Years ago, when my husband and I still had six of our children at home, we also had a foster home where we cared for elderly Alzheimer’s patients. At that time, we grew a large garden and preserved a lot of our food. One year we didn’t have access to peaches or pears, which were favorites of our family and especially good for the Alzheimer’s patients who needed soft foods.
I decided to pray about this need. I asked Heavenly Father to lead me to some inexpensive peaches and pears if He knew of some that were available. My hope was to find fruit that would otherwise go to waste.
A couple of days later, I drove my children to the church for a youth activity. A sister who was new in the ward approached me and asked me if I could use some ripe peaches. Her family had just bought a home with many peach trees in the yard, and there was more fruit than they could use. I was able to pick many boxes of peaches and preserve them at no cost.
Some time went by, and I didn’t find any pears. I reasoned to myself that Heavenly Father knew I was very busy getting the children settled in school and preserving the food from our garden and didn’t have time for the pears.
A few months later, after all the fruit was harvested, I was in the waiting room of my chiropractor’s office. As I sat there, a man came in and began talking with the receptionist. To my surprise, I heard him ask her if she knew anyone who could use some pears. He had bushel boxes of pears in cold storage and wanted to find a home for them so he could turn off the refrigeration for the winter. I was able to buy boxes of large, beautiful pears for only three dollars each—a highly discounted price compared with what I normally pay!
Heavenly Father answered my prayer from months before, and He also arranged for the pears to be kept cold until I had more time to preserve them.
In a general conference talk, Elder Brook P. Hales of the Seventy said: “The Father is aware of us, knows our needs, and will help us perfectly. Sometimes that help is given in the very moment or at least soon after we ask for divine help. Sometimes our most earnest and worthy desires are not answered in the way we hope, but we find that God has greater blessings in store. And sometimes our righteous desires are not granted in this life.”1
Many times my prayers have been answered quickly, but some things that I earnestly pray for every day have still not been granted. Remembering experiences like my prayer for peaches and pears reminds me that my Heavenly Father knows me and my needs and that He will help me perfectly in ways that He knows are best for me.