by Elder Richard Stucki
Many years ago two sisters living in Nova Scotia were taught the restored gospel by missionaries. They both were convinced of its truth, but one sister declined baptism since the church was unpopular. Joining it would bring about the loss of friends, the ill will of relations, and other unpleasantness.
The sister who became baptized said to her reluctant sister "You better join now, when you can (and come with me to Utah). If you don't do it, the time is going to come when you will want to and not be able to. Do it now!"
Only the one sister joined the church. She went to Utah, married, and had children. Her daughter, when she grew up, met and married young Mark E Petersen who became on of the Twelve Apostles later in life. The two sisters kept in touch over the years by letters.
The sister who remained in Nova Scotia also married and had children. On my mission, I met this sister for the first time at the funeral parlor...the little old lady who cam to Elder Session's viewing and whom I mentioned in the chapter about Elder Session's death... sister Ferguson. During the time I knew her she lived in her own little apartment in the home of her son, Donald.
Donald was friendly but not interested in the church. He said he was an atheist. He was a school principal, was married, and had little children at the time. His story is an interesting one. As a young man he wanted to be a minister for his church, the Church of England. In time, through work and sacrifice he went to the minister's school in the United States. There he found a bunch of scoundrels from England attending the school. So short were they of ministers, the church had advertised it would pay the way to school for young men who would agree to study for the ministry. The result was the situation Donald found at school. So disenchanted was he by it, that he left school, switched to education, and lost all faith in religion.
Sister Ferguson loved the missionaries. She was anxious to have them visit whenever they could. We would talk about the gospel, and since she was partially blind by now, we read from the scriptures to her, including the Book of Mormon. She would fix us a little treat, and sometimes speak of her sister in Utah whose daughter was married to a church authority. At the time I did not know the events of her youth which I related above. I came to love this dear lady in a very special way.
When I returned home from my mission, I visited with sister Ferguson's sister, and the Petersens, a few times as they were anxious to talk to the elders who had been close to "the sister in Nova Scotia."
In time, I lost touch with sister Ferguson and her relations here. But years later I chanced to bump into a more recently returned missionary who has known sister Ferguson himself on his mission in Nova Scotia. He said, when I asked about her, that she had grown more feeble and dependent upon her son but had continued to be very close to the missionaries. Eventually she told them that she wanted to be baptized, but her son, Donald, would not permit it, and she died with her desire unfulfilled. I grieved to hear the literal fulfillment of her sister's prophetic warning.