How a Child's Faith Led Me to General Conference

By Anne Maxson

In mid-September of 2019, I was flipping through my first copy of the Book of Mormon that was given to me by the missionaries. Tucked in the pages was a ticket to General Conference from the day after my baptism. As I looked at the ticket, I had a strong impression to bring my oldest son, John, then 8 years old to General Conference. We live in Idaho so even though it was a couple of weeks out, this would be a spontaneous trip for us. My husband had to work until late evening on Friday and I wasn’t sure how we could make it work. 

Additionally, we needed to find some tickets. We reached out to friend after friend, leader after leader, and were unable to find tickets. To that point, I hadn’t mentioned the plan to John because I didn’t want to get his hopes up before we had a solid plan. However, I decided that his prayers could be beneficial. 

John was ecstatic, exclaiming “Wait, Mom! So you’re saying I can go to General Conference like in the Conference Center!” I nodded. “Are you serious, Mom? I can be in the same room as the prophet!?!” 

Trying to keep his excitement in check, I explained that we had not yet been able to find tickets. I asked him to pray to find tickets and also to know what to do if we couldn’t find tickets. Was it worth a 6-hour drive one-way to just hope for standby tickets? He prayed.

Days went by and we still didn’t have any luck with tickets. At times, we would find someone that had tickets available but had reserved them for “investigators” and “recent converts.” I wanted to say, “I understand that but, to me, my 8-year-old son is one of the most important recent converts I will ever work with.”

Feeling frustrated and downtrodden, I tearfully told John that I didn’t think we were going to find tickets but we’d prepare to make the trip. With a manner of fact tone, he said, “Mom, it will work out. You had a prompting so it WILL work out.” 

I felt a bit like Lehi after Nephi fixed his broken bow and went to ask where to hunt for food. I was humbled but also strengthened by his faith that things would work out – as well as his faith in me to receive revelation.

On September 26, my Bishop reached out to let us know that he was able to find 4 tickets for us. He also had some for the Women’s Session. It was a whirlwind of a weekend but, those 2 hours during the Saturday Afternoon Session holds many memorable experiences. We ended up with great seats in the third row of the balcony directly in front of the pulpit.

When we were first married, my husband and I lived in a ward that was frequently visited by President Nelson. At times, we could tell when he had entered the back of the chapel before we saw him just by the way that we felt. At General Conference, we definitely felt an outpouring of the Spirit as we all stood in preparation for the prophet to enter the conference center.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to bring John. And, deep down, I’m grateful for the struggle in finding tickets. One time I did complain to my husband, “Can’t this just be one of those easy promptings where everything falls into place!?” But, without the struggle, I wouldn’t have seen John exercise his faith.

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