Sunday, January 15, 2017

Why I Believe talk

WHY I BELIEVE talk..delivered in North Canyon YSA ward Sacrament meeting Jan 15, 2017
I’m so pleased that the life of Gordon B. Hinckley  and his teachings are the subject of study for Relief Society and Priesthood lessons this year.  I look forward to studying it with all of you.   As I was reading about his mission… Pres. Hinckley’s father gave him a card with a scripture on it to send him on his way to England.  The Scripture is  Mark 5:36  “Be not afraid, only believe.”  This comforted young Elder Hinckley and gave him courage to start his mission in Preston England.  I have been to the flat Elder Hinckley lived in during most of his mission… I have walked his roads, and been to the River Ribble where the first members in England raced to be the first ones baptized.     It was a beautiful experience filled with green rolling hills, daffodils and many sheep in the fields surrounding the Preston, Temple.   I  love the scripture that his father presented him with. “Be not afraid, only believe. “  This scripture rings true for me as I start this new experience as bishop’s wife in this Young Adult ward.    There has been a little fear in me as I think about following in Bishop King and his wife, Michelle’s footsteps.  They are amazing leaders …. but what keeps me going is the “only believe” part.  I am a believer. 
In Sister Oscarson’s talk from April 2016 General Conference, “Do I Believe” she talks about moments in our lives where we have to stop and ask ourselves, Do I believe or not?  She tells about her daughter flying with a very sick child in a medical helicopter to Primary Children’s hospital and passing over the Salt Lake temple and thinking, ok…my child might die tonight…do I really believe in a here after? Do I believe Family is Forever?  Do I believe in a plan of salvation and Heavenly parents?  And the answer for this sweet mother was a resounding Yes…  Sister Oscarson says it’s times like these when the gospel goes from our head and into our heart. 
This talk resonated with me because I have had times in my life where  I was at a spiritual crossroads and had to stop and ask myself…”Do I Believe?” 
As we start this North Canyon ward  calling together, I would like to share some of these with you .
I too had a time where my daughter Laila was in a life flight helicopter on her way to Primary Children’s hospital with a cracked skull and bleeding on the brain.
Laila was an orphan in BHS's Annie musical.  She was at one of the first choreography rehearsals for "Hard Knock Life."  Cousin Megan Call was in charge.  Laila was walking on high school girl's backs, then getting to the top and acting like Ms. Hannigan, ordering everyone around.  The girls who should have been holding her up and helping her, slipped, and Laila fell from about 5 feet right onto a hard wood, stage floor. 
She whacked the back of her head.
She cried, but wasn't bleeding.
There was no goose egg....she was just sad.
When rehearsal ended, Megan dropped her off and told me about the accident.
I gave Laila some tylenol and held her.
I was supposed to be flying off to China that night at 9-- for a 10 day trip with Wayne. Wayne was already in China for work.
I tried to keep Laila awake.  It was difficult to see if her eyes were dilated.  (They are so black already.)   There was no place to indicate where we should hold ice. 
  I held her and she stopped crying and fell asleep.
I was sure I would be leaving to China in the next 3 hours.
20 minutes into Laila's nap, she sat up and threw up everywhere, then I lifted her on to my lap and her bowels released...she was completely unresponsive.  
My second son, Landon and I raced her to the emergency room-- 2 minutes away-- thank goodness........
Then everything began to spiral out of control.
Xrays and Brain scans resulted in..... 
Laila had a cracked skull.
Laila had bleeding on the brain.
Laila 's brain was swelling.
Laila had concussive symptoms.
Laila's breathing stopped.
Laila was given a priesthood blessing by  my first son, Addison and my father, then she was life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital.
It was a parent's nightmare.
We prayed  mightily and received  priesthood blessings and had so much family and friend support during this time.  We called on angels to help this sweet baby girl.
The first night at Primaries was a huge ordeal....if she made it through the night we could have a little hope.  She would be in the hospital for quite a while...but she would live.
It was a sleepless night, with me and my sweet sis Marcie keeping vigil.  My poor Wayne was  feeling helpless--stuck in China frantically trying to get a plane flight back to Utah and praying and pleading to the Lord on Laila’s behalf.   You see……

Laila came into our family through an adoption miracle in 2002.  I always wanted a daughter and growing up in a house full of girls and one brother, thought for sure that would happen for my family.  The Lord blessed me instead with 4 incredible sons. Addison, Landon, Truman and Monson—some of you might know them.   Our family always felt incomplete…so Wayne and I began wondering if we should adopt.  We prayed and asked the Lord.  I would make deals with the Lord like, if we are supposed to adopt then Sara who is an adopted girl in our ward, will sit by me in Relief Society…and she did.  Or, If we are supposed to adopt then  Wayne and I will be the witness couple at the temple… we were the witness couple…. So we began the adoption process…we wanted a baby girl …and in my mind I could always see a beautiful brown skin girl with black hair……so we were led to get a baby girl out of China.   We had paid our money, did our family interviews,  our home studies, and jumped through a lot of red tape and got VISAS taken care of and knew it would probably be 2 years before some Chinese Child would come our way.  Then just 3 months into this process we received a phone call in  a totally different direction from an adoption service out of Philadelphia that had a 3 month Puerto Rican baby girl ready right now who’s birth mom did not want her to go into foster care but straight to a family who was ready…that was us.  It was a phone call out of the blue that changed our life for ever.   Our beautiful brown skinned, black hair baby girl was an absolute answer to mighty prayer and fasting.  Laila has been a blessing to me and Wayne and our 4 sons.  Laila is 9 years younger than our last son…so is babied and loved  and cherished by us all.   And now…….

With Laila lying in her ICU bed with tubes and  life support systems every where, the thought that maybe I was only supposed to have my daughter  on this earth for 7 years kept ringing in my head…. but I pleaded to the Lord for more time with her.  It was a very difficult defining time for our family…made even more “lonely” feeling because my Wayne was stuck in China and I was doing this “on my own.” 

We received an absolute MIRACLE.  We know it was a miracle….there were no  other medical explanations for what happened. 
More xrays and brain scans were given the next morning and…..
Laila's cracked skull was gone.
Laila's swelling was gone. 
Laila's concussive symptoms were gone.
Laila's bleeding on the brain was gone.
Laila was  breathing on her own.
ABSOLUTE MIRACLE!!!!  At this point the diagnosis was
Laila would live…but would be in the hospital recovering for 4 months, by the next day it was changed to 1 month, then one week…and  then just FOUR days after we life flighted into Primaries Laila and I were walking out of the hospital.., just as Wayne was arriving from China. 

This moment shored up my belief in the power of the Priesthood and priesthood blessings.  My belief in angels from both sides of the veil who help.  My belief in the power of a loving and kind Heavenly Father.  My belief in the power of prayer  and mighty personal prayer.  My belief in the atonement and being able to have do overs and restarts.  My belief in my Savior Jesus Christ and the suffering he did for me so he would understand my suffering….  and the companionship of the Holy Ghost who was my constant companion through this hospital ordeal.

This is just one of my Why I believe moments… I have many more that I hope to share with you as we serve and grow together in the next three years.

Sis Oscarson's talk, "Do I believe."  Is a great reminder  about getting the gospel from our heads and into our hearts, and remembering those pivotal moments in life when we have to rely on faith and testimony and the question of "Do I believe?" comes to the forefront and needs to be answered. 

I hope you will think about times in your life when  your testimony has been strengthened and the gospel went from your head and into your heart.  Remember your “why I believe” moments.  Remember, remember  these times.  Remembering is so important.
…As King Benjamin taught in
Mosiah 2: 41  I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

No comments: