Firm Foundations

“Firm Foundations,” New Era, Apr. 2019, page–page.

Firm Foundations

Sadness Is Not Sin

Sadness is not a Sin

Illustrations by Janet Atkinson

I had been out in the mission field for a week when my mission president called and told me that my great-grandmother passed away. Most people don’t even get to meet their great-grandparents, let alone have them in their lives for 19 years, and I tried to be happy knowing that I would get to see her again. But all I could think about was that she was gone.

I’d heard stories about people being almost joyous at the passing of a loved one because that person was with family on the other side. And my great-grandmother was with her husband. He had passed away over 20 years earlier. And I was a missionary! If anyone should be happily preaching about living again, it was me. For a while, I felt guilty for feeling sad.

Then I came across Doctrine and Covenants 42:45: “Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.” Here were the words of the Lord telling me my feelings were OK, that loss naturally brings sadness. I didn’t need to feel guilty!

Since then, I have been able to go through the temple for my great-grandmother and participate in sealing her to my great-grandfather. It still hurts sometimes when I think about not seeing her in this life, but I know that because of Jesus Christ, one day I will be with her again.

Heather C., Oregon, USA

An Emergency Blessing

An Emergency Blessing

One day when I was younger, my stomach began to hurt. As the day went on, it got worse. It hurt so bad I couldn’t even walk. At night, I woke up crying because I just couldn’t handle the pain. My parents rushed me to the emergency room. The doctors there thought my intestines were twisted and that I would need an intensive surgery, so they sent me to a hospital where it could be taken care of.

My family was really worried, and before I left, my dad and grandpa gave me a priesthood blessing. At the hospital, I was prepped for a special kind of X-ray, but the doctors found out I was fine. The pain started going away too. I really believe that the priesthood blessing made everything OK.

Hearing about this story growing up has really helped my testimony to grow. I know that the Lord can perform miracles today and that He is always there when I need help. Even though this experience was hard, I am thankful for trials like this in my life because they have strengthened my faith and my testimony.

Kailyn S., Nevada, USA

My Older Brother

My Older Brother

All the years I was in Primary, I dreamed of receiving the priesthood. But by the time I was about to turn 12, I had become a bit anxious about it. I wasn’t nervous about priesthood service; what seemed challenging was setting an example.

As time went on, I especially felt a responsibility to be an example for my younger brother. When my brother was preparing to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, I had a hard time accepting the fact that I had to set an example for him. Why didn’t I have an older brother who could be an example for me? Then it dawned on me. I do have an Older Brother who is a perfect example—Jesus Christ. I could follow His example!

When I turned 16, I was ordained a priest. Then my brother turned 12, and I was asked to ordain him a deacon. I was nervous, especially about giving him a blessing as part of the ordination. But the words came to me, and I knew exactly what to say: “I bless you to be able to follow the example of your Older Brother, Jesus Christ.”

Yves P., Cergy, France