I was asked to speak in my ward on Sunday for Mother’s Day. I actually like pubic speaking and enjoy preparing talks. However, this talk was particularly hard to write. All week I felt the pressure to be perfect and to give a perfect talk or risk offending someone in the ward. Throw in some social media drama (not of my making) and I was on my way to a nervous breakdown by Saturday night. I prayed a lot to try and find some peace and I had a break through on what to talk about and how to say it. “Just testify of the gospel and share your testimony for the uplifting of the sisters in your ward who are struggling with heavy burdens.”
We’ve all had heavy burdens during this Covid year. Many of the families in our ward, including mine, chose to homeschool instead of trying to make a go with the failure of the public school and state Covid response. I taught school many years, and this has even been a rough time for me. Many of us have lost loved ones and friends in death (not necessarily Covid deaths), many have had to deal with mental health issues for themselves and their children. In addition to having everyone home, all day long, we’ve had closed temples, abbreviated church services, and loss of freedoms that give our lives meaning and structure.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired in ways that I cannot even describe.
I ended up talking about three sisters from the scriptures who also had heavy burdens to bear, and hard situations to navigate. First was Sarah, the wife of Abraham. She was told she would have a baby in her old age. “Shall I of surity bear a child who am old?” The Lord reminded her that “nothing is too hard for the Lord” (see Genesis ch 18). On the other end of the line was Mary the mother of Jesus. She was young and had “not known a man” but was told she had been chosen to bear the Savior into this world. The Angel Gabriel reminded her that “with God nothing is impossible” (see Luke ch 1). Then there was Queen Esther. Esther had to break the palace rules to approach the king to save her people with out an invitation, thus risking her life in the process. Mordechai tells her, “Thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (see Esther, ch 4).
In all of these cases, these sisters were covenant keeping women, who were willing to exercise faith and then act. I am inspired by them. Our covenants unlock blessings and endow us with power to take care of our families, and responsibilities. I have a growing gratitude for the ways in which Heavenly Fathers blesses His daughters with the power and abilities they need to manage their lives and endure their trials.
As part of my talk preparation I came across this video. In 1979, Pres. Kimball prophesied about women and the growth of the church. In 2015, Pres. Nelson declared that Pres. Kimball’s prophesy was coming to pass in our time, with the sisters in the church now.
In the end, my talk went well. Bishop remarked that we had a lot of “visitors” on the Zoom link — one of the blessings of Covid, and were all of those extra people my family? Yep they sure were.
I just want to leave you with this today, especially the women who read this. The Lord is mindful of you and your struggles. Turn to Him for help. and remember that nothing is too hard for the Lord, nothing is impossible with God and you are come to the kingdom for this time. Rely on the Lord and He will bless you with the things you need, to do your work.