This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Lisa will be posting about it mainly on her blog, but we thought we’d start the week with this here.
Last October Lisa was reading the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. As she read the story of the Brother of Jared trying to solve the problem of how to get light in their boats she applied the story to our situation. We weren’t trying to light boats, but sometimes it seemed like all we had to offer the Lord to work with were a bunch of rocks. By changing a few words, Lisa put us in the story. The changes she made are in italics below. Compare with Ether 2:16-3:5.
The Book of Infertility
16 And the Lord said: Go to work and build, after the manner of families which ye have hitherto seen. And it came to pass that the wife of Brett did go to work, and also her husband, and attempted to build a family after the manner which they had seen, according to the instructions of the Lord. […]
17 And families built after this manner were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold the Spirit; and the faith thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the virtue thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the love thereof was high; and the charity thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of eternity; and the prayers thereof, when they were offered, were tight like unto a dish.
18 And it came to pass that the wife of Brett and her husband cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, we have tried to perform the work which thou hast commanded us, and we have made a marriage according as thou hast directed us.
19 And behold, O Lord, in it there are no children; whither shall we multiply? And also we shall perish, for in it we cannot progress, save it is the faith which we already have; therefore we shall perish.
20 And the Lord said unto the wife of Brett and her husband: Behold, thou shalt attend the temple, and also pray and study the scriptures; and when thou shalt suffer for faith thou shalt unstop the heavens and receive more faith. And if it be so that the trials come in upon thee, behold, ye shall fast, that ye may not perish in the flood.
21 And it came to pass that the wife of Brett and her husband did so, according as the Lord had commanded.
22 And they cried again unto the Lord saying: O Lord, behold we have done even as thou hast commanded us; and we have prepared our marriage for thy children, and behold there are no children. Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great life in childlessness?
23 And the Lord said unto the wife of Brett and her husband: What will ye that I should do that ye may have children in your family? For behold, ye cannot have them naturally, for that will not increase your faith as needed; neither shall ye have success with simple procedures, for ye shall not go by the easy way.
24 For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves of trial shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of despair; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.
25 And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot succeed in this life save I prepare you against the trials of the world, and the discouragements which have gone forth, and the disappointments which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have children when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the trials?
1 And it came to pass that the wife of Brett and her husband, went forth unto the temple, which they called the temple of Mesa, because of its geographic location, and had prepared out of themselves four small embryos; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass; and they did carry them in her uterus up to the temple, and cried again unto the Lord, saying:
2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must multiply and replenish the earth to fulfill the measure of our creation. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servants because of our weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.
3 Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our need for growth, and hast driven us from one treatment to another, and for these many years we have been infertile; nevertheless, thou hast been merciful unto us. O Lord, look upon us in pity, and turn away thine anger from this our family, and suffer not that we shall go forth in this life without children but behold these embryos which we have created out of ourselves.
4 And we know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these embryos, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in our family which we have prepared, that we may have children while we shall live in this world.
5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.
One week after Lisa read that part of Ether and applied it to us we knew how verse 6 would read:
6 And it came to pass that when the wife of Brett and her husband had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the embryos one by one with his finger. [...]
Our daughter is already a light shining in our lives. As was her brother the year before who was only with us a few short weeks before his miscarriage. His very existence gave us enough hope to keep going.
We have truly been brought up out of the crashing waves of trials. The trials have not gone away, but our capacity to stay above them has been increased by power that can only come from heaven.