Just got done reading stories to the boys and then scriptures. We are in the part in 1Nephi 17 (the same chapter that we've been in for about a month now lol) where Nephi is building the ship and I started explaining to them the things that Nephi was telling his brothers about Moses and all of the things that Heavenly Father had done for the people of Israel. I told them that they can have their prayers answered and that Heavenly Father does answer prayers. Then I told them a story that happened to my family when I was about 10-11 years old. We were camping one year and it was down south somewhere (somewhere in southern Utah I think) and we were all of the way at the top of this mountain and we had just unloaded the horses and my dad had put hobbles on the horses feet so that they could walk around but they couldn't get away. Kinda like handcuffs for horses.
Anyway, the horses were wondering like they always do when we would go camping and we would just set up camp. Then we realized that one of our horses was gone. My dad starting whistling for him, but he never came back. We looked everywhere for that horse, he was such a terrible horse too, but he was our horse and all of us kids were heart broken that we couldn't find the horse. So we decided to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help us find the horse. Well, we had stayed there for about a week and couldn't find that horse. My brother Kurtis (who I think was 3 or 4 at the time) kept telling us to pray so we could find the horse. My other brother Kris( from what my dad had told me many years later) who was about 9 or 10 at the time kept saying that we wouldn't find that horse because he didn't believe that there was a Heavenly Father and if there was, why would he answer our prayer to find that horse. It's just a horse. My dad said that he told him that we were going to find that horse so that he knew that there is a Heavenly Father who does listen to and answers our prayers.
Well, a few days went by and we had packed up everything and was heading down the canyon. My dad and Kris were in the truck in front of us pulling the horses and me and my mom and I don't remember exactley where every one of the other kids were, but my mom and I were in the car behind my dad and we were pulling the tent trailer. Anyway I remember talking to my mom about not finding the horse and I remember her saying that we just needed to keep an eye out for him as we were driving down the canyon. Well I kept looking everywhere. We needed to find that horse. As I was looking out the front windshield I could see up a head of us some movement in a grove. Then I saw a bunch of sheep in this grove. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't our horse Wind. But then all of a sudden I saw him running, he was running towards my dad with the horse trailer.
I can't even begin to tell you the joy and relief that I felt to have found him. I was so worried that we weren't going to find him and that he would die somewhere out there alone. Well, my mom caught up to my dad and got him to stop and I can't remember if they had seen him too or not but I just remember all of us getting out of our vehicles and looking to our left up the hill a little ways and seeing Wind standing at the top. My dad got one of the other horses out to get Wind to come down to us, because they always seemed to want to stay together so my dad figured that if he got the other horse back that maybe we could get Wind to come down to us, because if anyone who knows horses, they see a rope and start running the other way and we really didn't want that to happen. But as soon as my dad opened the horse trailer Wind came running down and just hopped right in like nothing ever had happened. And he NEVER had been so easy to get into the trailer and he never had come right to us like that before.
That was the only place that we could have found him that day because as soon as you went any further we went over a cattle gaurd and there was a fence line that ran for miles in either direction. As soon as we would have passed that, the chances of finding him would have been zero unless he had jumped the fence. I remember praying as a family and thanking Heavenly Father for helping us find the horse. My dad years later had said that he was also very grateful because he just kept praying that we would find that horse to prove that there is a Father in Heaven to us kids. I am so grateful for the faith that my parents had. Many may think that it was a coinsedence that we were there and the horse there at the same time. I have no doubt that it was an answer to prayer.
My boys, as I was telling them that story, were so involved in what I was telling them. I never think that my kids would remember things like that or even care to know those stories, but now after I was thinking of it and praying myself and thanking Him for the chance to have shared that story with them in that setting, that I felt the love that He has not only for me but for all of those that have the responsiblility to take care of His children on this earth and that He entrusted me with these children and how awesome they are. They seem like they can't get enough of these kind of stories and the scriptures. I also felt that it was as if He was "saying Thank You, Thank You for reminding them of me, because you were just yelling at them and I really didn't want them to feel that way." Ya, I've really got to work on that one a lot more.
What an awesome responsiblitly we have in raising these children while we are here on this earth, even though some days it is a "home that is not a heaven on earth", which was that way just about 30 minutes before telling them the story, which made me feel even worse about yelling at them, I hate that. Oh well, I guess we just have to keep on trying right?