My heartfelt desire was to attend a special bi-stake conference of the Durban and Hillcrest stakes, presided over by Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was not going to be able to attend the special conference because of a traditional event which was going to happen at home and had to be observed, for the whole week, by everyone in the family. I shared my concern with my fellow institute class including my institute teacher, Bishop C.B. Magaqa.
My father had told me that I would not be able to go to Church on the Sunday of that week and neither would I attend institute the following week. I had tried to explain to him what was going to happen at Church on that Sunday, but it was in vain. He still insisted that I would not be able to go. My institute teacher, Bishop Magaqa, counseled me to fast, pray, and speak to my mother or another elderly person whom I knew would listen to me and be kind enough to speak with my father on my behalf.
I decided to pray and fast from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. My father had gone away and would return on Friday. After the fast I texted him to say that I needed to have a family meeting on Friday when he came back.
When the day came we sat down in a meeting as a family – my father, my stepmother, and my older brother. It was kind of a family home evening. I started off by telling them that in my Church we have living prophets and apostles and that one of the apostles was going to be in our stake and that I felt I truly needed to attend to hear his message. I had downloaded a talk that spoke of the importance of prophets and apostles, and another talk on the hardships of being the only member of the Church in the family. I went on pleading my case to my father, and explaining how much I respected his beliefs, but they were not mine. I asked him to respect and consider mine as well. He responded by saying that he would think about it.
That same evening, he came into my room and told me that he could see how much it meant to me to attend the special conference, and that he was no longer going to hold me back because this was bigger than both of us. He also assured me of the tremendous love he had for me and added that I was free to attend institute as well.
I conclude by testifying that for me this was indeed a miracle which happened through the powerful prayers that were made by my fellow institute brothers and sisters. Through acting in faith, I saw the tender mercies of my benevolent Heavenly Father, and my testimony increased in strength. I testify that faith, sincere prayer and fasting do work and that in all that we do we are never alone. Heavenly Father is always very aware of us and of our needs. I love Him and know for a fact that He loves me too and that knowledge of Him as the only true God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, increases faith in my heart and soul. I am truly grateful for the blessing I have of this knowledge. Let us all have faith in Him.