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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : The Lord is good. With deadlines. » The Lord is good. With deadlines.

The Lord is good. With deadlines.

Susan M - April 6, 2007

What an understatement.

Years ago, my husband was inactive. I used to pray every night that he’d come back to church. Just next Sunday, I’d plead. Just one Sunday, and maybe everything would be ok. But he never came.

Then one day I read a quote, I think by a member of the General Relief Society presidency (but I don’t remember) about how if we have a righteous desire, we can pray for it to happen, and give the Lord a deadline.

So I tried it. Our oldest child’s 8th birthday was looming on the horizon. I wanted his father to be able to baptize him.

I realized that my ineffectual nightly pleading was actually demonstrating a lack of faith. So I prayed once, and once only—and I warned Heavenly Father that I wasn’t going to pray about it again—that my husband would be able to baptize our son.

God had six months to get my husband back to church, to stop smoking, and to give up coffee.

After that, I stopped worrying about it. If it was at all possible, I had faith that it would happen. If not, I was prepared to accept that. I put it in God’s hands and let it alone.

Two weeks later, my husband told me he wanted to start going to church again.

He later told me he’d stopped smoking. It took him a few months to give up coffee, but that went too.

My husband’s father recently asked him about when he stopped smoking. My husband said that he’d always enjoyed smoking a cigarette, that he found it pleasurable. Until one day he lit one up, and it tasted bad. It wasn’t enjoyable at all. He never smoked again.

When our son turned 8, he asked his uncle to dunk him. And his father to confirm him.

The Lord is good.

Our son is 17 now. Our family recently prayed for something else for our family, something big, and gave the Lord a deadline. The deadline was this week.

To be continued.


  1. Awesome.

    Comment by Rusty — April 6, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  2. Susan – I’m glad things worked out for your husband and I don’t discount your theory about giving the Lord a deadline – although I hesitate to really demand anything from the Lord. But I can also tell you it was constant and continued prayers offered by my wife – and to a lesser extent me – that finally were answered when our son returned to “the fold” after a long, dark journey down the wrong road.

    Thank heaven for the blessings of prayer and the blessings of the Lord.

    Comment by Lamonte — April 6, 2007 @ 10:06 am

  3. The important ingredient is faith. For me, praying daily wasn’t demonstrating faith. Instead I was constantly worrying and doubting. The deadline just enabled me to put all that aside.

    Comment by Susan M — April 6, 2007 @ 10:21 am

  4. Great post Susan. You may have posted about this previously because it sounds pretty familiar … but I am more than happy to read it again. This is the kind of personal experience with prayer and family love and divine love that bears a lot of repeating. Thanks for sharing it.

    Comment by danithew — April 6, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

  5. I posted about it once a long time ago on Unofficial Manifesto as a guest post. I wasn’t going to mention it here but I thought it’d make a good intro to what I want to share, which is what’s going on right now with my family.

    Comment by Susan M — April 7, 2007 @ 7:52 am

  6. [...] I posted in Part I about a time I prayed for something to happen, and I gave the Lord a deadline. And He met it. I don’t often do that. For me personally, it has to be something really big, and something really important, for me to feel justified doing that. [...]

    Pingback by Nine Moons » Blog Archive : The Lord is good. With deadlines. (Part II) » The Lord is good. With deadlines. (Part II) — April 8, 2007 @ 10:40 am

  7. Thank you Susan,

    I have to share with you what your last post on faith and deadlines did for our family. For several years I have wanted to add another daughter to our family thru adoption from China. DH was less than enthusiastic about the idea because of the money involved. I pleaded with the Lord and had attended the Temple on a number of occasions praying for this specific reason.

    If I remember correctly, I read your post around January 2006. I decided that this was my last ditch effort. If, by my deadline, we were not in the process of adoption I would not mention adoption anymore to God or Mike. So I said my last prayer to God and put my deadline as July 24th. In April 2006 Mike got an unexpected substantial raise and bonus. I held my tongue and waited. Early in May 2006 Mike came home from work and said, “Let’s go to China.” Our mouths dropped open. We put in our application that month.

    We wanted an older child to add to our family. We waited for the next waiting child list (older/handicapped kids who the agency is seeking a family for) to come out. On July 14th the new list came out and we were able to get a sweet 2 year old’s file. On July 21st we sent in paper work to adopt her. We will be traveling the first part of May 2007 to get her and bring her home to our family.

    Thank you for being an instrument God’s hands. Because of your courage, faith and willingness to share your witness I believe that this was what I needed in order for the righteous desires of my heart to come to pass. God Bless you Susan. Congratulations on making your righteous desires to come to pass as well.

    Comment by JA Benson — April 9, 2007 @ 7:40 am

  8. Wow that’s really awesome. Thanks for sharing that. I felt at the time that someone needed to hear about my experience. Nice to know who that someone was. :)

    Congrats on the adoption! I’m excited for you.

    Comment by Susan M — April 9, 2007 @ 8:05 am

  9. Susan M, what a great story. Thanks for sharing that. It is truly faith-promoting.

    Comment by Geoff B — April 15, 2007 @ 5:43 am

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