Firm Foundations

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“Firm Foundations,” New Era, Oct. 2020, 46–47.

Firm Foundations

The Quest for the Thomas Family

Young Woman

Illustrations by Patrick Laurent

When I turned 12, I was very eager to go to the temple for the first time. My mother and I went onto FamilySearch to find some family names for me to take. When I went to the Cardston Alberta Temple, I was baptized for my great-grandmothers and great-aunts, and I felt so warm inside.

When I was 14, I began to attend the family history classes in my ward, but I had a hard time finding family names. I eventually set a goal to find my great-grandfather’s family, the Thomas family.

I found several records about William Alfred Thomas. It turns out that he was the first person in my family to go to South Africa, my birthplace. I searched for more information about him for a year, but I still couldn’t find much more about him or his family. I just could not shake the feeling that the Thomas family wanted to be found.

One day I received the distinct prompting to look for William’s wife, Francina. A number of records came up—I had finally found them! I ecstatically told my parents, and my grandfather confirmed it to be the correct line.

My brother and I have now been baptized and confirmed for five generations of the Thomas line, all because of perseverance and a special prompting!

Family history does not always come together immediately, but doing it truly does bring a light into your life.

Savannah B., Canada

Who Am I?

I was recently going through a really hard time, and I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed for help and guidance. I went to my Young Women class that Sunday, and the lesson that our Young Women president gave was the answer to my prayer. She gave us a piece of paper that read, “Who Am I?” at the top. We had to see how many words we could come up with to describe ourselves. We came up with a few, and then we watched a talk by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and we had to write down more things about ourselves that we’d heard in the talk.

I liked that so much that I came home and wrote this on a poster and hung it on my wall: “Who am I? I am a daughter of God. I am a friend. I am a leader. I am known and loved by my Savior. I am strong. I stand for truth. I am Camryn.” I also wrote that on a piece of paper and hung it in my locker. Whenever I was feeling frustrated about my situation, I just thought about what I had written. I am so grateful for getting an answer to my prayer from that lesson.

Camryn T., Utah, USA

Young Women Quote

The Third Time, I Listened

Young Man

A few years ago, I was sitting on the fence between being active and inactive in the Church.

I spent one weekend with my friend Spencer, who was about to leave on his mission. He shared his conversion story with me and his desire to serve a mission. I felt the Spirit, and the words “Go on a mission” spoke to my soul. Never in my life had I had the desire to serve a mission. I pushed the feeling away and tried not to think about it.

The very next day, as Spencer and I were traveling, our driver began talking to us about her faith. As she shared, the same words came to my mind: “Go on a mission.” Once again, I buried the feeling.

As we sang the closing hymn at a fireside the following day, the Spirit poured over me and again prompted me to go on a mission. With tears uncontrollably streaming down my face, I thought, “Heavenly Father, if this is what you want, then I’ll do it, even though I don’t want to.” As soon as I made the decision, my desire and excitement to serve grew.

I started my mission papers two days later, and when I received my call, I was assigned to serve in the Philippines Quezon City North Mission. This experience always reminds me that if we have enough faith to follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will find happiness and peace.

Thomas A., South Australia, Australia