A 13 year old Girl Heard a Voice: A Story of Faith // PRINCEofPEACE

Today I want to share a story of FAITH.  Isobel was born in Scotland into a non-religious family with 5 girls and 2 boys.  Her 2 brothers died in their youth from illness.  When Isobel was 10 years old her father died of heart failure.  Shortly thereafter her mother and 4 sisters moved to Ireland.  Isobel missed Scotland terribly.

When Isobel was 13 years old, her older sisters met some young men in town.  They came home and said that these cute boys had invited them to church.  Isobel's older sisters were very flirty teenage girls and were smitten with the boys they had met.  They begged Isobel to go with them to church that Sunday so they could see the cute boys again.  Isobel, although younger than them, was not interested in flirting with boys, but was finally persuaded to go.

That Sunday they attended church, which was held in a regular office building. When they arrived her sisters primped a bit to get ready to walk in to see the young men they had met in town.  AS soon as all of the girls crossed the threshold of the building and entered the room where the church services were being held, Isobel heard a voice in her mind and in her heart.  The voice was as clear and forceful as any she had heard, but was also quiet.  The voice said, "Isobel, THIS is my true church".

Isobel sat in that meeting as the spirit burned in her heart and confirmed the truth of the voice she had heard. She later spoke with the young men, who were LDS missionaries, and they set a time to come to her house.  In that time, the Elders were allowed to wear facial hair, and Isobel's mother was NOT impressed with the bearded young men who came to her house to see her daughters!  But Isobel couldn't forget what she had felt and heard during that church meeting.

(Isobel, left, in 1934, with her younger sister)
On the night of Isobel's 14th birthday, December 23rd, she lay in bed and heard a song coming up from the street.  She went to the window and saw the LDS missionaries, standing in the cold, singing Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains.  She had never heard this Christmas song before (since it was written by a Latter-day Saint), but as she heard the words and music float up to her window she felt that unmistakable feeling again.  A burning in her heart and a reassurance that this message, and these young missionaries, were from God.

Isobel was later baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  One of her sisters also joined the church. Isobel grew up and married a Latter-day Saint, Robert Stevenson.  Together they had five children, although one passed away at birth.  Isobel's 2nd daughter, Lorayne, is my mother.

(Isobel and Robert on their wedding day, 1943)
My Granny Isobel had, like everyone, a life filled with love and goodness and trials and heartaches.  But through her entire life she never let go of that testimony she gained as a young girl in Ireland.  Granny Isobel was a hugely influential woman in my life.  When my parents divorced, my mother and I moved to Utah from the Pacific Northwest.  I was 5 years old when we moved to Utah and we lived with my Granny.  She had a property with some land. She had a garden and chickens.  Her bedroom was on the top floor of an old farmhouse (which was still heated by coal).  I used to snuggle in that bed at night with my Granny.  She always smelled like flowers and I would cuddle next to hear and breathe in that scent as we talked into the night until we both fell asleep.

She often shared her testimony with her children and grandchildren.  She was immovable in her faith in Christ.  She taught me what true FAITH is.  She lost her father and two brothers, she moved to a new country, she listened to the voice that told her which church to join, and she left her family and friends behind when she got baptized and later when she came to the United States with her husband after World War II.  She was MY pioneer ancestor.

When I went to the Temple, she was there. When I married my husband for all eternity, she was there. When we she had a stroke after I was newly married, I spent my days with her so she wasn't alone and we talked for hours.  During those precious days she told me this story.  She shared her faith. She bore her testimony. She made my faith stronger.

( 4 generations: Granny, my oldest daughter, me, my mom - 2007 )
Today marks the anniversary of her passing. It's been 2 years since she went away home to her Father in Heaven. I am positive that He took her in His arms and said, "Well done, my true and faithful servant!"

I will be forever grateful for my Granny, Isobel Bannatyne. She was the beginning of the Faith in our family and she exemplifies that word more than anyone I have ever known. Her faith in the Savior and His gospel has brought peace into the life of her children, grandchildren, great grand-children, and generations to come.

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A Year of FHE // When Isobel was just 13 years old she had already lost her father and two brothers to illness. Her family was forced to move from their home in Scotland to Ireland. One day, she entered a regular office building in Belfast and that's when she heard a voice.  Share this story of faith with your family and be inspired! #PRINCEofPEACE #LDS

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