I was recently contacted by the Church History Department to record spiritual experiences I had while assisting in the writing of Come, Follow Me. It’s been difficult putting words together describing one of the most challenging yet rewarding periods of my life. I will always be thankful for the trust my Heavenly Father placed in me while fulfilling that sacred calling. As in life, sacrifices may seem great, but with each one comes an even greater compensation of blessings. I feel impressed to share a few of my thoughts with you…
From the beginning of this inspired curriculum initiative, a committee, which seemed more like a small, strategically organized and knowledge-equipped army, was led by chosen men and Church leaders. Our mission was great and each of us felt the importance of it. There were periods of trial, much testing in the field, and pages of feedback submitted before our duty was clearly defined. When we fully understood the direction we were to take, we met as a committee every two weeks for a period of six months, submitting one lesson each week for review. For some, I’m sure the writing came easily, for others, like myself, it required a great deal of study before the computer screen was filled with anything of worth. Because I had three of my own daughters in Young Women who would be using the material, this work became very personal to me. Many mornings my children would leave for school and just minutes later I would find myself at the kitchen table with my computer. Six hours flew by and on more than one occasion I would be sitting in that very place when the garage door opened and they returned in the afternoon.
One of the lessons I learned quickly was the power of prayer. If I wanted to accomplish the task at hand in a timely manner (which was essential as a mother of young children), I needed the influence of the Holy Ghost in my home, my heart and in my mind. Countless times I would step away from my computer, feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the help and words my Father in Heaven had sent. On one occasion, nearing the end of our assignment, I had been asked to write on the principle of self-reliance. I felt a tremendous mantle placed on my shoulders with this particular assignment. Knowing the youth in my ward and the needs of my own children, this principle clearly taught and understood was vital for their day. As I sat down to write I began with prayer. I studied the scriptures and words of the Prophets for what seemed to be hours, but concluded with little proof I had accomplished anything. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement, but with the feeling of failure, came a gentle reminder directly from the scriptures, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them (Either 12:27).”
The next morning I remember asking, rather pleading, that Heavenly Father would help my mind focus in the little time I had to offer the assignment that day. Almost immediately help came. A spirit of love from the Holy Ghost filled the room and my heart. I felt the heavenly veil had become quite thin, and that assigned angels, personal messengers, were present to assist me in the work. Not just words came, but full sentences, as though they were whispered into my ear. Finishing the final phrases, with the application portion of the lesson complete, I pushed my chair away from my kitchen table and said “thank you” with tears running down my cheeks. It became evident to me that I could not take any credit for the writing. I had simply been an instrument in the Lord’s hand to accomplish the work.
My testimony has been strengthened and I am thankful for the trust Heavenly Father placed in me to be His servant. What a blessing and sacred calling each of us have to teach the gospel. Just as we read in the scriptures, the Lord guided Nephi in finding the ore to make the tools necessary to build the ship. He did not have to do it for him, nor did he prescribe everything he was to do. The Lord seldom does something that we can do for ourselves! Through Nephi’s faith, hard work and dedication he had success and grew through the process. While serving on the writing committee, I witnessed this same growth and understanding in my life. You will also as you become His instrument and continue to build His Kingdom, moving this great work forward.