Behind every successful man is a surprised mother-in-law.
Behind every successful man is a surprised mother-in-law.
“After my excommunication, I had put limits on the Atonement, denying what Jesus Christ did for me and failing to acknowledge how vital and all-encompassing his sacrifice was. Only after my heart was broken and my spirit contrite was I able to cry to my Heavenly Father to apply the Savior’s atoning blood that I might be forgiven (see Mosiah 4:2).
Similar to the experience of Alma the Younger, I felt that I, too, had waded through much tribulation as a result of my decisions, but that ‘the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God’ (Mosiah 27:28). The renewed joy I have felt upon returning to the Church is indeed exquisite, but it came at a bitter price: shame, heartache, sorrow, and painful repentance.”
“All that is not eternal [is] too short, [and] all that is not infinite [is] too small.”
“What is it to be humane to the beasts of the fields and birds of the air? It is more than to be considerate of the animal life entrusted to our care. It is a grateful appreciation of God’s creations. It is the lesson of divine love. To Him all life is a sacred creation for the use of His children. Do we stand beside Him in our tender regard for life?
Our sense of appreciation should be quickened by a desire to understand divine purposes, and to keep the balance of animal life adjusted to the needs of creation. Man in his wanton disregard of a sacred duty has been reckless of life. He has destroyed it with an indifference to the evil results it would entail upon the earth. Birds have been uselessly slaughtered, and pests have sprung up as a consequence to plague the people of the world. Animals in the providence of the creation have been intended as a prey upon one another. They preserve a safe balance for the benefit of man.
… The unnecessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor.
The wanton destruction of life reacts upon the human family. There is something in the law of compensation which makes criminals injure and destroy life. Men who are unsympathetic toward the life of domestic animals entrusted to them usually receive the reward of their cruelty by the dumb animals which they maltreat. Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man.
… Nature helps us to see and understand God. To all His creations we owe an allegiance of service and a profound admiration. Man should be kind to the animals which serve him both directly and indirectly. An angry word or a brutal blow wounds the heart from which it comes. Love of nature is akin to the love of God; the two are inseparable.”
I never had any question that the Church was true and that the gospel was how I wanted to live my life, so I continued going to church. I wanted Heavenly Father to know that I loved Him and that I was so sorry for my actions. I went to church every week, even though it was very hard. The ward was uncomfortable with my being there, and only a few people talked to me. However, one special young woman with Down syndrome named Holly was particularly loving. Every Sunday as I would walk into the chapel, she would run up to me, throw her arms around me, give me a big hug, and say, “It’s so good to see you! I love you!” I felt as if she were acting for the Savior, letting me know that He was happy I was there.
“In the 20 years since, I have sometimes felt a sense of deep guilt wash over me and cause me great unhappiness and worry. I wondered if I had done enough to repent and whether I was truly forgiven. As recently as just a few years ago, my feelings matched those of Alma the Younger, described in Alma 36:12–13… One day I knelt down in prayer and asked, ‘Father, have I done enough? I will do whatever I need to, to have this taken from me.’ Then I waited and listened with my heart.
The answer came very clearly: ‘You have done enough.’ I was overcome with pure joy. I couldn’t stop smiling, and happy tears flowed. All that day I found myself giddy with joy. All the shame and guilt were gone for good.”
“On a cruise ship I had met a businessman who told me that if I ever changed careers, he wanted me to work for him. I called him. After he wired me some money, I cleaned myself up, bought a suit and a used car, drove to his office in another state, and went to work. In less than a year I was vice president of sales. Other jobs followed, but renewed financial success during the next few years did little to ease the spiritual void I felt since my excommunication.
Even though I had numbed my spirit by rejecting all I had held sacred, I could not forget the peace I had once enjoyed through the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the fellowship of the Saints, and the service I had rendered as a priesthood holder.
My longing to have the gospel back in my life grew, but I needed strength and faith to repent. Most of all, I needed Heavenly Father’s help to make my way back to the Church. The first steps required that I regain my self-respect through renewed obedience. Once I showed my Heavenly Father that I was serious and determined, I was sure he would guide me.”
“Motherhood is the one thing in all the world which most truly exemplifies the God-given virtues of creating and sacrificing. The mother who, in compliance with eternal law, brings into the world an immortal spirit occupies first rank in the realm of creation.”
“The great and crowning advent of the Lord will be subsequent to these two appearances; but who can describe it in the language of mortals? The tongue of man falters, and the pen drops from the hand of the writer, as the mind is rapt in contemplation of the sublime and awful majesty of his coming to take vengeance on the ungodly and to reign as King of the whole earth.”