A Mother’s Testimony: A Gift from God
June 2024

“A Mother’s Testimony: A Gift from God,” Liahona, June 2024.

A Mother’s Testimony: A Gift from God

In my husband’s family, I found home, belonging, and most important, a testimony of my Heavenly Father.

I grew up as an only child, raised by a single mother. We moved a lot. I remember feeling like I had no stability or a place to call home. When I was a senior in high school, my mother moved to California and I stayed behind in Utah, hoping to find some stability in my life.

I moved in with some relatives. I came and went as I pleased, and I never had to check in with anyone. Sounds like every teenager’s dream, right? It wasn’t for me, and it wasn’t the stability I was hoping for. I still felt like I didn’t belong. I felt alone.

I put on a brave, happy face during the day, but at night I often found myself parked in a Church parking lot listening to Church music in tears. I began to have this desperate feeling to know that God truly existed.

woman sitting in a car

“Heavenly Father, I want to know that Thou dost exist. I am lost. I feel alone. I want to know for myself. I so desperately need to know.”

Silence. All I heard was silence.

That peace and comfort never came. I always left feeling defeated, like I had wasted my time in prayer. The prayers I offered up those nights in my car, in tears, always seemed to go unanswered. There always seemed to be … silence.

Over the next several years, I still felt alone, but despite those prayers that seemed to go unanswered, I still had faith that God existed.

A Sense of Belonging

When I met the man who became my husband, I finally felt a sense of belonging and stability—a sense of home. His family welcomed me wholeheartedly. That was a big deal for me because I had longed for those feelings for so long. When we married in the temple, I felt so much joy in joining a family centered on the gospel.

I loved seeing priesthood blessings being given at home, attending church in my husband’s mother’s ward with dinner in her orchard to follow, and listening to sweet music playing from her kitchen window as we all sat, ate, and talked. These experiences took root in my heart and began to fill a void that so needed to be filled. This family unit was just what I needed, and God knew it. But He wasn’t finished answering those late-night prayers.

I sat with my mother-in-law on her porch one morning. She said something that was so meaningful to me. For the first time in my life, I heard the Spirit testifying to me that Heavenly Father really existed.

“When you know Heavenly Father is really there,” she said, “everything changes.”

From there, everything did change! My testimony grew as I sought to know more. Now I know when the Spirit speaks to me. I know that sweet feeling when He is near.

An Answer from Heavenly Father

One day I read an inspiring question on social media that asked, “Where will you meet the Lord today?”

I “met” Him through a spiritual impression that came to me as I walked along a trail near our home several years after I got married. I stopped walking and wrote down the impression. I saw myself all those years ago, sitting alone in the Church parking lot and understood that, back then, God saw what I couldn’t.

What I couldn’t see then was that one day God would show me who He was through my future mother-in-law, whom I had not met yet. He could see that I would gain a bond with her that would build and strengthen me in ways I had never known before.

He was answering me way back when, but I didn’t hear it. He saw the big picture, and I didn’t. I couldn’t see His plans for me. In that moment on my walk, He gently impressed upon my heart what He had had in store for me all along.

When I hear my mother-in-law pray or speak of her steadfast love for her Savior, I can feel her testimony. Being blessed to become one of her daughters is a special gift from God. Her testimony is also a gift from God that blesses all our lives. I know that my Savior lives because she has spent her whole life drawing near to Him. She radiates His reality for all to see.