The Strength to Move Forward
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“The Strength to Move Forward,” Liahona, February 2021

Latter-day Saint Voices

The Strength to Move Forward

I felt unworthy and had so much anger. What could I do to move on?

Family Life

Photograph by Christina Smith

When my husband and I lost our first baby, doctors told us I would never have children. I was devastated. I grieved and looked for answers. My husband also grieved. We prayed and knew how important it was to be an eternal family. Eventually, we were sealed in the Los Angeles California Temple.

I was still trying to understand why this loss had happened when I remembered my patriarchal blessing. I started to read my blessing and found a part I had completely forgotten about. It said I would be blessed with sons and daughters. I thought that there had to be something wrong with what the doctors had told me. I went to the doctor and was told again that I was not going to be able to have a baby.

About five years after we lost our first baby, we decided to try in vitro fertilization. At the first appointment, a pregnancy test showed positive. I couldn’t believe it. They ran more tests and confirmed that I was already pregnant. Nine months later, we welcomed our daughter into our family. Now, I am a mom to four incredible kids.

Another challenge came several years ago when my husband and I divorced. This came as a shock to me. I didn’t know how to react. I thought I had a perfect little family. I was also going to dental school at the time. I left school to focus on my children. I feel that this was the best choice. I don’t regret it at all. But I had a lot of anger. How does someone just leave a marriage and four amazing children?

I was also terrified about what was going to happen to me and my kids. I cried and felt a sense of panic, wondering if they were still sealed to me. I talked to my bishop, and he said that Heavenly Father has promised that we are sealed for all eternity, but our agency will determine if we will be together forever. It gave me such relief to know that my kids were still sealed to me.

But I still felt anger and felt that I was not worthy to go to the temple. How can you go to the temple with so much anger? I also didn’t want to go to the temple because I am divorced. I felt like I didn’t deserve it because I was supposed to be in a marriage still.

I talked with my bishop again, and he told me that Satan doesn’t want me to go back to the temple. He wants to make me miserable and to feel that I’m not worthy. It was amazing when I entered the temple again. Going to the temple makes me feel better and stronger. Knowing that Heavenly Father is helping me be a mom, that I’m not alone, and that He is never going to abandon me or my family gives me so much strength. Now I make sure that my temple recommend is always current.

“I know I just need to keep moving forward and get closer to Heavenly Father each day. This is the way I’m going to be with my children forever.”

Even though their dad is not in the picture, I always tell my kids that I am here for them. We’re going to church, we’re doing our scripture study, and we’re praying. We have an understanding of how important family is and that we need to forgive each other, support each other, and cheer each other on.

People have asked me what I would do if I had an extra hour each day. Would I sleep? Would I eat? What would I do? I would have 15 minutes of quality time with each of my children.

I love my children so much that in spite of the great heartache from the relationship with their father, it was worth it to have them. That’s how much they mean to me. I have hilarious, amazing, and kind-hearted children. Even with their struggles, they always think of ways to help others.

Making sure our faith is strong keeps us going as a family. If we do our part, the Lord comes through on His blessings and promises. That’s something that I live by, and I am very blessed.