There has been a lot of turmoil and confusion in my life lately and I feel like I am hovering. Waiting for things to clear up, waiting for things to make sense. My son decided that he and his wife were not a good match and so they divorced. We love his wife and she is like a daughter to us and this has been devastating to our family. Since then he has met someone new, or maybe I should say has re-met someone and is getting married again. The young woman is someone he knew from several years ago and she is a nice person but I am struggling with letting go of my daughter-in-law and accepting someone new. Struggling with how do I love both of these young women without feeling disloyal to his first wife. Feelings go deep and I can’t just cut someone off and I really haven’t quite figured it out yet.
In also have a daughter who has deeply hurt some of my other children. We are no longer gathering as a whole family because some of my other children never want to see or interact with her again. Holidays are different. We don’t celebrate birthdays and vacation together anymore. It has been two years now and life has changed on a day to day basis, and I feel like my world has been turned upside down. My children don’t just drop by anymore in fear that she will be here too. I understand their deep pain, and it is justified but it doesn’t take away the consequences and the sorrow I feel.
As I have struggled to come to terms with the changes in our family I have felt a deep sadness and have found it hard to move forward. Like I said, I feel like I’m hovering, waiting for something to happen. I have continued to study my scriptures and say my prayers but at times they have been a little lack luster. I continue to do family history but I am really missing the strength I felt from temple attendance. Some days I feel like I am just going through the motions of life, caught up in our family problems. So what do I do?
Recently I read something that President Russell M. Nelson said about the Prophet Joseph Smith. In talking about translating the Book of Mormon, President Nelson said Joseph Smith did it in 60 days. A remarkable feat that was done in the midst of heavy persecution and strife. In addition, President Nelson said, “Joseph received all but three of the 138 sections of the Doctrine and Covenants by revelation, often in the face of extreme adversity and persecution.” As I thought about this statement I realized that because of the turmoil in his life Joseph could have been stymied. He could have felt like hovering through his days, waiting for things to change before moving forward and doing what was needful.
Again I learn a lesson from the Prophet Joseph. In spite of his difficulties, in spite of disloyalties and persecutions his focus was upon the work he was called to do. He moved forward with deep faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and His promises. I, too, have been given a work to do. It’s a small part and perhaps if I didn’t do it someone else would and the church would go on. But I wouldn’t go on and I wouldn’t grow and progress. Part of my work is to develop enough faith, and enough hope to stay focused on my Savior Jesus Christ, and to really believe He will keep His promises to me personally. I love the scripture found in Doctrine and Covenants 84:88, “And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” I love these comforting words!
This scripture also reminds me of a talk given by Jeffrey R. Holland on the Ministry of Angels given in October 2008. He said, “I ask everyone within the sound of my voice to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember the Lord has said He “would fight [our] battles, [our] children’s battles, and [the battles of our] children’s children.” And what do we do to merit such a defense? We are to “search diligently, pray always, and be believing[. Then] all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.” The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble. They are a time to be believing and remember our covenants.” These are powerful words to me because some days I do fear and tremble and wonder if my family will ever be whole again. He also says to take heart because some days it takes courage to have faith and hope. But even on the days when I deeply feel the turmoil, I have the promise that God will fight my battles if I am believing and remember my covenants.
I recently read the talk by President Nelson “Hear Him” from General Conference in April 2020. “I renew my plea for you to do whatever it takes to increase your spiritual capacity to receive personal revelation,” said President Nelson. “Doing so will help you know how to move ahead with your life, what to do during times of crisis, and how to discern and avoid the temptations and the deceptions of the adversary.” I had read the talk before but this time the words “Doing so will help you know how to move ahead with your life” really stood out to me. I keenly want to move forward with an eye to the future and not be bogged down in the present. I want to move forward in faith and hope. Like Joseph Smith, I want to rise above my circumstances.
In another part of the talk that resonated with me he said, “What will happen as you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets? I promise that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness. I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships, and daily work. And I promise that your capacity to feel joy will increase even if turbulence increases in your life.” I need miracles in my family relationships right now, and I want to have joy even though there is turbulence in my life. Through His prophets my Savior is answering the question I asked above. He is telling me what I need to do.
One of the things I need to do is to discern how to Hear Him better speaking to me. He knows of the turmoil in my life, of my sadness. He wants my family to be happy too. I also learned that one of the ways to Hear Him is through the teachings of our prophets. I need to find His voice to me as I study the teachings of our prophets. As I read their words I need to pick something to work on, something to do better in. And I continue to do the basic things like study my scriptures and pray. President Nelson used the word “intentionally.” That means I know the purpose of my life and actions, and I live with intention. I remember my covenants and draw strength from them, and I remember that God will help me fight my battles. I strive to Hear Him better and I harness my faith and move forward with no more hovering. And even though I don’t see a solution to some of our family problems, I trust the God does and that He will help me.