upside down.

I relied on the Lord to help me care for my family and meet my other commitments while I dealt with soul-distressing questions about my brother and his death.

When I asked the Lord for help, I felt prompted to write my questions to the prophet in a letter. I truly believed that my questions were so big and deep that only a prophet could answer them, but I knew it probably wasn’t necessary to send the prophet a letter. I hesitated but then recalled the success I’ve had acting on past promptings.

I went ahead and wrote a tearful letter to President Russell M. Nelson. I wrote about how I felt and how I could move forward if I just knew the answers to the questions swirling in my mind. I concluded my letter, put it in an envelope addressed to President Nelson, and tucked it into my scripture bag.

I forgot about the letter. I noticed it in my scripture bag some time later and opened it. As I read through the letter, I realized that through faith and my own scripture study, prayer, temple attendance, and patience, the Holy Ghost had led me to the answers to every single question I had written down! I felt close to the Savior and His love.

I am so glad I did not mail the letter! Instead, I gained important experiences that taught me again that the Lord cherishes me and all His children individually, and that He will guide and direct us.

I once believed that my questions were so complex that only a prophet could answer them, but I have come to know for myself the truth of the Savior’s words: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18).