Conference addresses infertility struggles

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — "Motherhood is a foreordained mission. For some, this glorious blessing may be delayed, but it will not be denied," said Ardeth G. Kapp.

Addressing a conference for Latter-day Saint couples struggling with infertility, Sister Kapp, former general Young Women president and most recently matron of the Cardston Alberta Temple, drew from her personal experiences and imparted comfort and peace to the 150 people in attendance. Sister Kapp and her husband, Heber B. Kapp, have no children.

The Las Vegas South Stake Relief Society Presidency sponsored the conference in the hopes of bringing together and lending support to a segment of the Church's population — those who suffer the often silent trial of infertility. The theme of the conference was ". . . and the Lord Remembered Her," a passage taken from 1 Samuel 1:19 describing Hannah's struggle with conceiving children.

Sister Kapp posed the following questions in her address: "How do we fit in, or do we? Is it even possible in a Mormon culture where everything that has lasting value ties to our families? Can we find joy in this life while we wait upon the Lord for blessings delayed?"

Answering, Sister Kapp stated, "I don't know how long it will be for you . . . for us it was years. But one day we did gain an eternal perspective, and we felt peace, not pain; hope, not despair. I would have liked so much to have received that insight years before, but I know I would have been deprived of the growth that comes from being comforted by the witness of the Spirit after the trial of my faith. If I have any comforting message for others, it is this: Peace of mind comes from keeping an eternal perspective."

Sister Kapp said the tools for finding solace, while especially apt for the trial of infertility, were applicable to all trials of faith. "From my own experience, I've learned that the only lasting peace is the peace that comes when we learn the Lord's will concerning our opportunities in life. To do that, we must consider our alternatives, formulate a decision, and take it to the Lord."

A series of workshops followed Sister Kapp's address and focused on medical options, adoption and building a network of support. Many people in attendance expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to "bear one another's burdens."