Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles (Mosiah 8:18).
BASED ON A TRUE EVENT
By Jane McBride Choate
Miguel Arrellano looked out the window of
the tar-paper shack. Thunderclouds had
opened up, pouring forth torrents of rain.
Such storms were not unusual in his small village
set in the mountains of Colombia.
Normally Miguel did not mind the rain. It watered
the crops that the family depended upon for a living.
Today, though, he prayed for the rain to stop.
It was a special day—the day he and his parents
would be baptized members of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He remembered when the two missionaries had
found them. Elder Berger and Elder Santos, dressed
in dark pants and white shirts, had appeared at their
door. They wore small, black, name badges proclaiming
that they represented the Church.
Elder Berger was tall, almost two meters. He
came from Utah in the United States of America. In
Colombia, men are rarely so tall. Papá was only a
few centimeters taller than Miguel. Elder Santos was
a native missionary and even shorter than Papá.
Miguel had practiced saying Elder Berger’s name.
The syllables sounded strange upon his tongue.
They laughed together as the American missionary
tried to say Arrellano.
The elders told the family the story of Joseph
Smith and the Restoration. When Elder Berger bore
his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, tears
streamed down his face. He and Elder Santos both
testified that Joseph Smith had been a prophet and
that Gordon B. Hinckley was now the prophet.
Though Miguel was only eleven, he knew that he
was hearing the truth.
Mamá had cried when the elders had spoken of
families being together forever. “Always, we search
for something,” she had said. “Now I know we
have found it.” She’d placed her hand on her
heart. “I feel it. Here.”
The rain continued to fall in sheets and
showed no signs of letting up.
Miguel looked from Mamá to Papá.
“We must go. We told Elder Berger and Elder
Santos that we would be there.”
Papá pointed to the flooded road.
“There will be no bus today.”
The family had no car and had to rely on the bus.
They had to change buses twice to reach the
church. Each week, they carefully counted out the
coins necessary to buy the bus tokens for Sunday.
This week, they had taken money from their small
food budget to pay for the extra trip to the church.
Papá worked very hard, but there was never
enough money. Mamá had saved a little and made
them new clothes. She had sewn Miguel and Papá
shirts and herself a blouse. Miguel thought that she
looked pretty in the bright yellow color.
He remembered the picture of President Hinckley
the two young elders had shown the family.
The prophet would not give up. He would find a
way to get to the church, Miguel decided, and so
“Señor Tomás,” Miguel said, glancing out the
window and seeing their neighbor. “He goes to the
city every day. Maybe he will give us a ride.”
Miguel ran across the muddy yard to their
neighbor’s humble home. Señor Tomás nodded
agreeably as the boy explained the situation.
Miguel and Papá climbed into the back of the
truck; Mamá rode in the cab with their neighbor.
They held on tightly as the old truck bounced
over the rough roads. When they arrived at the
small meetinghouse, they were wet and very
tired, but happy.
The elders greeted them. Their clothes were
wet and wrinkled, too, but the smiles on their
faces were the brightest Miguel had ever seen.
“We weren’t sure you could make it,” Elder
Berger said. “We’ve had problems here, too.”
They shared stories. Elder Santos explained
that the pipes that carried water to the chapel
had burst so that the baptismal font could not be
filled. After praying, the elders had filled buckets
with rain water and carried them inside the
church to fill the font.
Miguel and his parents explained how they
had found a ride with their neighbor.
“It’s a miracle you made it,” Elder Santos said.
Papá looked at the baptismal font and said,
“We have many miracles today.”
“And much to be thankful for,” Mamá added.
Miguel and Papá changed clothes in a
small dressing room while Mamá
changed clothes in another one. Miguel
touched the crisp white shirt and pants the elders
had given him. They felt strange against his skin.
The water was so shallow that the elders had
to kneel to perform the baptisms.
Miguel waited while his parents were baptized.
When the time came for his own baptism,
he felt a warmth come over him, even though
the water was cold.
After everyone had changed into dry clothes,
Elder Berger and Elder Santos confirmed Miguel
and his parents members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Miguel hugged his parents, then Elder Berger
and Elder Santos. He would never forget this day
or the baptism miracles.
Our Prophets’ Baptisms
By Rebecca Todd Archibald
President Gordon B. Hinckley was
baptized by his father on April 28, 1919,
in a meetinghouse baptismal font in Salt
Lake City, Utah. President Hinckley is
the first Church President to be baptized
indoors in a baptismal font.
Of the fourteen Latter-day Saint prophets
before him, two were baptized in rivers, one in an
outdoor baptismal font, one in a stream, five in
creeks, two in ponds, one in a swimming pool, and
two in a canal.
Although they were baptized in different places,
all of these Church Presidents made the same
promise that we make at baptism: to follow Jesus
Christ. All fifteen have kept this promise. They have
followed the Savior, and in time, all were called to
be special witnesses of Him.
(See “Our Prophets’ Places of Baptism,” Friend, August 1997,
ILLUSTRATED BY MARK ROBISON SEPTEMBER 2001 35