I agree with Elder Spencer J. Condie, a member of the quorum of the Seventy and president of the New Zealand/Pacific Islands area, “And God remembered Rachel,” are some of the most beautiful words in the scriptures.
Because those four words show that He watches over us. They
show that He loves us.
There are times in life when our burdens are so heavy, when all that we have been called upon to bear appear to be the straw that will break the camel’s back.
In June of this year I raced home from Colorado straight to the hospital where my husband had been admitted earlier in the day. I was exhausted and emotionally worn down from my father’s illness, subsequent death, caring for my mother, ferrying my siblings to and from Colorado . . . really just exhausted beyond all belief, emotionally, mentally and physically.
When I arrived at the hospital, I learned my husband’s condition was more serious than he’d let on. He was bleeding internally again and was scheduled for an additional endoscopy and colonoscopy the next morning. That is when I was pulled aside by the doctor and told that Alvin’s condition was bad, very bad and I needed to prepare myself because he had cancer and they were going to have to operate.
I was beyond stunned, shocked and dismayed. My entire psyche shut down . . . and I just sat there tears pouring down my cheeks without making a sound. I didn’t want Alvin to know how bad it was. After a few minutes I roused myself enough to send a text message to friends and family explaining the situation. One friend, who was in Alaska at the time, sent me a text back and explained he and his brothers were going to begin praying for Alvin. One message after another came back stating the same, from all over the world. I called a friend to come and give Alvin a blessing, but inside I had nothing left to fight with. I had given my all over the last two years with all the family deaths, my husband’s numerous near deaths . . . and I was done, but you can’t just stop because you’re empty inside. You have to keep pushing forward, and I did everything I knew to do to keep my husband’s spirits up and figure out the next course of action with the doctors.
It was at this time that I retreated to the hospital bathroom and cried. I cried so hard because I had just buried my father a scant 12 weeks earlier and I was not ready to lose my husband too. I prayed as I cried, and I’m grateful Heavenly Father understood the disjointed words and thoughts pouring from my heart. It was at this moment when peace permeated me, heart and soul, I was renewed and uplifted. And the sweetest words I’d ever heard were whispered to my heart from above, “Your husband will live.”
By that evening, when the final results came in, it was no longer “bad, very bad.” Alvin had ischemic colitus and the condition was reversing itself and well on its way to healing without any help from the doctors.
And God remembered Alvin and Candace.
Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the promises God has made us through personal revelation and blessings. Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the eternities when life is throwing so much at us we spend all our time ducking rather than fighting.
Elder Condie said,
The Lord’s countless exceeding great and precious promises include forgiveness of our sins when we “confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43; see also D&C 1:32). Opening the windows of heaven is a promise claimed by those who pay a faithful tithe (see Malachi 3:10), and finding “great treasures of knowledge” accrues to those who observe the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89:19).
Becoming unspotted from the world is a promise to those who keep the Sabbath holy (see D&C 59:9; Exodus 31:13). Divine guidance and inspiration are promised to those who “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3) and who “liken all scriptures” unto themselves (1 Nephi 19:23).
The Lord also promised that “whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you” (3 Nephi 18:20). We are promised that the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion when we “let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly” (see D&C 121:45–46). We can claim the spiritually liberating promise of fasting, which will “loose the bands of wickedness,” undo our “heavy burdens,” and “break every yoke” (Isaiah 58:6).
Those who are sealed in holy temples and who faithfully keep their covenants will receive God’s glory, which “shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever” (D&C 132:19).
Sometimes, in our earthly impatience, we may lose sight of the Lord’s precious promises and disconnect our obedience from the fulfillment of these promises. The Lord has declared:
“Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?
“I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.
“Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above,” (D&C 58:31–33) (Spencer J. Condie, “Claim the Exceeding Great and Precious Promises,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 16–18)
He does not forget. He does not bestow blessings in a capricious manner. All promises given to us of the Lord are fulfilled, if we remain worthy to receive them. Sometimes they are fulfilled right away, other times it may take twenty or thirty years.
And God remembers you.