“I Will See Her Again,” New Era, Apr. 2019, page–page.
The author lives in Utah, USA.
Life gets crazy when you’re a 17-year-old girl. High school crushes, geometry tests, weekend window-shopping at the mall, and late-night phone conversations all add up, along with the lifelong task of discovering who you really are.
My senior year in high school was quite an adventurous one. I sang in two choirs, performed with the high school dance company, participated in region and state drama, studied in Advanced Placement and college concurrent-enrollment classes, and dated. I felt like a typical high school student.
But there was one exception—my mother was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). The disease attacks the nervous system in the body. The brain sends messages to the muscles to move, but the disease prevents these messages from getting where they need to go. The result: a loss of the ability to move any muscles. It becomes difficult to eat, breathe, sit, stand, walk, talk, or do much of anything. It was so hard to see my mother experience this. We literally watched every muscle in her throat give out before she died.
She came home from the hospital on Mother’s Day, and that night she asked my brother and me to sing “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” (Hymns, no. 29). I made it through one verse and then collapsed in tears. The morning she died, we played a Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD. As she passed through the veil from one world to the next, the increasing emotion of the choir singing “The Spirit of God” (Hymns, no. 2) filled the room and accompanied our tears of grief and love.
There were two scriptures in particular that helped me through this difficult and life-changing period. The first is found in Alma 40:23: “The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.”
This scripture strengthened me because I knew that when I see my mother again, she won’t have the weakened body she left this life with. She will be whole; she will be perfect.
She will be the mother I played with, prayed with, laughed with, and lived life with.
A friend sent me a card the day after my mother died, and inside was the second scripture: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Ever since that trying period of my life, I’ve looked back on this scripture as a way to hold me up in times of trial, to keep me going in times of pain, and to comfort me in times of tears. This scripture touched my heart then and continues to do so today.