“Doris Fripp of South Africa,” Ensign, Mar. 1973, 70
Doris Fripp of South Africa
The war years, especially 1942–44, were bleak, ugly years in England. Like so many others, I was a young wife with a little child, and my husband was away at war. I think of those years as “the years the locusts have eaten.” The turbulent tide of war was all around us, bringing danger, fear, anxiety, despondency, loneliness, shortages, and on top of all of this, temptations.
During this time I lived with my husband’s grandmother. I loved this religious old lady with Victorian outlook. She needed me, but I feel that I needed her even more. I found great comfort in those dark days in a habit Gran had of reading the Bible aloud to me each evening. During a certain period of despondency and darkness of spirit, one evening she read from the apostle Paul’s epistle to the Philippians:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philip. 4:8.)
The words struck a chord in my heart. They were like a burst of sunshine from behind the dark clouds. I asked her to repeat these words, which she did, and together we discussed them for a long time. Together we remembered all the lovely things we could still enjoy—the trees and the flowers, the robin who would come to our door for crumbs, my lovely little daughter sleeping peacefully, the bravery of good men, the beautiful, inspired words of the scriptures. As we talked, the dark, ugly things that had threatened to overwhelm us faded into the background.
After that, Gran often read this passage of scripture to me. Whenever I felt dark clouds hanging over me, I searched it out myself and found comfort.
The war ended, and I was reunited with my husband. In time, Gran passed peacefully away. Through the following years I often turned to those same words of Paul, not only when I was downhearted, but also when I was delighted with life.
In time, we moved to South Africa. After living there five years we were privileged to find the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We accepted it with joy. And can you imagine my personal joy when I first came upon the thirteenth Article of Faith, now a part of the Pearl of Great Price:
“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
These words have become part of my very life, my eternal life. I thank God that Paul was inspired to write them, that Joseph Smith was inspired to express them, that Gran was inspired to read them, and that the Lord has used them to bless and guide me during so much of my life.