While concluding a special Stake Conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson decided to end the meeting fifteen minutes early because he wanted to meet and shake the hands of all the children and teenagers.
While hearts of Saints watching from other chapels throughout the Stake sank, one mother wasn't going to let this opportunity slip from her grasp. Prompted by the pleadings of her children who begged for the chance to shake the Apostle's hand, and despite thinking there wasn't time to make the half hour drive, Sister Jodi Cuevas thought they should still try.
With the hope of a child, they began their adventure. On the 30-minute drive into Edmonton, her children recounted a story by Elder Spackman, Area Seventy, who also attended the conference, on how important reading the Book of Mormon is to gain a testimony.
When they arrived at the stake centre, there were no line ups and no Apostle. In a moment of disappointment, they were about to turn back when Sister Cuevas recounts:
“The spirit prompted me to take the kids into a classroom and ask them to pray, if they wanted the chance to shake his hand. All four prayed. Then we walked to the other side of the building to see if we could find him in the halls.”
They wandered around to the stake offices area where they saw people walking in and out of a room. Her oldest son, Enoch, ventured up to the room to ask were Elder Christofferson was and was told that he was in a meeting. Sister Cuevas then asked her children if they wanted to wait in the hall and maybe have the chance to catch him when he came out of his meeting or just go back home and pray for a different opportunity to shake an Apostle's hand.
With a great deal of faith and anticipation, they chose to wait for the chance that they might meet Elder Christofferson. After fifteen or twenty minutes, one brother gave them a bit of hope by saying they were waiting in a good spot. Enoch felt that brother's comment was an answer to his prayer.
After what seemed like an eternity to young children, their faith and patience were rewarded when both Elder Christofferson and Elder Spackman came out of their meeting and walked straight up to them, offered their hands and asked them their names. Sister Cuevas says:
“Their little faces were glowing, knowing that their desires and prayers had been answered. Elder Christofferson touched my cheek and told me to keep up the good work as a mother.”
In addition to the miracle of answered prayers, Elder Christofferson asked if someone had a camera. One brother, who just happened to be there to take pictures, was able to record for the family--this tremendous answer to their prayers.
Once again, Sister Cuevas says:
“On our way out of the chapel I was again prompted to take the children back to the same classroom, whereupon we thanked Heavenly Father in prayer for the special answer to our prayers to shake the Apostle's hand.
When the pictures were emailed to her, she said:
“Tears rushed to my eyes as I recognized my prayers had been answered in a special way too. I had prayed to feel the spirit of Easter today. I felt so blessed to have been able to shake the hand of my Lord and Saviour's special witness, on this Easter. I think I will always remember this special Easter Sunday. I am thankful the Lord heard the prayers from the lips of my young children that they too may recognize His great love for each of us and how He really cares about all of our hopes and dreams and details in our lives. I know Jesus Christ is my personal Savior. He lives and loves me. I love Him and am trying my best to live my life in a way that will show Him how grateful I am.”
Considering that the Cuevas family had first planned to be in Calgary on Easter for a big family dinner, there's no doubt their determination to be near an Apostle of The Lord was well worth the sacrifice.