Have you ever leaned upon your own understanding about a revelation God allowed you to have? Personal revelations are gifts. They are sacred and important gifts from our Heavenly Father to us, given through the Holy Spirit.
When I hear a revelation, it is quiet. It can be a confirming feeling. I often pray for further explanation, then turn to my scriptures or put General Conference talks on random, then meditate on the answers.
My most important revelation was the one I received after my prayer on March 6, 2013 that led me directly to my Baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I live by what God tells me to do.
Even though I had drifted a bit in my personal habits, the world seeping into my language more than I would have preferred, I have been faithful to my covenants. I was praying and reading my scriptures daily in early 2020 when God reminded me of a whisper. He reminded me that 2020 was “that” year.
In 2016, I was gifted with several personal revelations. I was told I would have clarity about romance in 2020.
In early 2020, the Holy Spirit became a bit of a nag. In a good way.
I couldn’t listen to a General Conference talk without hearing about the Temple. But I hadn’t been back to the Temple since my physical disabilities had required me to use a wheelchair. I also now needed someone to help me dress. Although friends had told me that the Temple could provide sisters to help, I wasn’t yet ready to ask for that assistance.
My sweet Ministering Sister, Sandi, offered for months to take me. She listened to my excuses, then we missed a date. Finally, on Tuesday, March 3rd, we went to the Seattle Washington Temple for a noon Endowment Session.
It was wonderful. As I was leaving with Sandi, I felt more spiritual energy coursing through my brain and body than I had in years. Then came the announcement as the end of the week: The Temple was closing because of the COVID-19 virus.
The nudging that started before our trip to the Temple became even more intense as isolation concentrated my attentions on social media. I put a sign on my door and became a bit overly focused on the world as fears overtook faith.
I was impressed to not only join a few Latter-day Saint Facebook Single’s groups, but I also made a list of those things I would like in a man. Then, I heard a talk where Sister Elaine S. Dalton tells us, “In your pursuit of friendships and an eternal marriage partner, you cannot just make a list of all the qualities you are looking for in another or in an eternal companion. You must be your list at all times and in all things and in all places.”
As I looked down at my list, I tried to figure out how to become the list I had just made and chuckled.
Several weeks passed. I listened to General Conference. I prayed and I murmured about being a single woman without Sacrament available to her. I may have shouted at God. I was frustrated and upset.
On April 21st, I was impressed to make a post in two Latter-day single’s groups. Following the back and forth with one of the people who responded to my post in the 35+ group, I asked if we could connect as friends. He agreed.
We had a reason to meet that very day, as he was offering to drop off something that I needed along with a manuscript of his Testimony. However, I had a sign on my door. There was a literal sign that said “STOP,” and indicated not to enter.
I had not allowed anyone inside my apartment besides my isolated caregivers, in over 42 days. There was only one thing to do. I had to pray. I had to take it to God.
Immediately, I felt reassured and comforted. I felt the Holy Spirit confirm that it was okay for him to visit.
Then I was told to change my music. The Holy Spirit quietly pointed out that my musical choices had drifted a bit into the murky. But how I love my country music! I switched the station to Nashville Tribute Band, a group formed of Latter-day Saints who produced righteous music. I could keep my country music and still be in the Gospel.
The moment I opened the door and saw Heber Kimball Hall standing there, I had a feeling there was more to this meeting. I was a bit taken aback at the attractiveness radiating from him. But it wasn’t all physical. There was something about this man.
We quickly began talking. He shared with me that although he had been raised in the church, he had not had the testimony he wished he had for most of his youth. Heber shared that he had experienced a profound change of heart. He also enjoyed country music and had been prompted to clean things up. For him, that meant that he started listening to hymns steadily. He hadn’t heard of Nashville Tribute Band. (Thank you Holy Ghost!!)
I’m not sure where we were in our discussions when he broke out in the most gorgeous baritone voice singing a hymn I later learned he had recorded and posted on social media. (You know I watched that video more than a few times after he left!).
If that wasn’t enough of an answer to a prayer (you would have had to see the list to really understand that, though), THEN he opens scriptures and begins quoting MY FAVORITE BOOK OF SCRIPTURE, Isaiah!!!!
