I know that God really does know who I am and cares about me. There have been times in my life where this love has been easier for me to feel and other times where I did wonder if God knew ME and really cared about my happiness. A time that I struggled with this the most was in the late summer of 1999. Alex, Birch and I had just been in a terrible car accident. Alex suffered from a collapsed lung, fractured skull, and fractured spleen. Birch later found that he had dislocated his collar bone and severed his vertebral artery. I was 17.5 weeks pregnant with our second child but through a simple exam in the ER it showed everything was going to be okay. Two weeks later, after Alex had been discharged from the hospital and we had been greeted by much love from our friends and family back at our home in Montana, Birch and I found ourselves again at the hospital. On the previous day we had gone in for our regularly-scheduled ultrasound to find out the sex of our baby and to check on the growth and development, but found that our little girl had died. That night I laid in bed and cried in agony pleading with God to do what he had done in days of old and raise my child from the dead. I had faith that God could bring my baby back to life and the following morning prior to my induction I demanded to have another ultrasound to see if my baby had come back to life. During the following weeks and months I struggled with depression and with knowing if God really did love me and cared about my happiness. I felt hopelessness and a lack of desire to pray to my Heavenly Father. Birch and I had always prayed together each night before going to bed but I no longer felt like I wanted to take part in giving these prayers. A couple of weeks after the death of Sara Elizabeth I was at church and we were singing the hymn "Count your blessings."
When upon life's billows You are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged Thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings Name them one by one,
And it will surprise you What the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings Name them one by one.
Count your blessings See what God hath done.
Count your blessings Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings See what God hath done.
Are you ever burdened With a load of care,
Does the cross seem heavy You are called to bear.
Count your many blessings Every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing As the days go by.
When you look at others With their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised You His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings Money cannot buy,
Your reward in heaven Nor your home on high.
So amid the conflict Whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged God is over all.
Count your many blessings Angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you To your journey's end.
I know that the Bible and the Book of Mormon contain the fullness of the gospel. In John 10:16 it says, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." After Jesus was resurrected he visited the "other sheep" on the American continent and this visit is recorded in the Book of Mormon. I know that Joseph Smith was used by God to translate these sacred ancient writings into English. As I have taken the time to read the writings of ancient prophets in the Bible and Book of Mormon I have again felt God's love and his plan for me.
I know that there is life after death. Almost eight years ago Birch's father suddenly passed away.eternal life and carry on those relationships that I have made here on earth. Eternally being with my spouse, my children, and others I love is such a rewarding promise.
I know that God gives us commandments in order for me to be a happier person. I'm sure that I have not always looked at this concept in the same way that I do now, especially since having children. What an amazing thought that God loved us all so much that he gave us the opportunity to choose right from wrong. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost which not only can help me choose right from wrong but also brings me comfort when my soul is in need.
I know that this life is all about family. Not only does God love and care about my family but he cares about the kind of mother I am to my family. If Birch and I fail to teach our children God's commandments at home, how can we expect them to flourish in the world? "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3) and the family is the center of God's plan.
These are a few of things I KNOW. I am grateful that I know so many answers to life's greatest questions.