I was seven or eight when I received the letter. My first real mail other than birthday cards from relatives. I read it over and over, and I couldn't wait to respond to it. So I took the letter to my mother and showed her the instructions I had received and how if I sent one dollar to the person on the top of the list and letters like mine to everyone else listed, I could possibly receive $25 dollars in return.
"It's a chain letter," my mom explained. "And they don't usually work."
"Oh," I replied, completely deflated. "Can I try it anyway?"
"That's up to you; it's your dollar," Mom said, but I could tell she didn't really want me to do it.
I returned to my room, confused and depressed. I wanted to answer the letter; I wanted to see the 'magic' promised, and I really wanted some of that money. My parents and my primary teachers had taught me that I could pray about anything. Well, if I can pray about anything, perhaps the Lord will tell me what to do about this chain letter.
So I prayed. And nothing happened. I still wanted to do the chain letter. The next morning, I decided to go ahead and mail the letter, but since the mail didn't go out until lunchtime, I decided to write the copies later and attend to more important things, like breakfast.
I poured myself a bowl of dry cereal and ate it with my fingers as I read my favorite part of the newspaper--the comics and Dear Abby. I cannot recall any of the comic strips from that day, but I have never forgotten the question posed to Abby. Someone had asked about chain letters. And in Abby's response, I found the answer to my prayer.
I hurried to my room where I grabbed the chain letter and tossed it into the trash.
When I look back on my childhood, this experience stands out as an important step in the formation of my testimony--the day I learned that if I sought the Lord, I would find Him.