“He Knew My Need,” Ensign, Mar. 1985, 14
It was a lovely Sunday morning, but clouds of despair and discouragement had gathered within me. For weeks, I had felt increasingly unable to cope with numerous personal commitments and still give my family the quality time they needed. The harder I tried to foster a spirit of love and harmony, the more contention increased.
My challenges seemed insurmountably great, and it was with a heavy heart that I sat through the opening exercises of Relief Society. The lesson was on fellowshipping members—the new sister, the inactive sister, the active sister. “Remember,” read the manual, “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” (D&C 18:10.) I thought of the few sisters in our small community, many of them inactive. Once I had felt close to all of them, but after recent rebuffs by two or three sisters, I felt estranged from all of them—even those who were once close friends. I felt drained, empty. Why should I press my friendship on those who didn’t want it?
“Right now,” I thought bleakly, “I’m one of those active sisters who needs fellowship. I can’t even cope with my own family. What makes me think I have anything to offer anybody else?”
When the teacher challenged us to fellowship one sister during the week, I dutifully wrote down a name. “How can I expect the Lord to help me,” I thought, “if I’m not doing my share?” But a wave of hopelessness and guilt washed over me as I stuffed the name into my purse. “I know I’m not going to do anything with this. I have nothing to give. Who would want anything from me, anyway?”
Then the lesson was over. Before I could slip silently out the door, a sister from a neighboring community walked back and sat beside me. “Hey, I know this may sound crazy,” she smiled, “but I’ve had the strongest feeling lately that I need to get better acquainted with you. How about getting together one day this week?”
Before I could answer, a second sister, one from my own community, was at my side. “Are you feeling okay, Kathy?”
I looked at her through rapidly brimming eyes. She put her hand on mine. The tears I had fought back all morning now began to fall, but my spirit soared, and I nodded in answer to her question.
I had not felt able to cope, nor worthy to ask the Lord for help. Yet he had known my anguish, and these sisters had answered his call. How could I not cope, I realized, with him on my side! Kathleen Pederson Whitworth, Beaumont, Texas