Physical Comfort from the Scriptures
September 2017

“Physical Comfort from the Scriptures,” Ensign, September 2017

Latter-day Saint Voices

Physical Comfort from the Scriptures

scriptures and woman in hospital bed

Illustration by Allen Garns

As a child, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I was often sick, and my parents spent many hours with me in doctors’ offices. They worried about my health and felt helpless because they could not fix what was wrong. I never appreciated how they felt until it was my turn to helplessly watch my mother battle breast cancer.

One weekend, I drove to Mom’s home in New Jersey to be with her as she went through a round of chemo. I wanted to be with her and to provide my brothers a break from her daily care. Someone needed to monitor her during the night because of her treatment. A bed had been set up for her in the living room, and I planned to sleep on the couch. Mom was in pain and there was nothing I could do. I felt helpless and frustrated.

As Mom struggled to fall asleep, I felt prompted to read the scriptures to her. She loved the scriptures, but she was too weak to hold or read them herself. When I asked her what she wanted me to read, she said she loved the book of Alma. After scanning the chapter headings, I felt prompted to read from chapter 7.

The Spirit filled the room as I read the words describing Christ’s earthly mission: “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy” (Alma 7:11–12).

I continued reading until Mom fell into a peaceful sleep. The scriptures had invited the Comforter into her home and helped her sleep. I gained a greater testimony of the power of the scriptures and of Jesus Christ, who was willing to act as our Savior and to comfort us in all of our afflictions.