I was sitting with two branch leaders in a nearby town in deep discussion. The branch president had been missing from Church activity for several weeks. He would not answer his phone, and could not be found even when people went looking for him at his home or work. The two leaders in our meeting were very concerned that perhaps the president had abandoned his calling, thus crippling the work in the branch. Our mission president and others had sought him in vain the week previous.
We were meeting to determine how to reconcile the church records regarding donations and use of church funds. We could not see how to move forward in operations. We had reached an impasse without access to this man.
I turned to the first counselor and said: How strong is your faith?
Very strong, he answered. I asked the same question of the branch clerk, who gave the same answer.
Then we need a miracle right now, I said. We cannot move this work forward without the help of this man. We need to find him today.
I asked the young branch clerk to offer a prayer, asking God to help us find the president right now. After his wonderful and faithful prayer, I knew we would have success. As we left the church, we told the full time missionaries where we were going. They informed us they had not been able to contact the president for weeks even after many attempts. I asked them to pray for our success. They said they would start praying right away.
The three of us got into the truck, and started the long drive to the branch president’s house. No one talked. I believe we were all doing the same thing – praying earnestly. My prayer was asking God to provide a miracle so that these good brothers and the missionaries could know that He was aware and would answer their prayers. As I prayed, I must have felt a little like Ammon when he showed his power in defending the king’s sheep (Alma 17:29), because my desire was for these men to see faith in action.
Arriving at the president’s home, we found he was not there. We learned that he might be on the road bringing his children from school on his bicycle. We started back for town, praying all the way. As we drove, I suddenly had a surge of joy and said these words in my mind:
Father, I thank Thee for hearing my prayer.
Only seconds after this prayer of thanks, the clerk in the back seat exclaimed, There he is! We stopped and met the fugitive president, along with his two children. In a few moments, he and his kids and bicycle were all in our truck headed back for his home.
After our meeting with the branch president, wherein we got his signature for a much needed document, the three of us were again in the truck headed back toward town. I told them of my certainty that I knew we would be successful that day. The others expressed that they had also had the same faith and confidence. We called the missionaries with the news, who yelled in triumph and joy. It was an emotional moment we shared, and we would each express grateful prayers that night. We had experienced one of the great miracles of faith in action.
It is very difficult to express the emotion that gripped me from our first leap of faith when we offered that prayer for help. It was as if a power came into my veins that surged my faith. As we progressed from one step to another, I had no doubt of the outcome, though my prayers were constant. The discovery of the missing man brought an overwhelming feeling of joy and thanksgiving for a prayer answered.
Experiences like this make me dumb with wonder when the naysayers claim there is no God and no miracles in our day. Not only is there a God in heaven, but He hears and answers our prayers according to our faith. This dramatic experience with faith reinforced this testimony in me, as well as the other men. Prayer works. Faith works. And when combined with obedience with a purpose, nothing can prevent miracles. Of this I know and testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.