I was out enjoying a summer stroll with my husband one evening when my cell phone rang. It was from a friend I knew through church. Her doctor’s appointment that morning had brought devastating news: the 20-week-old fetus she’d been carrying was dead. My friend was scheduled to go to the hospital later that night to deliver the body. She was calling to ask me if I would notify our local church leaders for her.
The following evening I went with another girlfriend to visit this friend who’d lost her baby. I’d bought a yellow rose with a vase and card which we both signed, but I felt completely at a loss as to what I could possibly say that would help this grieving friend.
When we got to her door, we found that there was another couple from the ward (local congregation) already visiting, and we were invited to join them. About six months previously, this visiting couple had also miscarried surprisingly late into their pregnancy. I humbly sat and listened as the visiting couple counseled confidently with my friend and her husband, both of whom looked visibly relieved to be speaking with two people who knew their pain so intimately. The visiting couple’s prior experience had specially equipped them to help in this very sad, very unusual situation.
We are not always fortunate enough to have a close friend or relative who knows our particular pain. Fortunately, there is always One who knows perfectly what we are going through, because He too has personally experienced it. Many years before the Savior’s birth, an ancient American prophet Alma prophesied that Christ would “take upon him [our] infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that He may know according to the flesh how to succor His people according to [our] infirmities” (Alma 7:12).
In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ suffered not only for the sins of all mankind, He also suffered every physical and emotional pain we could possibly experience. Because of what He suffered, Christ was uniquely prepared to give needed comfort to each of us during hardship. To succor means to run to the rescue, and Christ is waiting and willing to run to our side.
Whenever we are hurting, we can seek the Savior’s comfort through prayer, reading scripture, or listening to sacred hymns. In quiet moments, we can experience the reassurance that Christ is there and He knows what we are going through. While this knowledge will not alter our circumstances, it does give us needed relief, healing, and strength to carry on, while at the same time looking forward to a day when we can smile again.