Living by the scriptures

Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days. - D&C 24:8.

My mother was a tiny 4-foot, 10-inch tall woman and only weighed 100 pounds six times in her life, just before each of her six children were to be born. She was a hard-working, devoted wife and mother who loved the Lord. She was an excellent homemaker, and her entire life was spent taking care of her family.

Shortly after she turned 30, she developed health problems. Throughout the rest of her life, her health was unstable and she suffered from terrible headaches and arthritis in her hands and joints. Yet she continued to care for her family and her home, and tried to maintain a cheerful countenance, though I know most of the time she was very uncomfortable.

As I grew older, married and had a family of my own, Mother would often call me to give her a blessing. It was hard to see her suffer and I wished the pain would go away. After the blessing she seemed relieved, but eventually the aches and pain would return.

This past year my mother's situation worsened and she was unable to get out of bed on her own or take care of herself and her home. I still gave her blessings but it was obvious her suffering was intense

After one particularly difficult time I entered her room to find her clutching her triple combination. I asked her if she wanted me to read her a scripture and she said, "Oh, no. I have my own scripture and I have it memorized." I asked to what scripture she was referring, and she said, "Well son, few people have a scripture given just for them, but look here in Doctrine and Covenants 24:8. It is my personal scripture. I think the Lord wrote it just for me."

Sure enough, her own scriptures were marked at this particular reference. My mother's first name was Lois and she was called "Lo" by everyone, so when I read the scripture, ". . .for lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days," I understood the personal meaning this passage carried for my mother. This "personalized" verse was a source of strength, and comfort on many dark, and painful days.

Mother has since passed away and now when I am feeling discouraged or troubled, I remember all of the years she was able to hang on because of her faith in the Lord and His promise to be with her in afflictions.

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