I read this the other night from the account of the Savior’s ministry to the Nephites.
3 Nephi 17:7
Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him. And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.
I told Jason that if the Savior healed my children, if he gave Bella the ability to walk and Brother the use of his eyes, I would be there bawling my eyes out too! What a choice and wonderful experience for those people. But I think it’s important to remember that first they went through the horrible experience of the earthquake/fire/destruction of their land followed by three complete days of utter darkness. Talk about some PTSD! And where were these people that this wonderful experience of healing could happen? At the temple. It hit me a few years back that these people, these lame, halt, blind, deaf, and afflicted people were there at the temple with their families! They hadn’t been left at home. They weren’t being hidden and kept back. They were there!
A while back I posted on Joy’s blog about how frustrated I was with taking Joy to church. We have just started taking Bella to church. And now Brother is finally old enough for nursery. So we are trying for the first time in years to attend all three hours of church with our whole family. And it is hard. And most weeks hardly seems worth the effort. What are the girls supposed to get out of church? If they know that God loves them, I will be happy. All the lessons and doctrine go right over their heads. It seems I’m fighting a worthless battle. I shared this recently:
Church is a little challenging for us. But that’s my fault. Our 4 ½ year old has been very, very sick. She is our miracle. She was vent and trach dependent, had 24 hour nursing, the whole thing. She was in and out of the hospital . So for her health and safety, she didn’t come to church. Either Jason or I stayed home with her. Our Bishop is awesome. He took the time to understand Bella’s needs and found callings that Jason and I could do every other week. I did ask for a helper for Joy a few years back. That took a while to accomplish but there are two teachers in Joy’s class. But with one parent always at home, it got really easy to just leave Joy here instead of taking her to church. She hates church. Sitting still and being quiet aren’t her talents! Few children are naturally quiet and reverent, they have to be trained. Since we had to deal with Bella and her life and death situation and all of that stress, Joy’s church training got put on the back burner. Bella is doing better now. So we have started bringing her to sacrament meeting. We started in January. Now I am hating Sunday! (hanging my head in shame) For so many years it was a quiet place to worship and build up strength for the week ahead. Now it’s a wrestling match with Joy. It’s trying to keep Bella quiet in Sacrament. And our baby is 20 months, so he’s naturally noisy. In other words, we are more normal. But I’m having to pay the price now for not taking Joy to Primary. She doesn’t want to go. So we are trying, trying, trying. Her teachers are sweet and I’m sure she’ll adjust if we just keep at it.
So back to what I read in Third Nephi. What if a family decided to not take their leprous/withered/deaf/afflicted child to the temple that day? Oh what they would have missed out on! God rewards the faithful and obedient!
Usually this has not been the case in my life. I am rather an introverted and private person and would rather that Heavenly Father, Jason, and I handled all our problems. But in this case, in our need for encouragement and help with church attendance, my help comes through helpful primary teachers and a new family to our ward. I am so excited about this new family. They have no idea the hope and encouragement they have given me. They have a child with Down syndrome. He attends Primary – and always has. I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father sees that I am trying and has sent us this new family that “gets it!” So grateful that Heavenly Father is mindful of all we struggle with and through! Grateful that He reaches our reaching!