Winning the Prize

    “Winning the Prize,” Ensign, Mar. 1994, 59

    Winning the Prize

    After my divorce, I was left alone to rear my six-year-old daughter, Chris. For a few months, the only money coming in was what I earned as a home typist. I knew that my income was not sufficient to support Chris and me, so I decided to get a job, since Chris was in school most of the day.

    I started working for a firm in January. I loved my new job, but it was difficult to juggle time for my daughter, my job, my typing business, my Church responsibilities, and myself. When Chris came down with hepatitis near the end of January, I dreaded having to leave her to go to work. Because family members lived close, my bishop suggested that perhaps they could care for her during the day. The doctor said Chris would miss at least three months of school.

    My daily schedule now became even more jumbled. Since the doctor advised me not to move Chris around, she stayed at my parents’ house nearly all the time. I stayed there also. I arose at 5:00 A.M., went to my house, did a few chores, got ready for work, did a little typing if there was time, went to work, went to my mother’s house for dinner and spent time with Chris until bedtime, went home and typed until after midnight. Then I went back to my parents’ house to sleep and be near Chris until 5:00 A.M. the next day, when the whole routine began again. Burnout was fast approaching.

    One weekend I took the opportunity to do some reading in the Book of Mormon. Because there was so much on my mind, it was hard for me to concentrate. I wondered how I could possibly continue with the same schedule and be a good mother at the same time.

    I’m so very grateful that I was paying attention when I came upon Mosiah 4:27, part of King Benjamin’s great address to his people: “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” All of a sudden, I knew the answer to my problem. My priorities were mixed up.

    I decided to give up the home typing business and keep my job. With the job, I knew I could plan my budget in advance. Further, I could give my full attention to Chris when I got home from work, and I would have time to associate socially with other adults. I knew that because of my decision, it might be necessary to receive welfare assistance from the Church, but spending time with my daughter was more important than my pride.

    It was difficult to ask for financial help, but it was rewarding to spend time with Chris. And now that we were conducting our lives with more wisdom and order, we did win the prize promised in Mosiah. Our testimonies grew as we saw that the Lord would help us through all of our trials. Later that year, a wonderful man I met in the Young Special Interest program took Chris and me to the temple to be sealed together forever as a family.

    Because of the counsel given in that scripture, my life has been blessed more than I ever anticipated. Now each time I read that verse in Mosiah, I remember the time that the scriptures helped me change my life. I thank Heavenly Father for letting the wisdom of an ancient Nephite prophet touch my heart.

    Illustrated by Doug Fryer