Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

A Jar of Jam

Doctrine and Covenants: Lesson 10, “This is My Voice unto All”

Three days before we were married a doctor discovered a tumor on Greg's thyroid.

He told us to see a specialist as soon as we returned home from our honeymoon.

Within four weeks after our wedding Greg had surgery.  We waited a week to find out if it was cancerous, and received good news that it wasn't.  Then Greg tried to heal.  But he got sicker and sicker.  Finally, we discovered he had a staff infection.

For the first three months of our marriage Greg was flat in bed.

He couldn't work, he couldn't go out on date nights, it was a really sad time.

As a new wife I felt a ton of pressure.

It is hard to keep up on the finances when one person doesn't work for three months.

I was worried about Greg's health, I was worried about our bills, and I wondered if any of the excitement and dreams we had for our future would ever come to pass.

One day I was particularly down.

A friend called to see how things were going, and I immediately broke down in tears.  I couldn't even answer her, that's how hard I was crying.

Finally I told her that I didn't think I was going to be able to hold it all together...it seemed everything was falling apart.  I didn't even know how to begin putting the pieces back together.

She said, "This morning when I was reading my scriptures I read a verse that jumped out at me.  I just know it was for you.  It's in D&C 25:5.  Just read it when we get off the phone."

As soon as we were done talking I grabbed my scriptures and sat down on the couch.

The verse was simple.  It was written for Emma Smith, but on that afternoon I knew it had also been written for me...

"The office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant...thy husband, in his afflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness."  (D&C 25:5)

I copied the words onto a piece of paper and taped it on the jar of jam in the fridge.

I know that seems a little odd.  But every day for lunch Greg would eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich, and I knew that scripture would be a reminder of what I could do in that moment.

Comfort my husband in his afflictions.

Remember to say consoling words.

I could do that.

The Sunday School manual teaches, "Many of the revelations given in the Doctrine and Covenants were given to individuals. Although the counsel in the revelations was specific to individuals who lived many years ago, much of this counsel applies to us today." 

On that afternoon I discovered that truth, and I have never forgotten it.

There have been many times since then that a verse or scripture written hundreds or even thousands of years ago has been just the counsel I needed in that moment.

Then I am reminded how well the Lord knows each of His children and how the scriptures can become His voice to us all.

Deliberate Discipleship:

Has there been a time when a certain verse of scripture stood out to you?  Have you shared that experience with your children or someone that you love?  Perhaps your testimony of the scriptures and how the Lord speaks to us through them would make a difference in their life...