The feelings and recollections all come back so swiftly as I sit pondering the multitude of events that have transpired in our family's lives that led to one of the greatest blessings we've received.
The missionaries were referred to our home in 1968 by my mother's sister, and my mother and older brother began taking the discussions. My mother knew the gospel was true and shortly thereafter joined the Church.She remained strong and true to her baptismal covenants and held many Church positions through all of the hardships she faced in the following years. My younger sister, brother and I were baptized when we were 8 years old. My father still was not a member, though we had known many good missionaries through the years.
My mother began the trial of her faith in 1985 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She received a blessing of health and we received blessings of comfort. After surgery, she began the long, hard road to recovery including chemotherapy. As our family relied upon the Lord in faith and love for support, we also became very close as a family. We couldn't have survived without Him. There were many wonderful ward members who were also very supportive with help, love and prayers.
A miracle occurred as her cancer count fell within months from over 12,000 to zero. Our pleas to our Father had been heard and answered.
I left on my mission in 1988. When I left, there was a wonderful elder in our ward who saw the potential in Dad and knew how to work with him at that time. By then, Dad was all but a Mormon. Elder Todd Gubler took Dad with him to missionary discussions, during which Dad bore testimony of the truthfulness of gospel principles. He and my family even attended the baptismal service of one of the couples.
I received a letter from home before Father's Day, saying that Dad had told Elder Gubler that he wanted to be baptized before Elder Gubler was transferred. The baptism took place June 18, 1988. That was one of my greatest blessings while I was on my mission, and I rejoiced.
It had been my prayer to be able to go to the temple with my family when I returned from my mission in July 1989. That prayer and dream were realized. We went to His Most Holy House in Seattle, Wash., on July 21, 1989, so that my parents and sister could receive their endowments. The following day, many close ward members were with us to witness my parents' and family's sealing for time and all eternity. In August my father was then one of the witnesses at my sister's temple wedding. That had also been another prayer of ours. We wanted both our parents to witness that special event.
Patience, love, support, faith and prayers are required during life and trials. Though the wait was 20 years and the trial was difficult, the blessing that awaited us of entering the House of the Lord was great. And as the Lord said to the Prophet Joseph Smith as recorded in D&C 121:7, "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment" in comparision to eternity.