The peace I was so desperately seeking during that general conference didn’t come through a talk or even through a musical number—but it did come.
I’d been in the mission field for about three weeks when I started receiving some worrisome emails from my family:
“Your mom fell and tore her ACL while running in the desert near our home. Miraculously, a truck happened to be passing by on a nearby dirt road and drove her home,” my dad wrote. “She’ll be getting surgery soon.”
“Your dad was injured in a boating accident and tore his pectoral muscle from his chest,” my mom wrote. “He’ll be undergoing surgery soon to reattach it.”
“Your brother-in-law has a bulging disc pinching a nerve on his spine,” my sister wrote. “He’ll be getting surgery soon to shave the disc back to normal size.”
And just like that, nearly half of my family was injured and requiring surgery of some form or another—and I couldn’t even teach a full lesson in Spanish yet.
While none of their injuries were life-threatening, I started to worry about my family more and more. Endless “what-ifs” plagued my mind constantly. What if their surgeries went wrong? What if something even worse happened while I was so far away? I knew I was blessed and protected as a missionary—but would Heavenly Father protect my family too? How could I find peace about this when my family was thousands of miles away?
These were my questions heading into the first general conference of my mission. I couldn’t stop worrying about all the worst-case scenarios, and I just needed reassurance from Heavenly Father that He knew my situation and was listening to my prayers. More than anything, I needed peace.
When the Saturday morning session started, I listened more intently than I ever had before. My desire for answers was so great that I found myself resisting any distraction. Even the musical numbers and prayers—which were prime times for bathroom or snack breaks in conferences past—held special importance to me now. I had to get an answer. As the final speaker sat down, I was a little disappointed, but I figured my answer would come later. The session wasn’t over just yet though, and I kept listening intently anyway—just in case.
It wasn’t until the final moments of the closing prayer that my answer came—in the form of an unusual request: “Father, we’re grateful for all the missionaries, and we ask a special blessing this day upon their parents … and upon their families: a feeling of peace” (prayer given in Oct. 2014 general conference).
A feeling of peace. That was exactly what I needed! And it was exactly what I found. Although the words of the prayer were probably intended to comfort worrying families with missionaries far away from home, his words comforted me too—a worrying missionary whose family was far away.
President Thomas S. Monson taught, “Our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives” (“Consider the Blessings,” Oct. 2012 general conference).
The more I believe in this principle the more I see it everywhere. The smallest miracles in life are the most miraculous, and no miracle is too small for Heavenly Father to perform. After all, who but Heavenly Father could know those secret pleas of our hearts and grant them—in ways only we would recognize? Only He knows what we need most when we ask (see Luke 11:13). Even the hairs on our heads are numbered by Him (see Luke 12:7). In short: showing us He is there in the details of our lives is of great importance to Him. (Watch: Heavenly Father Knows Me)
The peace I was so desperately seeking during that general conference didn’t come through a talk or even through a musical number—but it did come. I know when we look for tender mercies, peace, or answers to prayers, we will find them everywhere—even (and especially) in the most unexpected details of our lives.
What answers did you receive at General Conference? Share your experience below.