Last year, I looked down at my hands and made the sad realization that my wedding ring’s diamond was gone. I was devastated and racked my brain to think of all the places it could have fallen out in the last 18 hours since I’d seen it last; I had taken a shower, done dishes and laundry, taken out the trash, vacuumed the house, driven carpool, gone to the gas station and on and on and on… My sweet, wise husband suggested we say a little prayer asking for divine help. We knelt and I offered an earnest prayer, explaining not only the monetary value, but also the sentimental value of such a loss and requested help with its return. We then set off on an adventure in search of the lost diamond.
It was never recovered.
Fast forward a few weeks, my nine-year-old daughter lost a school book which was soon due to be returned. We had checked every room, shelf, backpack, and corner of our home and even made calls to the public and school libraries in hopes that perhaps it had already inadvertently been returned. I had finally conceded to the fact that we would just pay the meager $8.69 or so back to the school for the lost book. That is, until my daughter, with a defeated spirit, made a comment which tugged painfully at my mother’s heart. “I don’t get it, Mom. On Sunday, I read a scripture promising if I ever needed help, I could always say a prayer and that Heavenly Father would listen and help me. I did pray for help, Mom! Why haven’t we found it?”
And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.
-3 Nephi 18:20
I knew in that moment we had to find that old, worn out, used and tattered paperback book. I went to a quiet place and knelt, coincidentally in the exact spot my husband and I had knelt just a few weeks earlier, and pleaded yet another earnest prayer of seeking. The coincidence was not lost on me as I, again, explained the value of a lost item. This time, however, it wasn’t the monetary or sentimental value that had me concerned. This time, we had something of much more eternal value at stake. Something far more precious than diamonds: my daughter’s faith. I pleaded to find the book, not so that my daughter could finish her school assignment, not so my daughter could return the book, and not so I could avoid a replacement fee. I pleaded, as only a mother could, so that my daughter’s faith in prayer could be strengthened. I pleaded that my daughter could experience the blessed promises made to her in the scriptures. I pleaded that she would know she did have a Heavenly Father who hears and answers her prayers.
“There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother.”
—President Boyd K. Packer, “These Things I Know”
Not five minutes after my prayer, my daughter found her book. She hugged it tightly as she told me how glad she was to have a Heavenly Father who listens to her prayers and answers them. She expressed the same gratitude in her prayers that morning before running off for the day.
I followed up with my own prayer of gratitude, not only for a Heavenly Father who listened to and answered each of our prayers but, also, for the ability to recognize the eternal perspective of the two lost items. Within a matter of seconds, the missing diamond’s value had dimmed to less than that of an old, worn out, used and tattered paperback book because hidden behind that lost book was the faith and testimony of my faith-filled 9-year-old daughter who wanted so desperately to believe in the promises offered her in the scriptures. It was a beautiful reminder that my child’s faith is far more precious than even the most sentimental, rare or exquisite diamonds I could possibly own.
By Shelby Rodgers