“Questions & Answers: When my mom was sick, we fasted and prayed for her, but she died anyway. How can I make peace with that?” New Era, October 2015, 42–43
This is a sad time in your life. It’s normal to want reassurance and answers to your many questions: “Why didn’t she live? Will I see her again? How can I go on without her?”
The gospel of Jesus Christ offers both comfort and answers. The Lord promised, “Blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted” (3 Nephi 12:4). Seek the Holy Ghost, for He is the Comforter.
You wonder whether your prayers were heard. Rest assured: Heavenly Father always hears our prayers. The scriptures and living prophets promise us that is true. What the Lord said to Joseph Smith applies to you too: “Thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears” (D&C 90:1). But we need to remember that Heavenly Father answers our prayers with an eternal perspective in mind (see Isaiah 55:8–9). That’s why we follow the Savior’s example of asking for blessings but then sincerely asking for the Father’s will to be done (see Luke 22:42).
Even though it is hard, this trial can be a time of growth for you. You can learn to have faith in the will of God, even if that means your mom wasn’t healed. Of course you wanted her to live. But the test of this mortal life is to trust in God at all times—especially when it’s difficult. If you trust Him, “all things shall work together for your good” (D&C 90:24).
According to our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness for us, our return to His presence is based upon death and resurrection, which will help us change from this mortal state to an immortal state. You need only accept the fact that death is part of the plan and believe that one day you will be able to once again be with your deceased mother. Know that your mother is in the spirit world and that she is waiting for you.
David M., 18, Western Kasai, Democratic Republic of the Congo
My mother was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. I didn’t like watching her in pain, and I wished that I could do something. And although my mother got better, it was a hard experience. Your mother is in a place where she won’t feel pain or suffering. It’s hard not to see her anymore, but you are never alone. She will always love you, and our Heavenly Father will always be there to lift you up when you are low. You will never be abandoned. Jesus Christ suffered the pains of the world; He knows how you feel and what you are going through. Do as I did in my time of trial: go to Him and He will make your burdens light.
Shiloh W., 18, Chihuahua, Mexico
My mother died when I was only 12 years old. At that time I was not a member of the Church. When she was sick, I prayed a lot that my mother would be well. I had much faith, and I trusted in God in the hope that her health would return. Sadly she did not recover. I questioned why she had to die at such a young age and leave me while I was still a teenager. I was angry and came to the point where I doubted that God existed. Now that I am a member of the Church, I understand the plan of salvation. I know that she is waiting for me and that our family will be reunited.
Inaê L., 19, Minas Gerais, Brazil
My mom passed away three years ago. Your relationship with your Heavenly Father and Savior will grow if you look to Them in your time of need. You will find that this trial, devastating as it may be, can also be a blessing. Pray to your Father in Heaven for peace and reassurance. Trust in the Lord’s plan for you. Accept that Heavenly Father knows where we are going and what we need to get there. The Lord loves you and wants you to have joy. Our trials are meant to teach us and make us stronger.
Meghan B., 18, Ontario, Canada
My mom’s mother died when my mom was 17. The family fasted and prayed for her for several weeks before she died. She also was given a priesthood blessing. The main thing that gave my mom peace was knowing that she could see her mother again in the next life. My mom’s goal is to live her life so she will be worthy of that blessing. I am sad that I will never be able to meet her in this lifetime, but I look forward to the time when we will finally meet.
Cari R., 15, Utah, USA