Inspirational Stories

Sketchy Magazines, Promises, and Peace

My Junior year in high school my friends and I decided we wanted to go on a cruise for our senior trip. We saved our money and booked the cruise. We were counting down the days until May 4th, 1996.

We were BEYOND excited.

We flew into Miami the day before our cruise departed and got to spend one night at the lovely Hotel Sofitel. There was no way we were going to just sit in our room all night so we decided to get dressed up and explore the hotel. (We may or may not have planned to crash the local prom that was being held there that night…but that’s a different story.)

I can remember feeling so incredibly happy…I was graduating from high school in a few short weeks and about to spend the next 7 days on a cruise with three amazing friends.

Life was good. We all felt it.

Late in the evening we finally headed back to our room, still giddy on life. Our room had 2 queen beds but we couldn’t stand the thought of sleeping so far apart so we had the idea to push the 2 beds together to form one huge bed. I’m mean, why night? Right?

The mattresses were sitting on wood platforms so the plan was to have 2 of us lift the mattress while the other 2 pushed the platform over.

It was all working perfectly… the mattress was lifted, however, before we began pushing the platform over someone said, “WAIT! There’s something under there! It must be a treasure!!”

One of us grabbed the treasure… a manila envelope…and held it up.

Our level of excitement and energy was palpable. What could this mystery prize be?

We all huddled around the envelope and opened it up. We began to pull the contents out when immediately, the energy was sucked out of the room.

We all screamed in unison and threw it to the ground not wanting to even touch it.

It was a pornographic magazine.

We were all in shock. Our once happy, excited moods were drained. That sweet spirit that we carried with us left the room.

We could all feel it.

We deliberated on what to do with it…we didn’t want to keep the magazine in our room but also we didn’t want anyone to have to see it either. We got rid of it somehow but I don’t remember how.

But I do remember what happened next…

We immediately made the decision to say a prayer and read our scriptures. We could all feel the absence of the spirit and we couldn’t rest until we felt it return.

It brings tears to my eyes as I look back and recognize what a gift I was given having those 3 girls in my life.

I can still remember what we read that night. Amy suggested it; 3 Nephi chapter 11 in the Book of Mormon, the part where Christ visits the America’s after his resurrection.

As we read, the sweet peaceful spirit returned to our room. And then we sang primary songs until we fell asleep.

My testimony of prayer and the scriptures grew that night. I saw, first-hand, how the power of the scriptures can literally change your circumstances and allow God to speak peace to your heart.

Richard G. Scott said,

“Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.”

From that experience my testimony of the power of the scriptures has continued to grow.

In 2005 President Gordon B. Hinckley issued a challenge to read or re-read the Book of Mormon. I will never forget his prophetic promise,

“Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”

I’ve put that promise to the test many times throughout my life. One such time will always stand out to me…

About 2 years ago, when we lived in Florida, Jonathon and I were having a heck of a time trying to get our kiddos to bed. Our home felt a little out of control. What were we doing wrong? Why are these kids not listening? How can we find peace in our home?

We were stumped.

So we turned to the Lord in prayer.

As we asked for help President Hinckley’s promise came flooding to my mind,

“…as you read the Book of Mormon with your family there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord.”

So for the last 2 years we’ve been reading the Book of Mormon together every single night. We rarely miss a night and try to do our best to read no matter what’s going on. I can remember super late nights driving home from Disney World, reading our scriptures in the car because we didn’t want to miss it.

I can testify to you that President Hinckley’s promise is true.

Our lives haves been strengthened; our testimonies have been strengthened. We feel the spirit of the Lord in our home.

Now that’s not to say we never have disagreement’s or issues. We aren’t totally immune. But I can feel the difference it has made. I see it in myself and I see it in my family.

We’re just now approaching 3rd Nephi in our nightly reading and I can’t help but remember that night at the Hotel Sofatel. That night that could have been a disaster but actually turned out to be a blessing.

It was that night (thanks to my angel friends) that truly started my testimony of the power of the scriptures.