Lesson 4—The Ministering of Angels
Another lesson I wish to share happened on a particularly hard night. I had been to the Houston temple earlier that day and had a wonderful experience. I needed the peace I felt in the temple because I didn’t feel it often at other times.
On this particular night, Nathan awoke at 2 a.m. crying inconsolably. My husband and I tried praying, giving him a blessing, anything we could do to help him calm down, but nothing worked. Justin and I rotated back and forth because it was exhausting to deal with hour after hour of constant crying and screaming.
Several hours into the night, I found myself crying as well. We didn’t know what to do to console him. We had tried everything.
I sobbed, “Heavenly Father, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what else to pray for.” The thought came, “Pray for angels.” And so I did. I prayed for my grandparents and great-grandparents and my husband’s ancestors to come and be with us.
The sweetest feeling filled the room. My awful night turned into one of the most sanctifying and peaceful moments of my life. I didn’t see the angels, but I felt their presence, and Nathan calmed down and was finally at peace.
That night I learned that the ministering of angels brings a calming spirit and strengthens us in difficult times. Angels are there and want to help us. We do not have to do it alone. We have our Heavenly Father, our Savior, the Comforter, and people on the other side of the veil who love and want to help.
Do not be afraid to pray for angels in your dark moments. They will come.
Lesson 5—Submitting and Peace
A couple of years after I started my journey to learn true faith, the ability to submit to Heavenly Father’s will finally came. I recorded this in my journal one Sunday night:
Tamara’s Journal, August 06, 2006
I am amazed as I look back over the past year. What a difference! Last year at this point I was struggling through a very difficult summer with Nathan. I was dealing with challenging emotions that Jacob was autistic—that I couldn’t put him in a normal preschool. I was angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
Now, there is peace. I always wondered if I would have the faith to say, “I know you have the power to heal my sons, but if not, we will be just fine.” I finally reached that point tonight.
Healing has taken place in my soul over the past year. I feel somewhat like Alma and his people who were in bondage where the Lord told them, “I will ease the burdens which are put upon your backs.” Then it continues, “The Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24: 14-15).
I don’t know if it is my lot in life to ever be freed from my challenge or blessing of having children with special needs, but I am grateful for them and what the Lord has taught me because of them.
Isn’t that amazing? Heavenly Father worked and worked with me over the years to change my heart. It didn’t happen all at once, but very gradually over time.
Living with difficulties, which were too hard for me to bear on my own, turned me to the Lord and helped me refine my relationship with Him and submit to His will. I learned the truth behind the statement of an early pioneer brother, “The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay” (“Pioneer Women,” Relief Society Magazine, Jan. 1948, 8.)
It has not come easily, but I can finally say just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, I have come to know and trust God more in my times of trial. I have learned He doesn’t leave me alone in my fiery furnaces. Jesus Christ comes and saves, heals and strengthens as I yoke myself to Him.
I have gained a more eternal perspective. This life is a temporary state followed by an endless life after death. I have found joy in realizing because of Jesus, someday I will see my children in their resurrected state. In that glorious day, they will live with those perfect bodies and minds through eternity. Their disabilities are temporary, and their innocence protects them from the evils of the world around us.
The Lord has taught me He truly loves my family and He does have our best welfare in mind. As I go to Him in prayer, study examples of faith in the scriptures, attend church weekly, and visit the temple, Heavenly Father has taught me how to walk with true faith. I also learned the reality of the Atonement to heal broken and shattered dreams and the power of the ministering of angels in my life.
I can now say, “I know God can heal my boys, but if not, I still believe He will provide a way for my family to find joy in this life and wholeness in the life hereafter.”
All images courtesy of Tamara K. Anderson
Tamara loves reading stories with happy endings, conducting choirs, and juggling the activities of her four children. She is the mother of three boys (two of which are on the autism spectrum) and one girl. Raising her brood is a full-time job! She has lived in the east, south, and west of the United States and even in Argentina for three years as a young girl. Tamara enjoys podcasting, gardening, writing, singing, chocolate, and going on dates with her husband, Justin.