I arrived at church on Sunday and went to Relief Society. (Our ward follows a reversed schedule which starts with RS/PH and ends with Sacrament Meeting.) They made announcements and started immediately with testimonies. I was so very confused, because somehow I had it in my mind that it was the middle of the month, and Fast Sunday wouldn’t occur for a couple more weeks. I concluded that they must have changed Fast Sunday, as they do sometimes, to accommodate a conference. It took me a couple of minutes to realize that it was, indeed, the first Sunday of the month, and Fast Sunday had completely eluded me this time. (Truly, this never happened to me before having children!)
At any rate, despite my absentmindedness, I was glad to have been present for one particular testimony. A woman with grown children shared her amazement at how well they turned out. From the time this woman was a teenager, she struggled with an undiagnosed mood disorder, for which she was hospitalized on at least one occasion. She is now being successfully treated, but while she was raising her children, she often worried if what she had to offer was just not going to be enough.
While I don’t have the same struggles, I could really identify with that feeling of wondering if I had enough to give my children. Not monetarily so much, but spiritually. Am I an example that I want them to follow? Do I model faith and prayer and fasting and repentance? Do I spend enough time with them? Do they know that I love them?
I was so grateful for this sister’s testimony that even with the serious problems she faced, she still managed to raise well-adjusted, faithful children. (One of them served a mission and another recently married in the temple.)
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities (Alma 7:11-12).
He understands all of our infirmities. Our weaknesses and sicknesses are part of the plan. Not just a part of the larger plan, but part of the plan for our individual lives. He has provided a way to overcome all of them. Let us cling to this promise when we doubt our abilities to be the mothers our children need.