THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS – April 2020
“While we cannot choose the timing of receiving these defining moments, President Henry B. Eyring gave this counsel: ‘You might pray and ponder: Did God send a message that was just for me? Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my family?'”
I want to share this particular Spiritually Defining Moment today, for MONDAY MOTHERHOOD MATTERS.
Living in NYC, we had to opportunity to host my aunt, Kim, a few times in our home. She is a big fan of the City. And my children became big fans of her.
The summer my sister, Camilla, was married in Washington, Bry and the children and I flew out for the wedding and stayed with Kim in her home in Puyallup. She didn’t know about my parent’s separation, which had happened the same summer, but I think she had some idea because she asked a few questions. And when I told her everything, we spent hours that the night talking, and into the morning. We talked about my parents. We talked about her own children. We talked about life. I want to tell you about some of our conversation about one of her daughters. My journal entry:
Kim was talking about her daughter, Devon. She kept talking about Devon’s return to the Church, as if it happened before her husband, Michael’s, conversion. This was different information than I currently held to be true. So, I asked!
When did Devon come back to church? What happened?
I guess you could sum up Kim’s answer in two words: (1) consistency and (2) miracle.
Kim had, for over a decade by that point, made sure that everywhere Devon and Michael lived, an Ensign was being delivered monthly to their home. Month after month. Year after year. Through the ups and downs, ins and outs, that was something Kim could consistently do for her daughter.
One night the electricity went out in Devon and Michael’s home. They couldn’t watch TV or use the computer, so Devon sat down with the Ensign instead, and read. And as she read, she felt a desire for her husband and her children to have the Gospel in their lives.
And that was that! I had no idea!
And I felt the Spirit touch my heart as it taught me about relationships through Kim: (1) consistency and (2) miracles. (1) my part and (2) God’s part. We do all we can – and KEEP doing what we can – then trust in the Lord, and His timing.
This applies to motherhood. Like Elder Holland said, “And if those children are unresponsive, maybe you can’t teach them yet, but you can love them. And if you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow.”
This applies to spouse-hood.
This applies to other family relationships.
This applies to those we serve in our callings. I loved the story of the Elders Quorum President who brought all those elders back to church through consistency and waiting on the Lord. Do you remember that funny story from General Conference? Oh, I gotta look that one up later!
This applies to anyone else we feel inspired to reach out to. (1) Serve consistently. (2) Then wait for the miracles.
Well. I have a testimony of the Lord. And so does Aunt Kim. And so does Devon. And so does Michael.
Kim was talking more about Devon a different evening, and her long years of effort to help Devon. She said that Devon made a pin for her mom’s lapel once that said:
“Swerve, me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run” (Moby Dick).
I laughed with Kim. And my heart was so full of gratitude for Kim – for her years of kindness toward me, for her humble example to me, and for this sacred experience in her home, where she facilitating some bit of inspiration I needed at a very difficult time in my life.
“Embrace your sacred memories. Believe them. Write them down. Share them with your family. Trust that they come to you from your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son.”