When I was called to work in young womens’ in the Manette ward, my thoughts were, “No!” I wasn’t all that fond of teenage girls, mainly cause I used to be one. I was a rotten teenager, and many of my female peers were witches with attitudes. I also felt that I had nothing to contribute. I wrestled with it but at the same time knew I couldn’t say no. When I am called to any position it is like being asked by the Savior himself, how could anyone refuse the Savior anything? So of course I accepted, reluctantly mind you and with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, lol.
I worked with the Laurels, I had not made it that far in my youth as I was a very young mother. I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t know how to behave, what I should say… nothing!
Luckily I had a strong support system of the Young Women President and counselors. They were great! But those young women were awesome! I developed such a love for each one that continues to this day! There was one young lady named Molly who was not a member and although she would come religiously she just kind of hung back and was almost like she felt like a fish out of water.
I saw myself in her. so I gave her a little more attention and did what I could to make her feel like she mattered. The girls were great with her also, they were all so sweet to her. I had the privilege of watching her blossom and grow until she joined the church. My heart was full and to this day it still is. It was sometime later that Mollys’ mom told my daughter that it was because of me that she had wanted to be baptised.
Although I accepted the calling to work with the young women, it never dawned on me that it would have such an impact in my personal and spiritual life that I could even possibly have anything to offer.
Recently, I had a deep desire to reach out to Molly again just to see how she was and to catch up, which I did and we chatted. It was so good to know she was doing well. I hoped she was still active but didn’t ask her. She told me she had been going to the local community college.
Last week I decided to make dinner and invite my brother and sister in law, my neice, the 4 missionaries, my son David, and Molly. Everyone agreed to come Sunday. I was excited to see everyone.
Sunday I got up and decided that I was going to go to church that day, since it had been so long since I had been there and I just wanted to take the sacrament. I knelt to pray in the morning and got my clothes laid out on the bed and the thought was you need to fast today. Once again I knelt and gave a prayer of fasting. I didn’t know what to fast for but I payed that I would come to know why I was fasting.
I got to church and sat down on the last row, due to Covid the congregation was sparse, no one shook each others hands, people didn’t converse a whole lot. I didn’t like it. There were people that would welcome myself and others for coming, the commaderaderie that used to be there was just not there.
Church services began the Bishop and counselors went through the ward business and then they announced they had received the records of a couple of new families that moved into the area.
The Bishop said as we read the names off will the new family please stand. We want to introduce and welcome, The Newville family Brian Newvine… I thought that name sounds familiar but didn’t know why, then came Sarah… Again I thought boy I know those names, then he read the last name… and Molly Newvine. My heart leapt for joy, in my mind I yelled MOLLY! I was so excited to see she was still active and in attendance that day!
Then the bishop announced due to General Conference being the previous Sunday that today would be our fast and testimonial meeting. I was so eager to go up and bear my testimony. That even before the bishop was done saying, now we will turn the time over for those who want to bear their testimonies, I was standing in the aisle like a race horse waiting for that gate open up. Lol
As soon as he sat down I was headed for the podium and stood there. There was emotion and I spoke about Molly and how I developed a love for my girls in young women’s and then I looked at Molly and spoke of the deep love I had for her and how pleased I was to see her and to know that her and her family was a part of the ward. I went on and talked about my trials and of the past year since Covid but the amount of spiritual growth I had developed because of it, I bore my testimony and told everyone that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that our Savior lives and loves us, I said other things of which I don’t remember.
I went and sat down in the back row and muscle spasms began in my back and continued until I started to feel nauseous but I had come to take the sacrament and wasn’t going to leave until I got to do that.
Once church was over, I had one young man come up and thank me for my testimony and say he enjoyed it. I thanked him and got up to leave and though I could barely walk, I was smiling and had been spiritually fed. I got into my car drove home, my back was searing with pain and stiffness. I had been spiritually uplifted beyond belief.
How great was my joy, I got home safely and made my way into the house and I sat down in my recliner and said a silent prayer that my back would ease up enough to still be able to make dinner and see everyone. Of course it did and those I had invited started to show up. Everyone was there except for Molly. I had hoped she would still be there and she did come!
Our evening was spent laughing and talking and all of us had a good time. Everyone at dinner ate but I didn’t, I had already been fed… spiritually so I decided I would eat dinner later when everyone had left.
The last 2 people to leave was my neice and Molly. I was so excited to be again with the young women and just talk and laugh. Never in my wildest imagination would I have ever dreamed that I could enjoy being around such beautiful sweet spirits as was these young women who I no longer see as witches with attitudes but as angels in earth form.
I love the promptings of the Most High and the tender mercies that accompany them.
I think the only thing I’ll do differently is that each Sunday I take my ibuprofen before going to church.