Early in the morning on September 13th, I was preparing a talk for a church function. As part of the talk, I was going to use my first Book of Mormon that I received from the missionaries. In it, is a ticket to General Conference. (I was pretty lucky in so many ways as a convert, starting with being able to attend General Conference the day after my baptism.) As I held the ticket in my hand, I had a strong impression – “Bring John to General Conference.”
Moving Forward with (Stretched) Faith
Even with conference a couple of weeks out, this would be a spontaneous trip for us. I knew my husband had to work til late evening on the Friday before conference and I wasn’t sure how it would work. After consulting with him, we decided that we’d make it work.
Now we (just) needed to find some tickets. After learning our stake did not have any tickets available, we started reaching out to other friends. As we still weren’t able to find any, we extended our search further. Eventually, it was about 30 people in about 5 different states. Still, we weren’t having any luck.
Adding the Faith of a Child
To this point, I hadn’t mentioned the plan to John because I didn’t want to get his hopes up. Eventually, I decided that his prayers could be beneficial and maybe there would be a lesson there – hopefully a lesson with a happy ending. I explained that now that he is 8, he is old enough to attend.
At that, John was ecstatic – “Wait, Mom! So you’re saying I can go to General Conference like in the Conference Center!” I nodded. “Are you serious, Mom? I can be in the same room as the prophet!?!” Trying to keep his excitement in check, I said that those things are possible but we needed to find tickets. I explained the situation and the begging and pleading we had done to find tickets but were still coming up empty-handed. I asked for him to pray to find tickets and to also pray to know what to do if we don’t. Was it worth a 6 hour drive one-way and then a long wait in the standby line to see if we would be able to attend? He prayed.
Being Buoyed Up by My Son’s Faith
Days went by and we still hadn’t found available tickets. At times, we would find someone that had tickets available but had reserved them for “investigators” and “recent converts.” I wanted to say, “I understand that but, to me, my 8 year old son is one of the most important recent converts I will ever work with.”
Feeling frustrated and downtrodden, I tearfully told John that I didn’t think we were going to find tickets. Nonetheless, we’d prepare to make the trip. In the meantime, we’d pray to know if the standby line was the way to go. With a manner of fact tone, he said, “Mom, it will work out. You had a prompting so it WILL work out.” I felt a bit like Lehi after Nephi fixed his broken bow and went to ask where to hunt for food. I was humbled but also strengthened by his faith in things working out – as well as his faith in me to receive revelation.
We Made It!!
A week before General Conference, our Bishop reached out to us to let us know he was able to get not just two tickets but four. He also had some for the Women’s Session. It was a whirlwind of a weekend and a couple of seemingly long days. But, that 2 hours during the Saturday Afternoon Session on October 5th, holds many memorable experiences. We ended up with great seats in the third row of the balcony directly in front of the pulpit.
When my husband and I lived in Salt Lake, we were in the same ward as one of President Nelson’s children. I told John about experiences where we could feel then Elder Nelson enter the back of the chapel before we saw him. We definitely felt an outpouring of the Spirit as we all stood in preparation for the prophet to enter the conference center.
I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to bring John. And, deep down, I’m grateful for the struggle in finding tickets. One time I did complain to my husband, “Can’t this just be one of those easy promptings where everything falls into place!?” But, without the struggle, I wouldn’t have seen John exercise his faith that things will work out when you receive a prompting.