Seriously. Folks. I thought a tiny piece of heaven had walked into my home.
Our conversations continued. As I mentioned something about having worked at the Snowflake Temple, Heber asked me where in Arizona I had lived. I prefaced my answer with, “Nowhere you would have ever heard of,” then continued with, “Concho.”
Heber answered that he used to live near there and that he had gone to school nearby in St. Johns. A piece of the world fell out of my mouth, embarrassing me more than I could have ever imagined. My face flushed and I stammered. I immediately apologized. He chuckled at my scarlet face and accepted my apology. I wanted to tell him right then about the revelation, but I kept it inside.
Then, Heber shared with me he was Ordained to The Melchizedek Priesthood on April 6, 2020.
In the midst of all of the isolation and everything, he felt so compelled to preserve that date, that he worked for and was granted the permission to be Ordained just 15 days before we met.
As our conversation came to a close, we agreed to meet again soon. I gave him a book I had studied in Grad School about writing structure to help him format his testimony into book form and he left promising to give me a ride to his home (that he shared with a roommate) on that coming Sunday so that I could partake of the Ordinance of Sacrament. Since we live in different Wards, he had to bless the Sacrament in his ward where he had proper authority to do so.
So many prayers were answered with that one offer.
You see, I had been struggling with worldly temptations and I had felt a craving to feel the cleanliness of Baptism via Sacrament. Unfortunately, instead of calmly and politely waiting until someone from my Ward might be able to assist me with that, I had become angry and acted out. Perhaps God answered my prayer differently than I assumed He would?
As soon as Heber left, I felt impressed to pour myself into “Missionary-Maggie-mode.” I stopped watching and listening to anything that was not edifying. In fact, I eliminated more media from my intake than I did when I went through my Baptismal time. As I read Heber’s manuscript, his change of heart was softening my own.
On that Sunday, not only did I meet Heber’s roommate, but I also got a chance to meet his family via a Zoom meeting for church service over video from phones and computers! They were in Washington and Utah, but it was amazing to have the feeling of church! It definitely didn’t feel like I was with strangers.
One thing led to another, and Heber and I began sharing General Conference talks and BYU address links back and forth by message. We both found we shared an affinity for Professor Truman Madsen as well as Elder Neal A. Maxwell‘s teachings. Professor Madsen taught us how we know. We felt that lesson so deeply, we are writing an article together about pre-acquaintances.
The first date Heber asked me on, he asked to take my dogs and me to the lake. He had our hearts forever at that point. Within a few weeks of our meeting, we were reading scriptures every night together over the phone. We quickly (perhaps a bit too quickly?) professed our love for one another.
As we shared our feelings with our friends and families who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we kept hearing different forms of a question, “Is it ‘him/her’?”, “Did you meet your EC (Eternal Companion)?” We both answered, in each incident, in the affirmative.
On May 31, when he made arrangements to pick me up for church, he had a few requests for me before he arrived. Making certain that my caregiver would be able to help me at a later time than normal, we headed north.
When we didn’t get off the freeway at his exit, my heart began beating faster. I knew something was up. As we passed the Tacoma Dome, I computed the dates: Forty Days. I knew in my heart where we were headed.
As we pulled into the parking lot of the Seattle Temple, we were both more than surprised to see the gates to the parking lot were unlocked and open. We parked.
I had my cane, as my powerchair doesn’t fit into his Jeep, and I don’t have a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV), and he helped me as we headed down to the area in front of the Seattle Temple sign, noticing that the fountain was off.
He indicated that I should sit down, and I spread out my coat for him to sit next to me, but when I looked back up, he was kneeling in front of me.
He barely got the words out of his mouth, asking me to marry him. He put a perfectly sized CTR ring on my left ring finger.
We are waiting to hear if our date will be able to be kept. We have been told that more will be known about the availability of the Temples for live ordinances (currently, none are open for “Phase 2” of this writing, and that is what is required).
Edit: The engagement has ended. Many lessons were learned during this courtship. None of them negate revelation and testimony. My Testimony in Jesus Christ has been strengthened by this entire experience. I will write more about that soon.
I hope your life is full of the Love and Lighte of Jesus Christ. Amen.