"What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not Myself; and thought the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall be fufilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." ( Doctrine&Covanants 1:38)
I am going to share another faith/testimony building story. As you read this story I would invite you to focus on prayer and the answers that God gives us. Also to think about someone whos life you could impact in the way this story portrays. This time I am going to tell you a story about a wonderful couple I know..... the Radcliffe's. And here is there story.....
I first met Harold and Natalie Radcliffe when I was serving as a missionary in Prescott Valley Arizona. I had been in Prescott Valley for almost 3 days when I saw there name on a piece of paper and had an OVER-WHELMING feeling that we needed to stop by there house at noon that day. When I told my companion he said "no we have been there 20 times and no one ever answers." I was pretty persistent not to ignore that prompting and we went at noon that day.
We knocked on the door and Harold answered. The first thing I noticed was the Boston Redsocks hat he was wearing and the football game on TV. They were both in the mid twenties and they had the cutest one year old son named Boston. Natalie had been a life time member and Harold was not. After a few minutes of small talk Harold told us that he had already met with missionaries and they couldn't answer his questions. Being persistent, yet again we convinced him to let us come back and have dinner with them a few days later.
We came back that Friday and we had a great meal. After dinner Harold proceeded to bombard us with thousands of questions. Amazingly ever question he had, was one that I already had. I was able to answer all of his question fairly easily and it was miraculous how similar we were and how our minds worked the same way. His last question was with the Word of Wisdom. He wanted to know why he couldn't drink coffee anymore. After giving him several answers, none that satisfied him, my companion simply said "Harold you will never know unless you try, just try not drinking it for the week." And we left with a return appointment for week later.
The second lesson we came back and Harold had reloaded with another thousand questions. Again all were questions I had and we answered them easily. At the end Harold told us, " Ya know I stopped drinking coffee this whole week so then I could feel horrible and tell you two to never come back...... I HAVE FELT BETTER THAN EVER!" That was the last time Harold Radcliffe drank coffee and questioned the Word of Wisdom. At the very end of the lesson with my heart racing, we invited Harold to be baptized....... To everyones amazement he said YES!!!!
The next several lesson went like a blur. The more we went the more his testimony grew. But still I never thought he would ever actually get baptized..... Then finally the day came and he asked me to perform the ordinance. Sitting in the room right before entering the font I looked at Harold and asked, "Well are you ready for this?" He looked right back at me and intently said, " You still don't think I am going to do this, DO YOU?" I said honestly nope and he walked right into the font without me. After the baptism he bore his testimony and rocked the entire building with his spirit.
Over the next several months I would grow to have a special relationship with this family. The next goal was for this young family to be sealed in the temple.... I never would imagine the amount of opposition they would face...... Trial after trial would come. The dealt with family issues, personal tials, discouragment, hardships, and MASS OPPOSITION! However through some hard work and perservirance, THEY MADE IT. Now this wonder couple was sealed in the House of God for not only time but ALL ETERNITY! Years of prayer from a loving wife, for her husbands heart to be softened, WERE ANSWERED. Months of trials produced a life time of growth. And now they get the blessed reward of eternity with there family and the presence of our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that prayers really are heard and answered. Not always quickly or in the way we expect. Natalie had to wait years for God to soften Harolds heart..... But I bet if you ask her now every second of waiting and praying was WELL WORTH IT. I promise that regardless of your situation or circumstance, GOD HEARS YOUR PRAYERS. And He is preparing a way for them to be answered, even as you are reading this blog! I would invite everyone who reads this to make a list of the prayers they see answered everyday, then to go be the answer to someones prayer. Reach out a helpig hand, rescue that lost soul, and invite those you know to "come and see". I would love to have anyone who wants to post a comment on this blog post about miracles they have seen in there own lives associate with patient and persistant prayer.
Harold, Natalie, and Boston Radcliffe. Sealed as an ETERNAL FAMILY on October 26, 2013.
You know those videos you watch, the sories in seminary books; the ones that we think are really neat to read and hear but wonder if they ever happen......... I PROMISE THEY HAPPEN AROUND YOU EVERYDAY, and its your faith and action that causes them to occur. I hope this blog helps you see that! There is someone right now who's life you can impact and change for the better. I invite you to go find that person! -Love Elder Mark T. Knobbe