February 15, 2011
The greatest miracles are those that occur in the heart.
It was a strong experience yesterday to realize this and see the truth of it in the life of one I love. On my mission in Thailand, I’d met and taught Bro. Banya and seen his conversion and preparation for baptism.
In the process of finding a testimony, he’d sought to know God by praying for a sign. His wife was pregnant at the time with their second child and as of yet no one in his entire family had had a daughter. Bro. Banya deeply wanted a girl. He prayed and agreed with the Lord that if He gave him a daughter, he would know He was there and would be baptized.
As he explained this to us once in a lesson, we testified that he didn’t have to wait the three months before the birth to receive a witness of the truth. He could know then. The Spirit was so very strong in that lesson. “Do you feel the Spirit? That is a testimony of the truth of the Gospel.” “I’ve felt this before,” he pondered. “You mean I’ve had my answer all this time and never known it?!” He agreed to prepare his life for baptism.
The preparation was long. The pregnancy, however, was short. After very long and painful labor, his wife gave birth on Valentine’s Day. And it was a girl. As we stood in the hospital looking at his daughter, Banya turned to me. “Elder, I was going to be baptized whether it was a girl or a boy. But, the Lord remembered our agreement and because I was being baptized He gave me a girl. Before, I believed He was there; now, I know He is.”
I called Banya yesterday to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. We cried together as we spoke of the Gospel and of eternal families and his conversion. His heart and life have changed so very much since that powerful lesson. And while it was indeed a miracle for the Lord to provide a daughter born on a day symbolizing family and Godly love, the true miracle was the one in Banya’s heart.