She Was Praying for Me

It was Christmas of 1979. I was a senior at BYU. I had almost no money, so I decided to type up my great grandmother’s—Grandma Creagh’s—personal history for my family. I had not really liked this grandmother while she was alive. I was only a little girl and she didn’t like me to be noisy. I always thought she was kind of grouchy. But as I began to type up her history, I learned about a different woman. I met someone who loved to pretend and had a wonderful imagination. She loved to write poetry and to sing. She sang in the Mormon Tabernacle choir and at the old Saltair—a theater near the Great Salt Lake where light operas were performed. She worked in the temple and loved it. And she had an interesting love life. She married a man from a good family but who was not good himself. After the birth of her three sons (one of whom was stillborn—a twin to the oldest son), her husband became an alcoholic, and she divorced him. As I wrote her history I felt very strongly that she wanted me to be careful about who I married. She was telling me not to make a mistake. Well, I didn’t get married very soon after that. I did my student teaching, graduated, and taught eighth grade for three years. During that time I met and became engaged to a man named Mark Mills. I thought I was in love with him, but as our engagement progressed, I became very nervous and uncomfortable. Some of his standards I really struggled with. People told me I was too picky. They said I was just nervous by nature and should ignore my feelings. I would go to the temple and feel peace, but I’d come out and feel awful again. Finally, two weeks before we were to get married, I called it off. It was very difficult, but that night as I was driving back to my home (I lived with my mom and dad at the time) I felt very strongly that Grandma Creagh had been praying for me, praying that I wouldn’t marry this wrong person. It was a very sacred experience, one that brought me closer to my great grandmother and to the Lord. I felt a connection to my great grandmother that continues to this day. I look forward to being with her again.

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