D&C 35:17 ". . . and in weakness have I blessed him."

Thursday, April 28, 2022

MY BOOK!!!!!!


Blessed in Weakness

How a Mother Found Hope, Healing and Divine Purpose Raising a Disabled Child 

As the mother of a disabled child, I've been the recipient of many gifts. Some of the greatest of these gifts have been spiritual. My mind has been enlightened with increased understanding and my soul has been expanded with greater faith, as I've searched to understand God's purpose for my son, David's, disability. Blessed in Weakness  is a compilation of the spiritual experiences I've had and the truths I've learned raising a disabled child.

Although there are still many things I do not know or understand, I can say with surety: 

  • I know disability is a part of God's plan, and this is a plan of happiness.
  • I know each disabled person has a unique mission to fulfill on earth and is capable of growth.
  • I know Christ overcame death and we will all be resurrected. I know David will be resurrected with a body free of disability and will live with God again. 
  • I know my Savior, Jesus Christ, has borne my griefs and carried my sorrows. He stands with open arms waiting to comfort me. His love and grace give me the strength to carry on. 
  • I know Jesus loves David and is aware of his needs. Christ has suffered the pains of David's disability and knows how to succor him.
  • Above all, I know David's body houses a strong, mature spirit. He is among the noblest of spirits--clean and pure, righteous and obedient. 

I've tried to imagine the scene in the pre-earth life when I was called to be David's mother. How honored and humbled I must have felt knowing I'd be given this special calling. 

It is a privilege.

Foreword by Carmen B. Pingree

Eugénie C. Stoll

"Uplifting and edifying"

"Unique and important"

"Outstanding and perceptive"

"This inspiring story epitomizes the paradoxes of raising a severely disabled child: unanswered questions and remarkable insights, painful rejections and startling acts of service, agonizing losses and compensatory blessings, unfulfilled dreams and unexpected miracles. Parents, neighbors, teachers and strangers will be affirmed in hope, compassion and the meaning of life and love."

 Available at AMAZON.COM in paperback and ebook


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Remembering Trisha

I scrolled down my feed a little further to make sure of what I was reading.

Trisha passed away? That can't be right. She's only 2 years younger than me and the mother of three. 

As I continued to read, the reality of the shocking news set in. She really was gone! Taken unexpectedly and without warning. 

As the reverberating echoes of WHY resounded through my head, a rush of warm, happy memories came to life. Remembrances of Trisha's smile and wicked sense of humor, her vivacious personality and infectious energy. Her warmth, kindness and generosity. 

I was blessed to serve as Trisha's mission companion for a few months in East London (Cape Town, South Africa Mission). She brought laughter, love and joy to all she did. My heart aches for her family and today I fondly honor the memory of our time together.

To know Trisha was to love her! 

(I'm on the left, Miss Samoa is on the right)
                                    (Trisha's smile could light a thousand stars)

Trisha and I were invited by the branch mission leader to sing for a missionary fireside. We politely declined, but he persisted, thinking we were just being humble or modest. He had a hard time believing us when we told him we were not good singers. As he continued to put the pressure on, we finally explained to him we had been blessed with good looks and not singing voices (This was not entirely untrue. Sister Hunt was a real life beauty queen and the AP's had crowned me with the title of, Worst Singing Voice of all the Sisters in the Mission).

After hearing of where our talents lay, the mission leader quickly abandoned the idea that we were modest or humble. At the start of the fireside he announced to the congregation that he had invited the sisters to sing, but they declined because "they thought they were too good looking to sing". Trisha and I just rolled our eyes. . . 

If there was a theme to our companionship, it was hard work and chocolate. Trisha was discovering the world beyond Hershey's and we formed an instant bond over Nestle and Cadbury's. Trisha wasn't afraid to work hard and wanted to give it her all. She asked me to take up the challenge of working a 70 hour week. We spent many hours pounding the streets of East London and knocking on doors.  When we were out tracting, Trisha loved to talk about her wedding plans. She told me about who her bridesmaids would be, what color they'd wear and how she'd name her first girl Hannah. All the while denying my prediction that she would marry Elder Ryan Paddock.    

(I'm standing with the future Mr and Mrs Paddock)

   (I think Ryan is proposing to Trisha)

Trisha and I heard a lot about the Sister Peggy Dinner Appointment from the elders. We were especially tired of hearing about how the sisters had never been invited to her house. Trisha and I decided we needed to do something about that! I pulled out my hand-me-down recipe for brownies and Trisha got to work making them. It turns out Sister Peggy loved chocolate just us as much as we did. Needless, to stay she insisted on having us over for dinner.

(Sister Peggy and a game of rummy)

Trisha's beautiful smile will live in my heart forever! There's something special about the friendships I made while on my mission. The time we spent together was relatively short, but the depth of love I have for these people is real. The Spirit cemented these bonds with an extra measure of love. 

There's also something special about the strong women who choose to serve missions. And Trisha was no exception. She quickly became a leader in her community and a pillar of strength and kindness to many. 

Thank you for the happy time we spent together. When I see you on the other side, I'll sing if you'll make the brownies!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Power of a Mother's Love

 "You rejoice in a baby's first smile and you listen with eager ear to a child's first day at school. . .You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today's world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms. . .

"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the sleeping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?"

(Maxwell, Neal, A. "The Women of God," April 1978)

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A God Who Weeps

 "There in the midst of a grand vision of humankind which heaven opened up to his view, Enoch, observing both the blessings and challenges of mortality, turns his gaze toward the Father and is stunned to see Him weeping. He says in wonder and amazement to this most powerful being in the universe: "How is it that thou canst weep?" 

