Herriman South Stake float chairperson Debbie Bowen breathed a huge sigh of relief after receiving a big shipment of long-awaited float decorating supplies.
HERRIMAN — I’ve always been drawn to glitter and sparkly things, but I never thought it could lead me to a greater testimony of prayer and increased faith in God.
My bishop recently called me to lead our ward's effort in creating a float to represent our stake in the Days of '47 Parade this year. It's one of the largest parades in the U.S., held in honor of Utah's state holiday, Pioneer Day, marking when the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.
Our stake paid nearly $4,500 for float building supplies months ago. While we waited for the supplies, members of our stake busily framed and welded what would be our beautiful float.
As parade season rapidly approached, we found ourselves still waiting for our decorative supplies. We missed our city parade. It came and went while we helplessly stood by, waiting.
The supply company promised dozens of times that our order would be here in a matter of days. Those promises proved to be empty.
I watched as our float chairperson, Debbie Bowen from the Herriman Utah South Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, went from excited and zealous to discouraged and depressed after the company stopped answering phone calls and emails. We couldn’t even leave a desperate message if we wanted to — the company's voice mailbox was full.
The only way we could communicate was to make an hour’s drive from Herriman to North Salt Lake. We made eight trips and came back empty-handed eight times.
After feeling like we had done everything we could do, finishing this float seemed the impossible task.
Then, one Monday evening, we held our family home evening on the topic of prayer. Our lesson, from the LDS Church’s family home evening manual, suggested praying for help with things we can’t do on our own.
I immediately recognized the opportunity to pray for the glitter and other supplies we needed to finish our float, but I was reluctant to pray about it. In my mind I was certain we weren’t getting the supplies. I figured we’d have to crush our dishes to make our float sparkle the way pioneer sisters did to give the early Kirtland Temple its luster.
Despite my shaky faith and the fear of disappointing my children with an unanswered prayer, we knelt down.
We pleaded for help. We told Heavenly Father we knew Nephi was commanded to build a ship, and was given the skills and ability to smelt his own ore to make the tools to complete the job. We asked for help answering a much simpler call: building a glittery, sparkly parade float.
We closed our prayer and hoped for the best. I felt encouraged afterward. I somehow knew my prayer had been heard.
The very next day I got a phone call from Sister Bowen, the float chairperson. She yelled into the phone, “Do you believe in miracles?” I replied that I did.
She proceeded to tell me that the president of the float supply company had appeared on her doorstep with 28 industrial-sized bags of glitter and almost all the supplies we needed to finish our float.
I sobbed great big tears of gratitude for a Father in heaven who would listen to a heartfelt prayer for something as silly as glitter. I was overwhelmed at the immediacy of the answer to our prayer.
comments on this story
I was so excited to tell my 6-year-old daughter Alyssa the good news. “Heavenly Father is the best guy in the whole world,” she exclaimed with glee.
You can only imagine the rejuvenation and fun we had as a stake finally having the opportunity to beautify our float in the last couple of weeks. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had with prayer, church service and glitter. The Days of '47 Parade will never be the same to me again.
Kristin Sokol authors TheVocalSokol.com, a blog dedicated to helping women stay happy mostly by doing fun things.