'Stolen Innocence' Excerpt

Looking up at her, I expressed surprise. "What do you mean? Who would be looking at my personal journal?"

"Well, what you write about this important time will be your legacy for your children, and it should be proud things. So you don't want to regret it later." Mom's words overwhelmed me. I was being told that I shouldn't express how I was really feeling about what was happening. I was horrified that my private writings might not actually be private, and that these personal reflections would be seen as disobedient and unfaithful. This new pressure to write only what I should have been feeling engulfed me. I flipped the page of my butterfly-covered spiral notebook and started over.

Sunday, April 15, 2001 Today was the most beautiful day. It was as though the Lord sent it just for me. The morning was so peaceful that it gathered peace to my soul. This weekend has been quite a time. Many things have happened to make my world go upside down. There [are] many things that are very weighty on my mind. If it wasn't for the Lord, I would be feeling quite overwhelmed. Yesterday was quite an experience. It was about ten o'clock when Mother Amy called up to the room and told me that Father wanted to see me. As I was getting ready to go see him, I was trying my hardest to think what it might be about. A dozen things or happenings went through my head. I walked in his office when he was talking to someone else, which gave me a few minutes while I stood there by his side. Soon he saw me and turned and began talking. He stated to me that he had talked to Lily and me on the subject of getting married. When he had said anything before he had talked about things happening some time in May. Well he told me that the prophet was thinking to do it sometime next week. It caught me by such surprise that I just stood there. I will never forget the emotions that went through my head. For a long time now, I have been pleading with the Lord to please prepare a place for me by a man who will love and teach me. Most of all I pray that the Lord will give me a testimony that I will be able to know with all my heart that where I am placed is where I am supposed to be.

In the days that followed, I consulted with Uncle Fred several times. While I was following Mom's advice of keeping obedient even in my writings, in reality I was terrified about my future. After a couple of visits with Uncle Fred, I told him I wanted him to know that I wasn't trying to resist the will of the prophet; I just needed more time. I would be more ready if I could just have two more years.

"I can't do this," I told him during another conversation. "You know, I just don't think this is right for me. I have prayed about it. I don't feel good about it. My heart and my gut just tell me that I need to grow up a little. And I need to prepare myself for this kind of responsibility." Uncle Fred's tone was gentle yet firm. We had been talking about this for a few days, but finally he gave me a new response: "This is the prophet's calling, and you will have to take it up with him if you feel like you're not prepared."

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