 . . . Looking out on the events of almost any day God replies, "Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of my hands . . . they are without affection and they hate their own blood . . . Wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?" (Moses 7)

"That single riveting scene does more to teach the true nature of God than any theological treatise could ever convey. 

" . . . What an indelible image of God's engagement in our lives! What anguish in a parent when His children do not choose Him nor "the gospel of God" He sent. How easy to love someone who so singularly loves us.

"I bear witness this day of a personal, living God, who knows our names, hears and answers prayers, and cherishes us eternally as children of His spirit. I testify that amidst the wondrously complex tasks inherent in the universe, He seeks our individual happiness and safety above all other godly concerns."

(Elder Jeffrey, R. Holland. "The Grandeur of God.")

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Pioneers in the Church in South Africa


I found this on the Church history site. My dad, Gerald de Wet, is listed. He was among the first group of missionaries from South Africa to serve outside of their own country. He served in the Netherlands. I always knew he served a mission, but I didn't know he was the first to serve abroad.

I also found these on family search:

Elder Marion G. Romney seated on the left, standing behind him on the left is my grandpa, Ben de Wet. Taken when Elder Romney came to South Africa to organize the new Johannesburg Stake. My grandpa served as a counselor in this presidency.

I think you'll recognize Elder Scott and Elder Nelson--in their younger years. My grandpa, Ben de Wet, is on the left dressed in white. This photo was taken in the foyer of the Johannesburg, South Africa Temple, when my grandpa served as a counselor in the temple presidency (1992-1993). The lady in white is my great aunt, Anna de Wet (my grandpa's sister-in-law), she served as assistant to the matron.

I come from people of great faith and its my duty to pass this legacy on. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Ordinary Life

 "Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand and make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself."

(William Martin)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Speaking of Angels

"We are promised that if we keep our covenants we will always have His Spirit to be with us. I believe that promise not only refers to the Holy Ghost but also to the ministering of angels, for "angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore they speak the words of Christ (2 Ne 32:3)."

(Elder Oaks, The Aaronic Priesthood and the Sacrament, Oct 1998)

"I believe we need to  speak of and believe in and bear testimony of the ministry of angels more then we sometimes do."

(Elder Holland, For a Wise Purpose, Ensign, Jan 1996)

"Ask for angels to help you."

(Elder Holland, Place No More for the Enemy of my Soul, April 2010)

Monday, February 1, 2021

Angels From Both Sides of the Veil Watched Over Him

    COVID may have robbed my brother of his physical strength, 

but it did not have the power to weaken him spiritually. 


    I thought if I could just make it to 2021 things would get better. And they did. January brought with it the news that Utah had started vaccinating its healthcare workers. But things also got worse. I received the news that my older brother had been hospitalized. 

    I was sitting in my car in the parking lot about to enter Costco when I answered the call from South Africa. My mom informed me that my older brother had contracted the new South African strain of COVID and had to be hospitalized because he was struggling to breathe. 

    When I ended the phone call, I just sat there in my car, stunned. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I tried to take it all in.

    But he's only 2 years older than me. 

    He doesn't even have a high risk medical condition. He's always been the strong one, the athletic one.

    He has a son who is supposed to go on a mission in a few weeks. . . 

    In that moment it became crystal clear to me about what really matters. People and family are everything. Money and goods are nothing. All we have is each other. Nothing else matters.

    My brother's condition got worse before it got better. Significantly worse, He developed pneumonia and blood clots, and was put on 95% oxygen. At one point, it looked like he might not make it. 

    I've read about how isolating COVID is and how people are dying alone in hospitals, separated from their friends and family. The reality of this isolation didn't hit me until it happened to someone I love.

    I remembered how important it was for me to be at my baby's bedside when he was in the NICU. I couldn't even begin to imagine my sister-in-law's agony as she was unable to visit her husband. And I thought of my brother all alone, day after day, night after night.

    Then I received a strong and clear impression that my brother wasn't alone. There were angels with him. 

    I immediately knew this to be true. 

    I'd had my own witness of this truth when I experienced serious medical trauma.

    Having received this impression, I then prayed specifically that my brother would be watched over by angels--deceased family members who are now on the other side of the veil. I thought of my departed grandfather, Oupie, who was strong in both body and spirit, and imagined him standing over my brother. 

    I prayed with all of my faith that my brother would be healed, knowing that in the end God's will would prevail. I reminded myself that God had a plan for my brother's life and that this was a plan of happiness. And even though my brother was suffering, Heavenly Father could "make all things work together for his good"(Romans 8:28). Most of all I clung to the truth that "with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26).

    My prayers were answered. My brother was watched over by angels, from both sides of the veil. The angels on this side of the veil worked 12 hour shifts, wore blue protective clothing and suffered from the heat generated by these protective layers. After being in their care for 16 days my brother was able to come home. And 8 days after that, my nephew left for his mission.

    While COVID may have robbed my brother of his physical strength, it did not have the power to weaken him spiritually. Having passed through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, he came through on the other side with a bright, unshakable knowledge of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ--their love for us and their power to heal and save us. 

    I was deeply touched by a text I received from him. In it he expressed his gratitude for being blessed with the miracle of physical healing and for receiving a second chance to live. He also testified of being blessed with spiritual healing. He reported having received a powerful and peaceful assurance that his sins had been forgiven him, after wrestling with the Lord in prayer for many hours. Overwhelmed by the power of the Savior's love for him, he then committed to spend the rest of his days cherishing his wife and serving to build up the kingdom of God. 

    I can't help but think of the promise made in Isaiah 40:31. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint."

    It was Oupie who first introduced me to this scripture and I have loved it ever since. 

    Today it is the prayer for my brother's continued healing.


    (This post has been written with my brother's permission)