Most people, including members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, don’t anticipate having to visit their spouses behind bars. It’s just a foreign concept for us. Unfortunately, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. And, as one woman said, some people’s mistakes are bigger and more visible than others.
My friend who said this has firsthand experience with high-profile errors, because her husband is serving time in federal prison on a case that was well-publicized in their former community. He is appealing his conviction. The husband of another friend of mine is also incarcerated, and his case is winding through the legal system.
I am a second-hand observer to their situations, and I don’t pretend to know how they feel. But I can imagine that the road is lonely and a little scary. My purpose in writing this is to help others who might be in a similar situation see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and they are not alone. From the experiences of these two ladies, here are 5 things to remember when a loved one is incarcerated.
1. Heavenly Father loves us, and everything will be OK in the end.
One of my friends said that, from the beginning, she needed to know that Heavenly Father loves her and her husband, and that everything would be OK. The late President Gordon B. Hinckley was fond of saying, “Things will work out.” In times of distress, sometimes it’s hard to see that.
Sister Elaine S. Dalton said:
The Lord has promised us that as we “search diligently, pray always, and be believing, … all things [will] work together for [our] good” (Doctrine & Covenants 90:24; emphasis added). That doesn’t mean that everything will be perfect or that we will not have any trials, but it does mean that everything will be okay if we just “hang in there.”
Sometimes the trials are of our own making, and sometimes they are a result of another’s choices. But if we focus on doing what’s right—or repenting of our wrongs, if need be—then, in the end, everything will be OK.