A Prophet’s Call
by Becky Watson
We lived in Brazil for five years.
It was for my husband’s job; we arrived in Sao Paulo with nothing but a four-month-old baby and a suitcase full of adventure. (Really – I look back and shudder at our enthusiastic naiveté.) Everything was exciting – the exotic bakery, the rambling, broken sidewalk, the state-of-the-art buses and the bright purple trees.
But, of course, the novelty soon wore off and I realized the stark reality of what I really was. Not a daring adventurer. A lonely stay-at-home mom with literally no one to talk to. The language barrier seemed absolutely insurmountable. And here’s a shocker: I didn’t have the internet the first year we lived there, so I couldn’t even find solace in the interwebs. (I have few memories of this time. I think I’ve blocked it out.)
Still, we shuffled through the ins and outs of daily life. I think I cleaned a lot. I must have been really bored.
Six months after our arrival, General Conference approached – a worldwide televised meeting for our church. I’d always loved General Conference; it was a time of reflection and self-evaluation. Inspiration and divine guidance. And cinnamon rolls. Priorities, people.
I grew up watching General Conference in my pajamas in the comfort of our living room, but again – no internet. So we had to actually get dressed - in church clothes! - and go down to the chapel to watch the broadcast. I may have grumbled more than a little bit. Because church clothes. And no cinnamon rolls.
As I entered the little South American chapel (with a downcast grimace on my face), I suddenly realized something. ENGLISH. I heard English.
I forgot my troubles in a flash, rushing in to confirm what I knew. Because it wasn’t just any old English. It was the prophet speaking. It was the prophet Thomas S. Monson.
His voice was a coming home.
Tears rolled down my face as I saw his friendly smile, his beaming eyes. It didn’t matter that he was looking out of a television screen and he was thousands of miles away. It felt as if he were looking straight into my eyes. It’s going to be okay, Becky. Everything is different, but it’s the same. The Lord loves you. I love you. And we are going to be okay.
The Lord, in his infinite goodness, would never leave us alone on this earth to fend for ourselves. He knows we need instruction and direction. Throughout the ages He has placed prophets on the earth, to act as his mouthpieces – from Adam to Noah, Moses to Peter. They are the messengers, listening to our Heavenly Father and relaying what we need. He loves us now just as much as he loved the people then. And our need is just as great. He is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
As I sat in that humid, tiled room, seemingly lightyears away from anything remotely familiar, I knew my prophet was still my prophet. He was at the helm. If I listened to him, no matter where I was, I was home.
We have a prophet today. His name is Thomas S. Monson. And when he speaks, I stand tall and listen.