It’s Sunday. The week after Easter. Last week I went to Star Valley for Mark’s homecoming. I missed Terri’s lesson and now I’m studying this week’s lesson on Mosiah 1-3. I feel a little empty. Eileen’s ward was a week behind ours because they had already had Stake Conference. I have felt unsettled all week because I missed lesson #14 on Enos – Words of Mormon. So, even though I had studied that one last week, I went over it again this morning on my iPAD while I was still in bed. And, then I moved on to studying lesson #15.

Can I just say I love the Book of Mormon! Can I just say I love studying the lessons and keeping up with the reading assignments. Can I just say that I recognize God’s hand in my life through that book of scripture.

I remember when my Mother taught Gospel Doctrine. She studied so much. She had big shoes to fill because my grandma, Grandma Smith had taught for YEARS before Mom. And dad, was a huge scriptorian so she may have felt a little intimidated at first. Mom would study all day on Saturday [well, I guess between everything else she did on Saturdays . . .] and into the night. I remember her at the kitchen table, after supper, with books and papers spread about. She usually made a huge visual on butcher paper. I remember walking in the kitchen at midnight after a date and being overwhelmed by the smell of black permanent marker as she drew maps or wrote important points to display on the chalk board.

I was so proud of her. She loved that calling and did her best to share her testimony of the scriptures with our ward.

And, now I feel the same way about studying. Wait. I’m not saying I study as much as she did. I’m not saying I’m a scriptorian. I’m not saying that I would want to teach GD. I’m just saying that I understand and value the importance of going into the class, having read the assignment and pondering on it during the week. I understand how it makes me feel when I read and listen and look up and think. I understand how my breast fills up with fluttering [not sure what that is — but it’s kind of an ‘excitement’] when I connect with the teacher and feel the Holy Ghost testifying to me that what we are studying is important.

How do people live without religion? How do people live without answers and inspiration and direction? How do people live without that fluttering? How do people live without God? How do people live without the gospel?

I,  just this past week, had a few moments with someone who was totally against God. Against religion. Against my religion. She said that people look right through her. She feels invisible. They ignore her and she feels judged. I wrote back to her.

Hey, Lorna. Hi again. I am sorry to read that you have had so many disappointments. Life can be difficult sometimes. So, do you have other family there? [I assume you are still in Evanston.] I remember two Bollschweiler families there. Marvin and Wayne? Is that right? I remember the Second Ward with lots of fond memories. My Mother and Dad both loved the 2nd and 5th Wards. I have been in Lyman for about 30 years. After high school I moved to Utah, then California, got married, moved to Utah, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and then Ohio. Then back to Lyman. Yah, three marriages. None of them really good. I have five amazing children and six adorable grands. My life is far from perfect, but the one thing that helps me so much is the Church. My husband wants nothing to do with it, so I just go by myself and enjoy my ward family. I try to do my callings well and I try to learn from them. I have found although it’s easier to blame others for my crappy life than to take responsibility for it, it never accomplishes anything to do so. Sometimes the reality [and consequences] of my life is more honesty than I want. I’ve made some really poor choices and that’s how I got to where I am. It’s much easier for me to push people away than to let them in – so I find myself really trying hard to reach out [even though it is out of my comfort zone] to be friendly and try to get along. I hope that the people around you will make more effort and take time to see you. That’s got to be a very sad and lonely existence. Sometimes you have to be the first one to do it, though. I bet others don’t even realize how you feel. We all get caught up in our own lives and don’t see others hurting. I hope you will feel OK about talking to me. I’m a great listener and I hope I’m a good friend.

Can I just say that I don’t really know her. I think she was a couple of years behind me in school. But I could hear her broken heart in her posts to me. I could hear that she was disappointed in her life and I could hear that she didn’t have the peace and comfort of the gospel in her life.

I tried to tell her that even though [my] life isn’t perfect it is still WONDERFUL! [My favorite quote.]

She is so bitter and broken and hurt and empty. Been there, felt that. But, to anyone reading or listening: Know this. The Lord Heals Broken! He heals broken hearts. He heals broken lives. He heals broken families. He heals broken bodies. He heals broken promises. He heals broken dreams.

And, knowing that . . . I had to share.