“Would I Have the Faith to Sustain This Man?” Ensign, Feb. 1996, 59–60
We had saved enough money to sustain our family while my husband’s new construction contracting business was developing and growing. Those two years, however, were not as financially rewarding as we had hoped. The demand for new home construction in our area experienced a slump.
With four children, a home, and a new business, the bills were piling up. Our financial worries increased and took their toll on my health. I had trouble sleeping at night because of severe stomach pain. The doctor discovered that I had ulcers. I was released from my church callings and was told to avoid pressures of any kind. That time in my life was very frustrating. Even normal daily tasks became extreme challenges for me. I felt worthless and wondered if I would ever be able to deal with anything important again.
To make matters worse, one day when I was extremely stressed, a sister in the ward asked me to do a time-consuming and demanding task for her. I felt guilty telling her no, because I had always tried to be helpful in the past. I attempted to explain my reasons to her, but it was apparent that she was offended and did not understand. Then, a few days later in sacrament meeting, my feelings were hurt when I overheard her husband talking sarcastically about my refusal of his wife’s request.
Several months later, our bishopric was to be reorganized. Suspense filled the air. As I heard the name of the first counselor, I felt sick. The man who had hurt my feelings was to be a counselor in the bishopric. I swallowed hard and raised my hand to sustain him.
Not long after, that brother extended a calling to me. I accepted the call but wondered if I would be able to do what was required. When the time came for me to be set apart, I was stunned when I heard the bishop ask his first counselor to perform the ordinance. How can I accept this man who had hurt my feelings? I thought. How can I accept this calling? I began to shake with emotion.
He placed his hands on my head, and an immediate calm went through my body. I then received a blessing that changed the course of my life. He addressed my deepest concerns and told me that Heavenly Father was very mindful of me at that time. He blessed my family, and he blessed me with health to serve in the calling. Then he told me to have faith because all things are possible to those who believe and that the Lord would change things for me if I just had the faith. He also blessed me that my weaknesses would become strengths.
Tears rolled down my cheeks. The Spirit testified to me that what was being said was true and that if I had faith I could do whatever Heavenly Father wanted me to.
That brother has since moved away, but I still reflect on the lessons I learned about faith and how the Lord gives his servants the authority to speak for him, by virtue of their callings (see D&C 1:38), notwithstanding that they are mortal and may make mistakes as the rest of us do.