After the tornado that hit our area a couple of weeks ago, the stories began to be told. Some stories were amazing and heroic, such as the little boy who saved his little baby brother or the teenager who lost his life in order to save his sibling's. But then there were other stories, ones that were tragic and heartbreaking. One such story happened to a little family. The mother, father, and son had all gathered into a little closet because it was the safest room in their house. Once gathered, the mother decided to leave the closet in order to check out the window. While she was out of the closet, a huge tree fell on their house and killed her instantly.
When I first heard this story, my heart just broke for this little family. What a tragic way to lose your mother and wife.
This morning as I was at the church helping with cleaning, I talked for awhile with a man whom I have met before when I was serving in YWs. Their family has not been attending our church for years. Each time that I went to their house or called on the phone, I did not get a very warm response, especially from him. But today it was different, he was different. He was warm and kind and very humble. I asked him how his family was doing and if they had any damage from the storms. He then told me that they didn't have damage from the tornado, but they did from another storm. His family had been ripped apart because of some bad choices that his wife had made. Just as the previous story, it is now just him and his son trying to pick up and move forward.
These stories have so much in common to me. Each of them about a woman who chose to leave her "place of security". Each of them thinking, at least initially, that what they were doing was harmless, but eventually it led to a disaster and a family torn in half. Thankfully, for each of these families there is still hope and a chance for a joyous reunion once again.
There are so many distractions and so many messages being sent to women about what they should or shouldn't be doing with their time and with their role as women, mothers, and wives. The storms and winds of anti-family and anti-Christ doctrines are intense and blowing at an ever-increasing rate. How grateful I am for a living prophet who knows exactly where we should be in order to keep ourselves and our families safe.
My sister-in-law sent me this amazing quote today by Elder Ballard that reminded me of the importance of those small decisions that I make daily, even the decisions of where my heart is and what words are coming from my mouth.
“Every sister who stands for truth and righteousness diminishes the influence of evil. Dear sisters, every one of you who strengthens and protects your family is doing the work of God. Every sister who lives as a woman of God becomes a beacon for others to follow and plants seeds of righteous influence that will be harvested for decades to come. Every sister who makes and keeps sacred covenants becomes an instrument in the hands of God.
I have been drawn to an interchange between God the Father and His Elder and Only Begotten Son, who is the ultimate example of living up to one’s premortal promises. When God asked who would come to earth to prepare a way for all mankind to be saved and strengthened and blessed, it was Jesus Christ who said, simply, ‘Here am I, send me’ (Abraham 3:27).
Just as the Savior stepped forward to fulfill His divine responsibilities, we have the challenge and responsibility to do likewise. If you are wondering if you make a difference to the Lord, imagine the effect when you make such commitments as the following,
‘Father, if you need a woman to rear children in righteousness, Here am I, send me.’
‘If you need a woman to make a house a home filled with love, Here am I, send me.’
‘If you need a woman who will shun vulgarity and dress modestly and speak with dignity and show the world how joyous it is to keep the commandments, Here am I, send me.’
‘If you need a woman who can resist alluring temptations of the world by keeping her eyes fixed on eternity, Here am I, send me.’
‘Between now and the day the Lord comes again, He needs women in every family, in every ward, in every community, in every nation who will step forward in righteousness and say by their words and their actions, ‘Here am I, send me.’”
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