I started to panic! I couldn’t find my keys! I had looked everywhere, but they were not to be found! It was late—I had to leave for primary. What was I to do? I knelt and prayed fervently.
It had been a hectic day in April 1972. I had taken my three small children, Marlowe, four; Athena, two and a half; baby Marc, barely a year, with me to Juarez, Mexico to look for a birthday gift for my mother-in-law. It had been hot and dusty and thoroughly frustrating as it always is shopping with small children. Finally, I’d found a nicely tooled leather purse and we’d gotten back to our El Paso home just before noon. I’d put my packages, purse, and diaper bag down on the couch, went to change Marc’s diaper. Then I quickly made lunch, cleaned the children up, fed them and put them down for naps.
While they had slept, I straightened up the house, then worked on my primary lesson some more. Primary was in the afternoon after school in those days and I taught the CTR class. I just had time to wrap my mother-in-law’s purse up, then get it ready for mailing when the children woke up. I got the children cleaned up and ready for primary. That is when I discovered my keys were missing from my purse.
“Everyone help Mama find her keys,” I asked. Marlowe searched with me, while Athena danced around singing, “Keys, keys, keys, find keys.” Marc tried to imitate her. It became later and later and still I hoped to find the keys.
When I couldn’t find the keys, at last I began to wonder if I should give up and catch a ride with someone, but I’d waited too late. Everyone I tried to call had already left for Primary. I called my husband at work, but his office said he wasn’t there. That was when I really panicked, and I helped the children to kneel, and we prayed again.
After I finished praying, I felt I needed to look inside the package I had wrapped for my mother-in-law. I dismissed the idea as totally crazy—how could it have gotten in there? Athena was now holding Marc’s hands and they were going in a circle with Athena singing, “pray, pray, pray, I help Mama pray.” Marlowe was going around looking under cushions and under the couch. I wanted to cry. I had to get to primary. Who would teach my class? They were short of teachers anyway and Sister Cardon, the president, really needed me to be there.
I closed my eyes, and felt again, I needed to open my mother-in-law’s package. This time, I obeyed, thinking how silly it was. I unwrapped the box, took out the purse, opened the purse, and there inside the new leather purse were my keys.
Athena came running up to me, “My keys!” she said, grabbing the keys. “I need my keys!” She took them over to my purse, opened my purse and stuck them inside my purse and shut it. “I go to primary,” she said, slinging the purse over her shoulder!
I was flabbergasted! Sometime while I was running around after we got back, Athena had taken my keys out of my purse and put them in the new purse I was getting ready to mail to my mother-in-law. No wonder I couldn’t find them. I quickly retrieved my purse (with the keys inside) from Athena, held it tightly while I helped the children all kneel and thank Heavenly Father for answering my prayer. Then we rushed off to primary.