“Uplifted at a Time of Grief,” Ensign, Oct. 1999, 16–17
On a plane to Los Angeles to attend my mother’s funeral, I turned to the Book of Mormon to distract myself from my sorrow and grief. I decided to read the chapters I was scheduled to teach in Gospel Doctrine the next Sunday. In Alma 40:1, I read, “Now my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead.”
I closed the scriptures and dropped them into the empty seat next to me. As tears streamed down my face, I thought, How can I teach about the Resurrection when my dear mom is dead? Yes, I had a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I knew that He is our Savior and that He brought to pass the Resurrection. But my emotions were raw, and teaching about the reality of the Resurrection would be emotionally draining. I decided I wasn’t ready for that challenge; I would ask the other Gospel Doctrine teacher to teach two weeks in a row.
Struggling with my feelings, I thought to myself, What if there were no Resurrection? As I imagined the pain and loss I would feel if I believed I would never see my mom again, never hear her voice, or never again be held in her arms, a feeling of almost overwhelming despair filled my soul.
I picked up the Book of Mormon again and continued reading in Alma 40: “Behold, I say unto you, that there is no resurrection … until after the coming of Christ. Behold, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead” (Alma 40:2–3). Marvelous joy filled my soul, and the Spirit bore witness to me that the Resurrection is real. At that moment, I knew I would teach my Sunday School class about the miracle of Resurrection.
I had many opportunities that year to share with my Gospel Doctrine class the truths found in the Book of Mormon and add my witness to those of ancient prophets, but the greatest lesson I learned was on the way to my mother’s funeral. Because of my involvement in Sunday School, the peace and comfort of the Spirit bore witness to me at a time of great need.—Shelly L. Chamberlain, Salt Lake City, Utah