My Children’s Prayer

“I Was Suddenly Overcome by a Feeling of Peace and Assurance”

child prayingThis story comes from Virgínia Augusta de Pádua Lima Pereira, and was published in the June 2008 Ensign.

As I answered the phone at our chapel in Viseu, Portugal, I wondered who was calling. I was surprised to hear the trembling voice of my eight-year-old son on the line.

“Mom, Viviana was hit by a car,” he said. “She is alive, but her head is bleeding! She is going to the hospital.”
I almost fainted. What was I going to do? Fortunately, I had family nearby—two of my sisters were with me. One of them accompanied me to the hospital, while the other one went to watch and comfort my three distressed children at home.

In the middle of so much anguish, I wanted to pray but could only weep. On the way to the hospital, however, I was suddenly overcome by a feeling of peace and assurance. I felt that I didn’t need to worry; everything would be all right.
My sister noticed the change and asked, “Are you OK?” I nodded. Skeptical, she asked again, “Really? Are you OK?”

“Yes,” I replied, remaining silent for the rest of the journey.

When we arrived at the hospital, I found my four-year-old daughter conscious and only slightly hurt. After comforting her, I couldn’t stop thinking about the peace I had felt.

Viviana returned home after one day in the hospital. In talking about the accident, my sister who had stayed with the children said, “Yesterday, after the ambulance left, Vanessa and Vasco went into the house and prayed together.”
I was touched to know that in the midst of all the fear they were experiencing, my children remembered what they had been taught at home and in Primary. They were only six and seven, but they had faith in the power of prayer. They knew that Heavenly Father was able to help their little sister.

I thought about their faith all afternoon. Then a question came to mind: when did I start to feel peaceful? After figuring out how long it took to reach the hospital, I realized that my peaceful feeling came at about the same time that Vanessa and Vasco had prayed.

I know that Heavenly Father heard those sweet voices and not only blessed my daughter with health but also blessed me with peace. I will never forget what I learned that day from my children: we have a loving Father who hears our prayers and wants to bless us “with a sweet and calm assurance that he cares.”

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“I Will Go Before Your Face.”

The Peace of the Spirit

imagesIn her inspiring book, In the Strength of the Lord I Can Do All Things Carolyn J. Rasmus recounts an experience similar to many in the church.  Another name for the Holy Ghost is “the comforter” and to many of us, some of the most miraculous experiences we experience come when the Holy Ghost speaks peace to our heart when we are filled with fear.

I, like you, have had experiences when, at critical times, important thoughts have come into my heart and mind.

I remember one such morning when I finished my prayers and stood almost before I’d uttered, “Amen.” I was ready to grab my coat and leave for work when the thought came into my mind, “Go back and kneel beside your bed.” Even though I felt pressed for time, the impression came so strongly that I responded immediately.

As I returned to my knees a scripture came into my mind: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left…and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” (D&C 84:88). That was all. I stayed there for a few minutes, all the time wondering why that scripture would come into my mind. Then I left for work.

It is about a forty-five minute drive from my home in Orem, Utah, to my work in Salt Lake City. I knew that a storm had been forecasted, but the sun shone brightly as I left home and I went merrily on my way. About twenty minutes later, as I neared what is referred to locally as the point of the mountain, I drove into a blinding snowstorm. The snow was heavy enough that I struggled even to see the white line marking the edge of the freeway; to keep my bearings I had to focus on the tail lights of the eighteen-wheeler ahead of me. Suddenly, and without warning, the truck swerved into the median strip of the highway.

The storm was bad enough that the radio station I was listening to kept advising people to stay off the highways. One caller indicated that this was the worst weather conditions he’d seen in the Salt Lake Valley in twenty-five years. I concurred, as I was driving at a snail’s pace. The snow was turning to ice as it hit the highway, and the visibility continued to decrease.

What cars were still on the road were sliding across the various lanes; and many cars were off to the side of the road. Though i gripped the steering wheel tighter and tighter, I felt that I had little or no control of the car. it almost seemed inevitable that I’d be the next car off the highway or involved in an accident.

Suddenly the experience I’d had less than an hour earlier came into my mind. As the words of the scripture passed through my mind again, I felt an immediate sense of peace and calm. I knew that I would be safe, that I would be protected on my right and on my left.

It took three times longer than usual to get to work that morning, but I did get there. I was safe, and once again I knew that the influence of the Spirit in our lives is real, and that it can serve as both a guide and a comfort.