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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Feeling the Spirit at Church With My Autistic Son


After 10 years of taking David to Church I've finally realized I don't need to sit through an entire service in quiet reverence in order to feel the Spirit. When I make the effort to be at Church with my autistic son the Spirit can find a way to reach me. 

Sunday.

The longest hardest day of the week.
 
The day I take David to Church.
 
One Sunday after an especially long and trying sacrament service I found myself standing in front of the elevator. Nine months pregnant. David had just pushed the button and was jumping up and down as he waited for the doors to open.
 
I felt exhausted. I wondered how I’d get through the next two hours. David had been upset for most of the first hour. This made me think the next two wouldn’t go well either. It was one of those Sundays where I found myself wondering if it was worth all the effort.

As I leaned against the wall a painting caught my eye. It hung next to the elevator and was positioned directly in front of me. I recognized it as a pioneer burial in the snow. I’ve stood in front of the elevator many times and I’ve seen that painting before. But this time was different.

The scene before me—‘Martin Handcart Company, Bitter Creek, Wyoming 1856’—depicted by Clark Kelley Price, ignited a warm glow inside me as the Spirit filled my being. Deep within my soul the fires of faith burned a little brighter.  
 
I tried to imagine what it must be like to bury your husband or child in a shallow, snowy grave. Tears welled up in my eyes. I was glad that wasn’t my reality.

All of a sudden my trial didn’t feel so bad. I’d rather bring an autistic child to Church than bury him in the snow.

The elevator doors swung open and David pranced inside. I followed close behind. It didn’t matter now if the next two hours were difficult. I’d received the spiritual strengthening I needed.

In the midst of chasing David, the Spirit found a way to reach me. It only took a few seconds for me to be uplifted and edified. In the short time it took for the elevator to arrive I received a beautiful impression of comfort and faith—my reward for coming to Church.
 
All of my effort in wrestling David had now become worthwhile.
 

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