Church Releases New 3-Part Video Series on Sister Reyna Aburto
Contributed By Katie Embley, News.ChurchofJesusChrist.org staff writer
- Despite devastating experiences, Sister Aburto says God has rebuilt her life and helped her to feel joy.
“I have gone through very hard times. … But the Lord has … allowed me to have joy in this life.” —Sister Reyna I. Aburto of the Relief Society General Presidency
A series of significant moments throughout her life led Sister Reyna I. Aburto of the Relief Society General Presidency from the depths of despair to incomparable joy. Those moments and her reflections on them are shared in a three-part Mormon Messages series just released by the Church.
In the three videos Sister Aburto shares some of the challenges she has faced and provides insight to help those who are struggling to find hope.
In the first video, Sister Aburto shares the tragic experience she had as a nine-year-old girl living in Nicaragua. A terrible earthquake not only destroyed her home but also took the life of her older brother. Describing what life was like in the days and weeks following the tragedy, she says, “I remember laying down, looking at the stars at night, and still thinking, ‘What is going on? When will I wake up from this?’”
Sister Aburto says she did not have a knowledge of the Resurrection at that time. But, she says, “the Light of Christ came to this little girl who needed comfort,” and with time, she came to know that she would see her brother again.
In this second part of the video series, she shares what it was like to live through the civil unrest in Nicaragua in the late 1970s, which eventually led her to flee the country. She also tells the story of living in San Francisco, California, when she made the painful decision to divorce her first husband after years of trying to help him overcome alcohol and drug addiction. She had a 3-year-old little boy, and her soul was full of questions, fears, and longings for her and her son. “I felt lost, I felt lonely, I felt scared,” she says.
In a recent blog post, Sister Aburto explains that she was hesitant to share the story of her divorce. She didn’t want to look back on that time. But knowing that many people have gone through similar difficult experiences, she wanted to help others know that “the sun will shine again, and things will not be difficult forever.”
In the final video, Sister Aburto tells the story of how her life turned around. Her mother happened to meet the missionaries, who invited them to go to church. “It was amazing how as soon as I stepped into that building, I could feel the Spirit,” she says. “It was stake conference, and I felt that every single message was for me. I felt that I had found that safe place that I was longing for.” She was baptized soon after and later was sealed in the temple to her current husband, Carlos Aburto.
Sister Aburto refers to a cathedral in Germany that was destroyed in World War II, then rebuilt after the war. “You can see … how some of the bricks are black,” she says. “They are the original bricks that were burned during the bombing. I realized that my life is like that church. I have gone through very hard times—the scars are still there, the consequences, the pain is still there. But the Lord has rebuilt my life and allowed me to have joy.”
Through her experiences with loss, uncertainty, and fear, Sister Aburto says she has learned that relationships, family, love, and faith are our most precious possessions. She says that God is “mindful of each of us” and that “He is always extending His arms of mercy of love towards us, so we can turn to Him and have a better life.”
Sister Aburto has served in the Relief Society General Presidency since April 2017. She and her husband, Carlos Aburto of Mexico, were married in the Jordan River Utah Temple in 1993. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Sister Aburto previously served on the Primary general board from 2012 to 2016 and was called to the Relief Society General Presidency in 2017.